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 :)

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  • May Check-in

    Accomplishments

    I have paid off over 15,000 in consumer debt so far this year. 

    Personal Loan: 23,537 now 17,250 and counting

    Personal Loan (2): 4,573   GONE in April

    Personal Loan (3): 4,208 1,875.28 I'm hoping to eliminate it THIS MONTH

    0 Int CC: 4,763  GONE in March

    Goals

    Total Debt I want to pay off in 2020:  $35,000 and be consumer debt free in 2020

    401K loan: 48,173.13

    TOTAL Freedom Fund 67,207.16

     

    Immediate Goal

    1.  Focus everything extra on   smallest debt to payoff in 2020 - avg 3K a month. 
      I started making a plan to get rid of this by the end of June but I think I'll be done earlier than that. Then only ONE debt left (for this year). 

    I will be consumer debt free - and that will be an incredible achievement, something I have never been in 25 years. BUT - I will still have a mortgage and, much more troubling, I will have a 401K loan (that I took out for the downpayment on my house.) If I were to quit or get fired, I'd have to pay it back within a month or so. So I'm beginning to really focus on my "Freedom Fund" the total amount I need to save to be able to leave my job free and clear.  So I'm adding it here. Of course you can't send early payments so you just have to save the full amount. 

    Big Picture Goal

        2.  In addition to paying off debt, save enough (or be able to re-finance to eliminate) 401K loan of 48,173.13

    Like 5
    • Tomato Barnacle 

      June Check-in

      Accomplishments

      • I have only ONE remaining consumer debt of about 15,000
      • Closed a credit card (to avoid paying an annual fee)

      Personal Loan: 23,537 now 15,106

      Personal Loan (2): 4,573   GONE in April

      Personal Loan (3)4,208 GONE in June

      0 Int CC: 4,763  GONE in March

      Goals

      1. Finish remaining consumer debt 15,106
      2. 401K loan: 47,957.00 - save for payoff or find a way to refinance. 

      TOTAL Freedom Fund 63,063

      Like 5
    • Tomato Barnacle WAHOO!! That's a lot of progress!

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      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 3 mths ago
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      Tomato Barnacle Awesome!! I closed one credit card too to avoid paying the annual fees since I got a new one with zero fees a year and better rewards. I closed it and redeemed all the travel points as gift cards since I won't be flying anywhere in the next year. I'd rather have the gift cards now that the world is slowly opening up again. :)

      Like 3
  • May check in: I am fortunate that my paycheck has not been impacted by the pandemic, even if 20 hours/week of telehealth appointments is a bit draining. Thus, after my fear of the unknown wore off, I was able to pay off my initial debt goals last month (car loan 3 years early, and personal loan 4 years early—woot!).

    This got me I got inspired to pay off my phone. Not because I was paying interest, but because it’s consumer debt that I had overlooked because it’s so normal as was part of my monthly autopay.  I decided I would rather be as true with myself as possible about my actual savings and set myself up to feel confident the money I have is actually available to me. Plus my phone payment will be $25 instead of $55 now.

    So, with $437.40 paid, I own my phone (paid off 14 months early) and it feels good that my monthly phone bill  is down from $55 to $25, and that I have eliminated the last hidden non-mortgage debt I had.  

    The plan from here is to keep paying down my home loan ($271,950.58 with a decently low, fixed interest rate of about 4.5%) for 29/30 more years, put all my extra money toward getting 6 months ahead on expenses (I’m 1.5 months ahead currently), then open up my “Wish Farm” again. (Check out this great approach to savings goals: https://www.youneedabudget.com/wish-lists/)

    Keep up the awesome work everybody!

    Like 3
      • Peripherie
      • Tomato_Captain.11
      • 4 mths ago
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      NamastScrooge 

      I'm working to save up the money I need to pay off my phone as well. I know that some may say, because it has no interest, to just pay off the installments over time. But, like you, I want the security of not owing that money and can then put the $30 a month towards my goals. Also, when I do pay the phone off, I am going to switch carriers and go from about $70 a month for my phone line to about $25-45.

      I was going to wait a few months to finally pay the installment and switch carriers. But after reading your post, I think I will see about doing all this at the end of May. Thanks for the inspiration to finally pull the trigger on all this. 😄

      Like 2
    • NamastScrooge I'm so excited for you! Paying the car note 3 years early and the personal loan 4 years early must feel amazing. I'm currently working on paying off my phone also. Thank you for sharing that this isn't a silly debt to be paying off. Like you said it's interest free, but no matter how you look at it it's still debt. Wishing you the best on your adventure. 

      Like 2
    • Peripherie nice!

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    • Corruptress Thank you! Exciting indeed! Yeah debt is debt right? I keep finding myself having to go against the grain of debt being the norm in all these little ways. It’s not like it’s always the wrong thing, but to think of it more as a dire exception vs. everyday rule. 

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      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 4 mths ago
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      NamastScrooge If the money isn't better spent on other debt, one thing you might consider is adding a new phone category to your budget.  Then putting all or part of the $30 you were paying per month towards your current phone in that category.  $30 a month means in a year you have $360 and that will get a decent phone.  Not the newest iPhone, but no phone that is easily broken or lost is worth 4 figures to me, anyway.  We've been saving $20 a month since we bought our son's phone a year ago and will have enough to purchase a nice refurb for our daughter when she theoretically enters middle school.  If school ever restarts.  Computer equipment and phones are a true expense in our household in any case.  

      Like 4
    • Technicolor Cheetah yes! Totally. I actually have new computer and new phone (and new car) in my budget as true expenses but they are on hold during the pandemic as I prioritize getting my savings built up to 3 months at least. Then I’ll go back to filling all my categories as usual. 👍

      Like 1
  • I am extremely lucky to still be working through COVID, and was able to put my stimulus check towards debt. Plus I missed my vacation, so that's unspent money in my pocket for a future vacation.  Really trying to clear up my one private student loan before I conquer other bills. 

    May:  $1,466.95 paid

    2020: $7,057.30 paid/$10,000 goal

    Like 3
  • May check in:  Pretty much the same as April.  I've cut back on my debt snowball to focus on an Emergency fund and haven't yet started working on a side gig to make up for that.  Happily, both my husband and I are still working and in fact with the factories starting up in Michigan again, he should start being busier at his job, so hopefully we'll get a bit more on the profit sharing in his company...

    Like 3
  • May check-in:  

    Balance from last month: $2793.00
    Paid down this month: $300.00
    New balance: $2493.00
    Debt Smackdown Totals: $2,493.00/$3885.24 = 35.83%

    Still hanging in there, and I managed to pay extra down on my debt goal and keep more in savings as well, just in case. I still have bouts of anxiety off and on about what on earth I would do if my job went away for whatever reason. We've all been working from home, but work from our various clients has really dried up while they all sort of wait things out as well. So while I'm getting a paycheck, I'm essentially just sitting around doing nothing. Maybe a couple hours of work every week. It makes me really anxious that my company will make staffing cuts, though my boss reassured me earlier on during this mess that they have always been very conservative in their savings and are set for some time with zero income coming in, so while I hope we'll be find ... well, telling anxiety to be reasonable and logical - HA.

    Of course, as things drag on and that lower level anxiety just sits there constantly stressing me out - what wonderful motivation to really kick my debt and spending habits to the curb sooner rather than later to get off the nerve-wracking paycheck to paycheck lifestyle. I would love to not have this stress if - god forbid - something like this happens again.

    Like 2
    • Orchid Display oops - made my snowball payment before my automatic minimum payment and so I paid a second time lol. Here are the amended totals after that second payment went through:

      Balance from last month: $2793.00
      Paid down this month: $327.00
      New balance: $2466.00
      Debt Smackdown Totals: $2466.00/$3885.24 = 36.53%

      Like 1
  • Just want to raise the point that eliminating all debt is not necessarily a good strategy.  The most obvious example is a home mortgage.  When you take into account the low interest rates, as well as the fact that most home mortgage interest payments are tax deductible, then carrying a home mortgage is actually a GOOD thing.  If your interest rate, after taking into account the tax advantages, is less than inflation, then you are effectively making money every month simply by holding onto that mortgage.  Compromising other objectives (education, remodeling, having reliable car, medical care, enjoying life, etc... you name it) in order to pay down the mortgage may be a bad strategy.  That's the most obvious example, but there are also other cases where taking on debt can be a good plan.  

    Thoughts?  Reaction?

    Like 1
    • Duncan you are correct - but what each person is comfortable with may be different, too. In the US credit card companies actually prefer to see SOME credit utilization - roughly around 10%. When my BF's total debt actually dropped below 10% of his available credit, his score dropped. It has since gone back up again, but overall it dropped.
      Here in the US, especially, it's all about gaming the system. You've got to know how the system works in order to take advantage of it, and have it work FOR YOU. It's possible, but you've got to understand it before that happens, otherwise they're going to take advantage of you instead.

      Like 2
      • Grey Tux
      • Silver_Wizard.3
      • 4 mths ago
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      farfromtheusual Wow, that's good to know.  We do use credit cards but I've been keeping them at 0 balance by paying before the closing date.  I'll pay attention now when I get my debt down below 10% and start paying after the closing date so it gets reported.  

      Duncan Yes, I understand the home mortgage might be a good thing, I used to be able to deduct my interest, but since the tax laws changed in the US it's worse for me to itemize rather than take the standard deduction so  that's not a benefit for me anymore.

      Like 3
    • Grey Tux yes, it's actually better to be able to show that you have debt, and can manage it than having zero debt.

      And I do know the tax laws changed, and you can't deduct quite as much for the mortgage interest as you used to, so for some people it doesn't have as much advantage as it used to.
      It's a really personal decision how to manage debt. But I absolutely agree that having it isn't necessarily a bad thing. Having unmanaged debt is a bad thing!

      Like 1
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 4 mths ago
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      Duncan My belief is that no debt is a good debt. And this pandemic illustrates that beautifully. No mortgage means no mortgage payments. No mortgage payments means no risk. No risk means less stress. 

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    • MXMOM possibly... but also potentially less pay off, and less control.

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    • Duncan here in NZ the mortgage interest is not deductible - unless the house is used for a business in which case only the portion that is used for the business is deductible. Overall, the gain is minimal as I can claim one room or about 11% of the interest, but still have the balance of the payments sucking away at our overall budget. It depends on the country and their tax laws, plus the usage of the home etc.

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      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 4 mths ago
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      WairereRose same in Canada. 

      Like 2
  • May check in. $122.41

    Still paying only minimum balances and setting aside the balance of the debt snowball. So $10 minimum on Visa (although I accidentally paid $20 because I forgot I set up an automated bill payment in bank and paid it manually so doubled). I think I might go back to full snowball. My work is still paying normal and hubby's work seems to be paying as normal. It was unclear for a while but now it seems like it should be business as usual for him. Paying the minimums only is depressing. No colouring. undebt.it shows some horrible debt-free date in the far far future. I think I need some momentum again.

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      • Technicolor Cheetah
      • Not sure when I became a cheetah...but I'll run with it
      • technicolor_cheetah
      • 4 mths ago
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      MXMOM 

      You could go half to snowball and half to a pandemic emergency fund until  things get back to the normal-ish.  

      Like 2
  • March, April, and May check-in.

    March: $522.14

    April: $0

    May: $0

    The debt we're paying off is federal student loans. Since there are no required payments, and no interest, and since there is a general feeling of instability, we decided to put the amounts into savings & then make a payment in Sept/Oct. 

    The amount we've put to savings for this category is:

    April: $733.98

    May: $1428.16

    These amounts have us on track to meet our goal this year. However, I'm not entering it in the spreadsheet until it is spent

    Like 2
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 4 mths ago
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      Orchid Guitar make sure you actually set the saved amounts into the budget. I’ve missed that step before and then didn’t have the funds available. 

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  • I cant remember if I posted my May update here.  How do I find my last post?  Thanks!

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      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 4 mths ago
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      Cyan Yeti it may not be the most elegant way, but when you are on the discussion page in Windows use CTRL - F for find and then type you name in the search box.  

      Like 2
    • Cyan Yeti You can click on your name in the top right corner of the forum, and on View profile, or click on your name in a thread. It has a list of your previous posts, which can help with tracking that down if searching doesn't do the trick!

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      • Cyan Yeti
      • Cyan_Yeti.6
      • 4 mths ago
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      Nicole & @MXMOM thank  you both.  Very easy both ways😃

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      • Cyan Yeti
      • Cyan_Yeti.6
      • 4 mths ago
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      I had not posted for May yet.  I paid  $2338.02 to debt so far in May.  That will be all for this month😞.    Again, I hope to get rid of 1 or 2 small debts in June.  Here's HOPING!!!

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      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 4 mths ago
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      Nicole Cyan Yeti  the only problem with that method is you post a lot (like too much) then that list of posts can get long. 
       

      Like 2
  • Mid-month celebration check in: I reached a positive net worth today! Hooray!

    I still have a good chunk of debt to smack down, but this feels like a good milestone! :)

    Like 8
    • Hot Pink Admiral That's a fantastic milestone!! I love seeing that line cross into the black, it feels SO good!

      Like 2
    • Hot Pink Admiral I'm still looking forward to the day I'm worth "nothing" - and, shortly after that, worth something. Congratulations! 🎉

      Like 3
    • Faness a financial adviser I worked with said they would always celebrate whenever a client became “worthless” hahaha

      Like 4
    • Hot Pink Admiral net worth question for everyone- do you include the value of your house? If so, do you use purchase price? Current value from Zillow? Without my house my net worth is very negative but if I include a guess at my home value, I’m positive. I don’t know if it’s cheating to include my house?

      Like 2
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 4 mths ago
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      Steel Blue Sound it’s not “cheating”. Some put the house in the net worth number but remember to also put the mortgage in. Either both in or both out.  You can put both in as tracking accounts if you want. I leave them both out for a couple of reasons.
      First the mortgage is not getting any special attention right now as I’m still paying down debt so I just treat the mortgage payment as an expense for now. When I used quicken I had the mortgage in and broke the payments between interest and principal but it confused my husband to only see the interest expense rather than the whole payment.  

      second, until we do a big downsize for retirement (if we do) then the house isn’t really an appreciating asset for me because of we sell it, I have to buy another one to replace it. So to me until I can free up some of that asset I don’t even think about it. 

      Like 3
    • MXMOM yes i have the mortgage included, which is what makes it so negative. Good thought on keeping the asset/debt either both in or both out. Same for my car value/car loan, I guess. They’re all just in as tracking accounts. 

      Like 2
    • Steel Blue Sound Interesting question! I do not have a mortgage (I rent) so no mortgage in YNAB for me. I do include my retirement account, which very much helped me get to a net worth of$0.

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    • Steel Blue Sound I have my mortgage debt and home value in as tracking accounts which I reconcile a couple times a year.  For the latter number, I used the appraisal from a refinance I did a few months ago, but before that I was just throwing in the Redfin estimate. I did the same with my car, using Kelly Blue Book as a reference for the value, updating occasionally with the current mileage. 
       

      I personally like doing this because I helps me see, if worse comes to worse and I have to sell my home and my car to go rent again and bike commute everywhere ;) I have the assets to survive. It reassures my catastrophic thinking, basically, which is worth it for me personally, a somewhat (or a lot) risk-averse person. I also track my IRA (but have learned in the times of COVID to stop reconciling/looking!) and another small retirement account. Again, helps with catastrophic thinking. 

      Like 2
  • May Check In : 

    Personal loan down to $20864 - that's $837 paid to just the principal this month. Chipping away at it and definitely made more progress on that debt than I've ever been able to before this year.

    Credit cards are still being paid off in full each month so $0 there. Still have car loan and student loan on top of the personal but goal for the year was to focus on just the personal loan. 

    I'm a bit bummed because my company is changing the compensation program and I'll no longer be in the grouping that gets bonuses. I was definitely using those (and planning on them) for big waterfall payments to the balance of it which had been helping a lot. Now the game plan has to change - roll with the punches. It was already a reach goal to be at $0 on the personal loan this year and it feels even more of a reach now without those happening but trying to stay positive.

    I'll still get a 5% one for the first half of the year in July but after that, no more. I do also get a raise in July as a buyback for the bonus program change but not sure what it'll end up being yet. More money each month will still be good but means I need to be better at controlling my spending and use that extra to the loan since I won't have a big lump sum to do it with instead. I liked the bonuses because I could just take it all and drop it over without having to think about changing my monthly expeensives as drastically for the same result. I got into this because I wasn't the best at self-control but I need to have more anyways and I can get a similar benefit from the raise as a bonus so I just need to commit to my priorities.

    Still thankful I have a job during all this and very appreciative to get a raise and bonus still while all this is going on.  Just gotta keep on keeping on. 

    Like 3
    • Green Cleric one of the things I did when i got a raise is to figure out how much it was and then just make that amount an automatic payment to a debt. I set it up through the bank to go to the card on payday.  I didn't have to change the rest of my spending because the difference just went away and we were living on the same amount as before. 

      I used this same plan last year when my EI/CPP contributions (Canadian payroll deductions) reached their max in July and sent it to one of the debts. It worked great. I then stopped the payments when the contributions restarted again in January. This change actually figures in my debt repayment plan. 

      Like 2
    • Navy Blue Pegasus Thank you! I'll definitely have to take that advice. Best to automate it out of my hands, I love this idea. 

      Like 1
    • Green Cleric Glad to help! Automating any regular increases really helps. Then, when the debt is paid off you have that much extra to live on which seems like an extra bonus! :)

      Like 2
    • Navy Blue Pegasus Love that perspective of it being an extra bonus at the end. going to definitely be automating things for myself. 

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      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 4 mths ago
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      Navy Blue Pegasus Such a good idea! Thanks! :)

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  • May Update:

    This month I received a windfall.  Since I already have 8 months emergency fund saved, I put that entire windfall of $5,000 towards my flex loan.  I am very thankful for it and it puts me on the path to paying that loan off in June.

    Flex Loan (9.99%): 

    May Starting Balance - $ 7,538.26

    Payment - $5,040

    Remaining Balance - $2508.26

    Chase CC (0%):

    May Starting Balance - $1,792

    Payment - $100

    Remaining Balance - $1,692

     

    Once the flex loan is paid off next month I am going to continue to pay $100/month to the Chase CC and put the remainder in savings.  I am just happy to see end nearing for the loan much sooner than expected. 

    Thank you to everyone for the support and for being so open and honest in this space.  Hearing everyone else's stories has motivated me in a meaningful way.

    Like 4
    • Little Green Ghoul 

      YTD I have paid off $10,685 (72.15% of my goal)

      Like 3
  • May check-in! The weird ride continues... managed to get one place to approve me to work from home, and have adapted well and kept consistent hours. Thought that would alleviate some of the anxiety, and it has to some degree; but they're already trying to get us back into the office, which feels premature. Being a cautious sort, all the more so in a pandemic, I'm hoping they reconsider, I'm honestly doing better work from home right now since there's the little peace of mind that I'm able to do my part to help limit the spread so we can all get through this as safely as we can to the other side.

    That said, I somehow managed to both up my savings rate (I have auto-transfers for savings) while also keeping my same, more aggressive, student loan payment. So I was able to send another $1,050 towards those loans this month. As is my norm these days, I'm keeping close watch of hours worked and am prepared to reduce that payment as needed for next month. Cheers, fellow debt crushers, and hope you're all staying as healthy and sane as you can!

    Like 3
  • May Check-in:

    Paid off in May: £756.10
    Paid off YTD: £3756.29 (17.35%)
    Remaining: £17898.85

    Another good month - Not paid as much as last month, as I was able to throw some savings that I no longer need for 2020 due to Covid at the credit card in April, but another little block on the thermometer filled in :)

    Just 3 more payments to make on my target CC before that one is cleared, and excitingly in June that Credit Card will become the card with the lowest balance!

    Like 4
  • (Stealing Turquoise Major 's gorgeous layout ❤️)


    May Check-in:

    Paid off in May: £703.17
    Paid off YTD: £3136.56
    Remaining: £6863.44 (for this year's goal) / £28,228 (total left to go)

    I've inadvertently been gifted some money due to a family shift in circumstances, which could pay off our biggest debt or our five smallest ones or could replace the rust-bucket of a 18 yr old car we have sitting on the drive. I can't decide, so I've just put it in a savings account for now.

    Like 6
  • Car loan paid off!!  That was my goal for the Debt Challenge, so I am done!!  Next up... turning those monthly payments around as a savings category for an inevitable car purchase... hopefully one that is way in the future!

    Like 8
    • Keith Borders did you make that chart yourself, or does the debt challenge spreadsheet do that?!

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    • Keith Borders PS congrats!!! (Should have said that first, I just got distracted by the nice chart, haha)

      Like 1
    • Steel Blue Sound I made it myself using the Numbers app on my iPad. 

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    • Steel Blue Sound Thank you!! Appreciate it!

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      • Violet Drill
      • Violet_Drill_0bf6fcf19d
      • 4 mths ago
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      Keith Borders Congratulations!!!

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    • Violet Drill Thanks!

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    • Keith Borders Congratulations!!

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      • Veronica
      • Support Manager
      • Veronica_ynab
      • 3 mths ago
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      Keith Borders Congratulations! I'm tackling a car loan this year as well and this is total motivation!

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    • Veronica Thanks so much, and go get’em!!!

      Like 1
  • After much deliberation, my husband and I decided to take a larger chunk of our savings to pay off a number of things, including 2 student loans that I wasn't "racing" here. 

    We paid off our AMEX card, 2 Navient Student Loans, a Home Depot Card, an Ashley Furniture card, and a Discover Student Loan, for a total of $9,037.20 yesterday.

    This frees up nearly $600 a month for us, which was more the goal. As small business owners (one in the travel industry) we aren't getting explicitly told there's no work due to the coronavirus, so we can't collect unemployment, but also work has dried up exponentially, and reducing monthly costs at this point was more important than earning a tiny amount in interest or paying off the largest interest debts we have.

    Should I update my racing goals? Right now, I just plugged in what I paid yesterday and it's now showing basically an overpayment since it's more than my original goal.

    Like 4
      • MicroSpice
      • Crazy Person
      • Microspice
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Diane Wow! Congrats on the peace of mind, and I hope things turn around for you (and everyone) soon.

      You can edit your original goal to add the student loans that you didn't originally include. This will give you a clearer picture of what you've paid.

      Like
      • Veronica
      • Support Manager
      • Veronica_ynab
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Diane I'm so sorry you're facing these troubles right now. I'm glad you've both come up with a plan that feels right and lines up with your priorities. 

      As for the spreadsheet, it will work either way! If you still plan on crushing the original goal, it's okay to change the intended debt payoff to include the loans.

      Like
  • Still paying my minimum so I can save up an emergency fund bc of Coronavirus uncertaintly, but right now I only have $8919 of my debt left, below the $9k mark.  Once I save my 6 month emergency fund then I can start killing this debt with a vengeance again.  

    Like 2
  • Updates, March - May: I definitely forgot I had joined this... sorry about that. I have the memory of a particularly confused goldfish. I set a monthly reminder to update this!

    I started a new job as a substitute teacher in January, after months of unsuccessful job hunting. Things were starting to get pretty comfy - in late February, my partner and I went out for a late Valentine's Day/"we're finally getting on our feet" dinner. Three weeks later, my school district shut down for the year, and I am once again out of a job. Whoops. I am still just so thankful for our health. 

    In March, I was only able to pay off ~$52 in March between my two credit cards, given the uncertainty of our financial situation, now that we were back down to just one paycheck - and a grad student stipend, at that. I spent hours and hours calling my state's unemployment hotline to figure out why my claim wasn't going through, but had no luck. I eked out just enough money to cover my half of the rent and a few grocery bills by working online. 

    My birthday came at the end of March, so, for April, I put some of my birthday money towards my final student bill payment ($65) and then paid my credit card minimums, for a total of about $118 in debt payments for April. I spent my Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays trying to get ANYONE on my state's unemployment line to pick up. I got through once, held for five hours, and then had an operator accidentally pick up. After listening to her argue with a colleague for about three minutes, she finally noticed she'd picked up my call, then hung up on me as I begged her to please just put me on hold. It sucked. It was disheartening. We barely squeaked by, thanks to a little online work, a stimulus check, and my birthday money. 

    Now - May. Finally, FINALLY, I got through to the unemployment office, and two months of unemployment backpay came through. I am so grateful - I feel like I can breathe again. I spent hours meticulously going through my budget and allotting money to the next few months of bills, basic expenses, etc., then decided to make some larger payments on my credit cards to knock down my interest rate a bit. I'm down to $700 on one card and $1250 on the other. Still have that $245 in medical debt, but that's not collecting interest, so it can wait a sec. I paid about $552 towards my cards this month, and I feel so, so much better. This is the first time in my life I've had a little bit of a cushion, but everything is so uncertain right now, especially with me still being out of work. We're being very cautious with this unemployment money - we are trying to, for the most part, budget as if we're still living on one paycheck plus my online work. But I feel comfortable making larger payments each month, and I feel so good about knocking out a little debt while building our savings!

    Like 3
    • EP So glad you finally got through your unemployment and were able to catch up!! That had to be really scary!

      Like 1
      • EP
      • Substitute Teacher
      • Epphonehome
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual Thank you!! It was, frankly, awful. I'm really grateful I was able to finally get the system to acknowledge me. I guess if there's any silver lining to my period of post-grad unemployment last fall/winter, I did figure out ways to squeak out enough money to pay the bare minimum on our bills. I'm not sure what we'd have done, otherwise. 

      Unfortunately, there are still so many who can't get through to unemployment programs, both in my state and in plenty of others... I've tried to "pay it forward" by sharing what worked for me whenever I see folks in my state posting about their difficulties, but my heart just breaks for those who can't get through. Ugh.

      Like 1
  • May Check-in

    Truck and Car payments were made as planned (minimums, until camper is paid).   Camper was minimum + $2150.  New camper balance:  $17,975.50.  True expenses are still being funded.  Since May has 5 paychecks, we should be able to send a couple extra chunks to the loan balance in June.  Based on my newfound risk aversion, those will probably be divided & sent on the 3rd & 17th, in case something happens.

    Work update:  The original retail freight is beyond on hold; that company has filed for bankruptcy.  Time will tell whether we'll resume when they restructure.  Third-party freight keeps us rolling.  Our social isolation takes place at home as well as in the truck, although we did have a brief (one hour) visit this month with 3 of our 6 grandkids! 

    We have cute cloth masks (two layers of fabric, with an accordian fold) that we wear when delivering and while in truck stops.  I'm in the "it's probably better than nothing" camp regarding masks.

    MILESTONE CELEBRATION:  The camper balance is under $18k!  It's about a third of the original starting balance.  Woo HOO!!!

    Prayers that the virus will be stopped soon & forever.

    Like 5
  • May Check-In: Didn't pay anything extra on debts this month since I'm trying to save due to the current economy. I miss the thrill of paying down debt, but watching my savings grow is cool too! 

    Like 4
    • MoneyMonster I agree, it's kind of exciting seeing money in your account get bigger when there's been a minimum there for so long.

      Like 1
  • May Check-in

    So I got the gig, which is sooo amazing, as I just put another 3k on training (payments will be covered by business account - but until then, it means it's still me). So debt wise, I'm going to take advantage of all the stuff the banks are offering people - and see what money I can get back from them with interest payments especially on my LOC. My friend also convinced me to ask them to drop my interest rate - so I'll try that as well.

    Paid $200 on my LOC, but my balance transfer it's getting hit badly. I haven't paid anything right now, but I'll be putting $1090 on it at the end of the month. I'm supposed to be putting $2543 😓. I need them to extend my 0% balance transfer period.

    Like 3
  • May Check-In

    April  Balance: $8,479.24

    May Payments: $1,583.24

    ---------------------------------------

    May End Balance: $6,896.00

    Paid off one more loan this month. The balance left is for a personal loan which I wanted to finish paying off by August, but I shifted my priority to focus on adding more cushion to my emergency savings and investing in my 401k. After doing the math, I'll get a  better return on investing at this point since the interest rate on my loan is super low. Definitely will be paid off by December though!

    Like 4
  • Need some advice. I started saving for a new to me car (only got $100) and just found out that my 13 yr old car (270,000k) won't pass MVI come August (no big surprise, but was hoping for another year or two). It is also leaking fluids and to replace the lines and do the repairs would be costly and the mechanic told me "not worth it".  I currently have two debts I am paying off. One will be done in 8 years (472$/mth min) and the other in 2.5 yrs ($259/mth min), but probably sooner since I snowball and make extra payments when I can. I have been paying the minimum on them since the interest rates are low on them and been focusing on building an emergency fund and saving towards my true expenses. I have about $5000 in my emergency fund and about $2225 in a house fund (much needed repairs that have already been put to next year due to various reasons). Here are my options:

    1. I can finance a small used car loan over long of a period, but my savings rate would decrease and the payments would be around $200 a month for 5 years.

    2. Use my emergency fund and part of my house fund to pay off my loan that is 259/mth and then finance a new car at 0% interest for 7 years.

    3. Use my emergency fund and buy a decent used car (2011-2012) with about 190,000 to 200,000k on it.

    I really want to do number 3 as I don't want to take on any debt, but I am also nervous about not have any emergency savings. It has been suggested that I can probably get about 1000$ for my car and I just had to buy summer tires and my winter tires were from this past winter so probably get another $1000 from them. My family (who is not very money smart, but that is another story), want me to get a new car, but I don't feel comfortable with it. My AOM is around 30 days and by July I should have most of my true expenses covered for the year.  I do need a car as my parents live about 3 hours away and transit where I live is limited. 

    Help! Any advice/insight is much appreciated. 

    Like 1
    • Ivory Wildebeest That's a conundrum. I hate these types of decisions.
      One bit of info that I don't think you mentioned - what is the interest rates on the debt that you currently have? That info has an impact on my decision of what to pay first.

      Like
    • farfromtheusual 

      I owe:

      $6,672 @5.99% (258.55/mth)  which will be paid off Sept 2022 (this was consildation of a high-interest student loan and unexpected house repairs when I bought my house).

      $48,452 @2.95% (472/mth) which should be paid off in May 2027 (this is student loans).

      I would be paying  ~6% on a used car. New cars would run about 0 to 2.49% in my area.

      Like
    • Ivory Wildebeest Those are good rates on the loans.

      I think if it were me, I would take the $5000 and buy something newer to you, and then turn around and sell your current car, plus the tires, to replace at least $2000 of the emergency fund that you put into the newer car. Or use the $5000 and get a very small loan for a slightly better car (so maybe total cost being $8-10k, depending on what you can find) which would keep the payments pretty low every month, too.

      We're in the same boat with the BF right now. He's driving my 2000 Explorer, which is about to fall apart around him, and has 230k miles on it. It's just not worth putting any effort into, and KBB puts the value at about $45.00. No lie. And right now, with the pandemic, and some dental work that he needs to pay off there is just no way we can afford a car payment, and while he has about the same amount of savings that you do, it's really not worth buying another beater again. So we're trying to gimp the explorer along so that we can stretch things out until he's got more money coming in again. We'll see what ends up happening, but yeah, not a fun position.

      Like 1
      • SapphireSweetie
      • Changing my financial future!
      • Sapphiresweetie
      • 4 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual  i would do just as you suggested if it were me! 

      Like 3
    • farfromtheusual same exact situation here. My husband’s car is on its last legs. Mechanic said it’s going to need 3k of work “within the next 0-3 years” so we’re just saving as much as we can til then, have about 4K so far. Hoping it lasts another year but who knows. The plan is to put everything we have down and if it’s not enough finance the rest and pay it off quickly.  As far as your questions- I think the savings by buying a used car outweigh the lower interest rates on a new car. (We were debating that the other day- does it makes sense to save (for example) 500/m until the car dies and buy then, or put what we have now down and finance while rates are low, and then continue to pay 500/mo towards the loan. I figure we’d be budgeting the same amount either way, so why not get a low rate..... but everyone said the rates aren’t even that great right now and to just keep saving. (I kept hearing about 0% but I didn’t realize that’s only for new cars, and I guess you can usually get a low rate like that?! I guess I’ve never bought a new car, lol) 

      Like 2
    • Steel Blue Sound Yeah, the BF was looking at that, too. They'll only give you 0% on a new car, and frankly, the cost of new cars is so outrageous it's not worth it. We don't have enough to put down to make the payments low enough that it would be helpful, which is frustrating, but it is what it is.

      So we wait. And hope. And the explorer started doing something weird yesterday, so I think we're going to have to figure out how to make all of this work whether we like it or not. :(

      Like
    • Ivory Wildebeest I think I'd continue to make minimum payments on the loans due the interest being ok, get a used car for cash if at all possible using the emergency fund (think this could be considered an emergency) over taking on new debt/new monthly payments.  Replace the emergency fund as soon as you are able.  There may be some motivated sellers right now...there are some good cars out there just be sure to have your trusted mechanic check it out first.  May not be your "dream" car, but getting over the debt hump alone will make it worth it!  This all being said, I wouldn't deplete my emergency savings if you don't feel secure in your job/income right now given our current circumstances.  You've been wise to build that up!!

      Like 2
    • Sweet Tangerine I am pretty secure jobwise (hopefully didn't jinx it). I still have time to decide what to do. My wise old neighbour said the same thing about motivated sellers, so I am just going to wait a bit longer. I am actually not picky about cars and while I do have a dream car in mind, I know that I can't afford it at the moment and I plan to pay cash or near cash for it when I do... Thanks for the insight :) 

      Like 2
    • farfromtheusual Thanks.. I have been trying to figure out what to do.. thankfully I have a little bit of time (fingers crossed).

      Like 1
    • Ivory Wildebeest A little bit of time helps!

      Like
    • farfromtheusual  Bonus is that if I do have to wait a little while between cars, I am walking distance from work and stores.. just would be annoying on the cold wintery days or when it is raining.

      Like 1
    • Ivory Wildebeest hopefully you have mild weather for the next couple of months, unless you're down under somewhere and are in the midst of your winter. Glad you live within walking distance, that doesn't work for us here :(

      Like
  • Hi all!

    A YNAB newbie speaking. Just finished my trial and already a fan. I decided to join the Smackdown for the rest of the year. Want to be debt free next year or maybe sooner.

    May Check-In

    April  Balance: €7293.04

    May Payments: € 336.51

    Like 8
    • GJ welcome GJ and good on you for jumping in.

      Like 1
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 4 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      GJ Welcome! Never too late! The Chinese proverb works for investing or paying off debt. When is the best time to plant a tree? 20 years ago. Next best time? Today! So today is the day for you! Move forward. :)

      Like 2
      • Veronica
      • Support Manager
      • Veronica_ynab
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      GJ Welcome to YNAB and to the Debt Smackdown!

      Like 1
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