The Official 2020 Debt Smackdown
Welcome to the Official* 2020 Debt Smackdown!
Happy new year everyone!
That's right, we're back for 2020. Last year we saw about 310 of us brutally destroy about $3 million in debt. Wow. Right. Massive achievement. Can anyone say 'YNAB blog post'?
But there are plenty of us with still some debt to go. And as much as I hate debt, I do love a good spreadsheet, so here we go. A few of us have come into 2020 with some debt remaining. Maybe over spent at Christmas. Either way, this challenge is open to anyone who wants to eradicate that debt from your life.
So what's this about? If you are holding onto some debt as you enter 2020 - and would like to get rid of it - this challenge is for you.
To the participants from last year, welcome back! For some of us, our total debts are too large to smack down completely in one calendar year, so if you're here from last year, congratulations on your progress and let's keep on doing this! In 2019, we collectively paid down over $2,800,000 in debt! An increase of OVER $1,300,000 than in 2018!
For all new participants, we are happy to have you join in this year! New blood is always welcome. Let's all motivate each other to pay off those debts and continue moving forward to financial freedom.
How it works:
1. List the amount of total debt that you owe.
This step is to give you an awareness of your current debt situation. Feel free to share, this forum is a safe and nonjudgmental place. You can also decide to keep this information private, you don't have to post your total here if you are not comfortable doing so.
2. Post in this thread the total amount of debt you would like to pay off during the 2020 calendar year. (This part is required.)
Feel free to break down the amounts by credit card/type of debt. Also, if you have a specific plan or some ideas on how you plan to pay down the debt, you can post that too. Maybe your plan will spark some ideas for others on how to tackle their own debts!
3. Check in monthly in this thread and report on how your debt smackdown is going. (This part is required.)
4. Post monthly on the 2020 Google Sheet to track your progress. (This part is required.)
Claim a line on the spreadsheet, and post your total debt to be paid off, and the monthly amount that you send off towards it. Some people track their total payments and don't account for interest, some people account for principal only. The method you choose is up to you!
If you come across this challenge later in the year, no worries, you can still jump right in. Just put zeroes in the months where you had not joined the challenge yet, and start in the month you join in.
Last year, we collectively paid off $2,800,000. Let's smash that number again in 2020!
Please let me know any issues with the sheet - sometimes things are a bit wonky when making new ones!
*Official in the sense that there's a spreadsheet. Not official in the sense that it's made by YNAB. I'm just following naming conventions here :)
With my very tight budget, I'll be stuck on minimums this month which I've made already (although I am expecting a cheque for $200 which is earmarked for my CC repayment), so I'm now down to
Personal loan $945 (finally cracked that $1k mark! YES!)
CC $310.27 - I wonder if I can find 27cents somewhere this month...
This month's payment puts me at 3.15% of my goal for the year. We are going to need some miracles to make the big number happen. 😐
Diving in! $29,088 total credit card debt. I plan to pay down the balance and monthly interest on each with a total of $1,075 per month, to hit $12,902 by December 2020. Notes: Have been trying to pay off credit card debt for as long as I can remember--since undergrad years. Basically used it to finance my life during a great career that paid very little--and it worked! Now I'm retired--time to bust free.
Here are the totals from January's money. We put $4550 extra towards the HELOC. Everything else is normal payment schedule. HELOC payment made yesterday. We're refinancing our primary into a 15 year, and rolling the HELOC into that. Supposed to close this month. I'm not sure how to account for that, but with that change in plan, we're going to pay off the Venture this year, and then start throwing money at the new mortgage. But probably not as aggressively, since we'll be out of 'bad' debt by then.
Malibu $6,400.81 401k $30,250.26 HELOC $63,709.51 Venture $27,288.00
$1287.67 paid toward debt.
Took some money out of the emergency fund to wipe out the medical debt. It was zero interest, so I probably should have focused on other debts first, but it feels better to have it out of the way. It was the smallest balance, so it is in keeping w the snowball method.
I am still debating snowball (more emotionally encouraging) vs. avalanche (most logical, less interest paid). But the next debt on the list is both the next biggest balance and the highest interest so I don't really have to decide right away. 🙂
I had big plans to stick with spending over $1400 a month on SL, car and mortgage debt but with some medical bills coming in from appointments last fall that plan is going to have to pivot.
The bills were way more than I had anticipated but thankfully I'm able to make it work. I've finally aged my money long enough to roll with the punches. I'm suppose to have another appointment in May for a follow up so I'll have to put aside some money for that too.
As of February I have paid down $2366 on my $17000 goal. I'm almost 14% there!
Just got paid today with the deduction from the first day of striking. Yikes. It's going to be very tight for the next few months. I hope negotiations will happen sooner than later but it looks bleak. I'm covering my bills but I am being uber-frugal for any spending. I am building up a buffer in my debt snowball line for a short-term emergency. I really want to be able to brave the storm and not touch my EF or investments. February will be minimum payments to my HELOC. But getting through this will make me stronger! I have all year to build up the additional $7500 lump sum to my debt. Surviving the very real reality now is the goal.
Oh and I sold a necklace and my old skis for $190 yesterday which I added to my snowball EF. :)
hi all. I'm happy to report that although life got in the way and I didn't fill in the final few months of the 2019 smackdown, I did, in fact, smash my debt and came into the new decade debt free other than my (term installment) car loan and our mortgage (which is now significantly more, as we bought a new house).
I wish you all the best with your debt goals on this year's challenge!
February progress report on my battle against the student loan beast.
As of January 31, 2020: $216,970.75
As of February 6, 2020: $214,965.28
Notes: Regular monthly payment resulted in principal reduction of $1,205.47. Made extra principal payment of $800.00. Total reduction of principal in February: $2,005.47.
Year-end goal is to get the balance down $44,934.56 (from $224,934.56 starting place on January 1, 2020) to $180,000.00. With a $9,969.28 reduction so far this year, I'm now about 22.19% there.
So I just realized I never actually posted my update in January...oops.
It looks like I will need to readjust my goals already. My car loan was slightly off and it looks like I'll be able to keep up the extra mortgage payment I have been doing each month. So, time to raise the bar.
- Car Loan: $1,946.82/$7,313.03
- Mortgage: $1,328.06/$7,200.00
- Total: $3,274.88/$14,513.03
Oh man, this is exciting! I just did the math between last month and where my credit cards stand today and since my last check-in, I have paid $508.17 towards our overall debt!!! Yeah-boi!
Well, that glee will be short-lived since we're buying new tires today. 🤦♀️Back to square 2! The best news is that really our debt hasn't increased this month. I have been really strict about eating out and buying as little groceries as possible. Shopping from our pantry as it were and doing a lot of repeat dinners. I'm accepting that there is nothing wrong with eating the same meal over and over again if we all like it. It takes a lot of pressure off me not to be creative and fancy with my cooking. Also, turns out my recipes make exactly the right amount so there aren't ever leftovers to be wasted. We aren't fans of leftovers. Weird, I know. "It's the same thing!" No, it's not, it doesn't taste the same.
The only thing I'm bummed about is really admitting that we don't have any money for other categories like gifts, Christmas and vacation funds, fun and entertainment money. I'll budget for them, but inevitably have to move money when we've made other purchases. For example, I know Valentine's Day is coming up so I set aside $100 as a large buffer because I suspect my husband will be buying me flowers or something and I don't want him to have to ask if he can buy me something. I am worried though that that money will get moved when some expense I've forgotten about or overspending somewhere hits us. Sometimes, after funding all our set bills, I'll just move the rest to my "Forgot to Budget for" category because I genuinely don't know how to prioritize the rest of the money. What method do you have for this?
Debt one: paid off completely (technically this should not have been included as it’s a credit card I pay off every month, but I was so cranky at myself for overspending in December, that I included the amount of overspending.
Debt two: $431.55
Debt three: $8611.90
Total debt: $9043.45
These figures are after the monthly fee on the second debt ($4.95) and the interest on the third debt ($133.31)
I lowered the amount I’m throwing at my debt slightly as I want to build up more of a buffer. I’m moving across the country in June and although I have budgeted funds for this, I want to make sure that I’m covered for any unexpected expenses that may occur. Along with this, I will be paying less to debt for February and March and more to my buffer. This makes me feel less panicked towards life.
Total debt paid for January: $1375.28
Purple Foal said:
I hope negotiations will happen sooner than later but it looks bleak.
This upcoming week looks brutal too. 2 days this week.
Then PA day and then Family day. At least you get paid for those, right?
This is why it is so important not to live at the edge where one day of pay can ruin your life. I am sure there are many of your colleagues that are going to come out of this worse for wear.
BTW, what happens with EAs etc during the strike days? Do they still get paid?
Here we go again! I joined last year, but wasn't able to hang around very long... once my free trial of YNAB ran out, I really wasn't in a financially steady place, and couldn't afford the subscription. Anxiety about money had a stranglehold on me, which only got worse after I finished school and couldn't find a job for months... long story long, I didn't come back to this challenge - I'm sorry about that. This year, I've gotten a lot better about being good to myself and finding the flexibility to come back from setbacks, and I'm ready to try this again!
I have the following debt:
I know I can't pay it all down this year. But I need to eliminate that school and medical debt ASAP, and I'd like to make a dent in the credit cards. I think getting each card down to about $500 is manageable - or, at least, just $1000 total. So, in total, I'd like to pay $1420 of my debt off. That is... a lot of money. But I know I can do it if I stay focused and stay calm! I claimed line 352 on the spreadsheet. Here's to a happy, healthy, slightly-closer-to-debt-free 2020!
I wanted to share a HUGE relationship win in terms of budgeting/financial planning. I am the primary breadwinner in our family - my husband works part-time from home, is also a freelance artist, is in charge of most of the cleaning, and saves us a TON of money by doing a lot of the renovations on the 110-year-old house we're trying to restore. I do all the budgeting/bill paying.
Something that causes me a lot of stress is knowing we'll be in a better financial position when we pay off our debt, but not wanting to say no to my husband. He doesn't ask for stupid or selfish stuff - a lot of the time it's something he wants to do for the house, which benefits both of us. So I'm over here like "Gotta pay off $30K of debt this year and we'll still have tens of thousands left after that" and he's thinking "Really need to call a mason to rework one of our chimneys and get the electrician in here" and then when he says stuff like that, I freak out because I feel like we're not even remotely on the same page. There is no money for a mason.
Anyway, we sat down Sunday night to make a list of house projects we want to try to prioritize this year. I just wanted to brainstorm and see what we came up with. I was so pleased to realize that almost everything on our list is stuff we can do ourselves at minimal cost (or in some cases we've already purchased supplies, like paint or a new lighting fixture). It made me feel so much better, going into the major renovation season, knowing he doesn't have it in his mind that we can somehow afford to do several $10K projects this year. Once we're out of debt, we'll have so much more room to breathe and be able to pay someone else for the things we can't do ourselves! Yay for communication. We're so much better when we feel like we're actually on the same team. (We've been together for almost 24 years....you'd think we'd have this down by now, but it's a process I suppose.)
Slammed the balance of our furnace repair bill and 1/3 of my husband's tax bill last week. Felt really good! I had been paying the bare minimum and then after looking at the interest and how long it was taking to pay off (after I joined the challenge - didn't think to look too closely before), I realized how silly it was to stretch it out. Looking forward to this year of eye openings :)
Hi everyone, this is a tremendous idea! I've been playing around on YNAB for years now (!!) but this year I am really going to take it seriously and pay off debt. I started the year with £6,100.25 in credit card/consumer debt and c.$38,000 in student loan debt. I'm going to pay off all of the credit card debt (have £4,810.25 remaining) and aim/hope to pay $16,000 off my student loan. Cannot wait for next payday to smash some more! Good luck everyone, we can do this!