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 :)
Whohoo January! We had a rough month complete with an unexpected last-minute move into a place that is 2/3 of hte size of our last place. No storage in sight, the costs to move have been fairly reasonable, but unplanned, un-budgeted for, and not covered by any other category. Current situation? -$2,197 towards debt reduction this month :(.
January check in. $1744 paid off (6% of goal). This process has almost turned into a game. Whenever I find a dollar here or there it's amazing. I've also discovered that there is money to be found in my budget that I didn't even realize:) Of course the flip side, is dear lord I've been frittering away my cash.... Never mind, it's working hard for me now!!
I don't expect to make anymore debt payments this month. So, here is my progress so far...
beginning / paid this month
Medical bill $116 / $116
Victoria Secret $120 / $50
Torrid $1836 / $100
Credit Card $7919 / $240
PAID $506/ January
Beginning Balance : $9991.00
Total paid : $506
I just started YNAB this week and it's really sobering to see all my debt laid out in one place. I make good money and have few obligations, and I just can't seem to figure out where all my money goes or how my credit card debt keeps piling up. After going through all my finances and finding recurring payments I didn't even know I had for services I thought I'd quit, I'm optimistic that YNAB is the tool I need to get myself back on track.
I'm lucky enough only to have credit card debt.
Amazon Chase Card - $5918.99
Paypal Sychrony Card - $4093.49
My Bank Issued Credit Card - $1786.75
Macy's Store Card - $405.27
Total Debt - $12,204.50
I'm still in the very beginning stages of YNAB so I'm going to set myself a very modest goal of reducing my debt by $4000 in 2020. I think it's probably possible that I could do more, but I'm still trying to get a handle on where all my money is going currently, so I don't want to set a goal I can't achieve and get discouraged. Wish me luck, y'all. I have a good feeling about this.
So YNAB forum. This comment of mine has been 12 years in the making.
After a few terrible financial decisions after I graduated... (which we won't get into here...) I've had debt following me around for most of my adult working life.
But, I am pleased to write, that as of the 23rd of Jan, 2020 at 9:51PM, I am *finally*, totally, 100% debt free.
(if you exclude the credit card that's properly budgeted and PIF of course).
This is technically a week early, but I'm gonna go ahead and just do my January check-in now because my last major paycheck (from my main job) is in for the month. I was able to put $220 towards my balance transfer card this month. Not quite what I was hoping to be able to put in, but its much better than the minimums I was putting in most of last year!
I've decided to adjust my goal to include the revolving CC debt I carried over from last year - I might take it off later because keeping track of how I'm paying it off always confuses me and definitely tripped me up last year, but I'm going to try to make it work this time around!
So total debt in my 2020 Smackdown: $5664
Total payments in January (so far): $414.79 (7.32%).
My goal going forth is at least $475 per month towards debts to have everything paid by December when the interest-free period on my BT ends. So hopefully I can find another $60 in my secondary paycheck next week! :)
January check-in here. Making slow but steady progress!
Personal loan (credit card consolidation) - starting balance of $33408.28. I committed to paying $10000 of this in 2020, but I'm hopeful that I can knock out more! So $10000, down to $9249.33
Car payment - starting balance of $3735.88, down to $3376.00
Visa #1 - starting balance of $276.46, down to $0! 😄
Visa #2 - starting balance of $1377.02, still at $1377.02 (waiting on a work reimbursement and bonus for this one, but should be paid off next month)
Grand total: $15389.36 to $14011.35
I'll take it!! It's good to see on paper the previously insurmountable balance moving in the right direction. I think that's lost when I just sink payment after payment into a black hole without looking at the history. I haven't messed with principal vs. interest just because my primary focus right now is trying consolidate all our money into one account and timing it properly. Over the years, and God knows why, I have collected an obscene amount of checking and savings accounts (I think 9 or 10). So now it's cleanup and closeout time! My budget accounts are an absolute mess with all these transfers between accounts. 2020 is the year of simplification.
Is it too late to join? I started the year with a combined $13,652.27 in credit card debt: $11,766.61 on one credit card and $1,885.66. On January 1st it was already $2k lower than it had been on 12/03, the day I started YNAB 💙
I believe I can pay it all off by the end of the year, as well as $16,200 I owe in tuition to a programming bootcamp I did this year (this is a tuition-deferment program, so no interest thank god).
So, I'm joining with this progress so far in 2020:
CC1: $1,402.81/$1,885.66 (YNAB ftw)
Student Loan: 0/$16,200
*edited: forgot to list my student loan!
I'm ready to throw my hat into this. I have $21,594.38 in debts that come from my auto payment and student loans, and I have $8,203.83 from things I bought on credit cards.
I'm hoping to pay off as much as I can this year now that my work internship is over (and I no longer need to pay 400 each month to continue it). I raised my autopay amounts over my credit cards more than last year, I raised my auto payment to help cover the interest a little better, and the only thing I need to do now is not buy anything on credit cards. I'm on course with autopay amounts totalling to $1,200 per month and my upcoming tax return and another windfall I'm anticipating should make staying the course much easier.
Since I didn't really get a chance to participate in January, it looks like I'm going to shoot for at least $13,200 in debt payments this year from February onward.
edit: I noticed I have a few other transactions this month before February starts, so I'll have $450 paid in the next week on student loans and a credit card.
January check in:
I dropped a class (for sanity) and moved what was left from my education category (after paying tuition in full and on time, for the first time in 6 years) to my "extra debt payment for freedom" category. (It's not actually called that but I am going to edit it as soon as I've finished this post.)
This meant I took a good chunk out this month (33% overall) and went from not able to be out of debt by my 41st birthday in April, to this being totally possible.
16 year-old albatross is about to be cut from my neck and let loose to the depths of the ocean I've been sailing in and let my wings fly me out of this popscicle stand!
I'm really stretching all of my cliches into one go. :)
Claimed line 206 :)
My current debt breaks down as follows:
- Credit Cards- 23,648.31
- 401K Loan- 6,698.18
- Auto- 7,599.26
- Student Loan- 2,1460.44
- Total- $40,092.19
I would like to pay a total of $30,000 in 2020. This will be a feat as also cash flow a $3,700 tax bill. I'm very happy I have a side hussle. :)
I am looking forward to cheering everyone on!
$4800 paid on $35000 goal so far. However, might need to slow down a bit to put toward a new car later this year to not take on as much new debt. Tiny car just handles so poorly in the winter and can barely fit an infant carseat, when we'll likely need a bigger carseat by year end. At least it's still very low milage for being 5 years old, so trade in value should help.
Finished reading the book "Meet the Frugalwoods" by Elizabeth Willard Thames. Very inspiring and based on her blog, Frugalwoods. I found the chapter on extreme frugality very inspiring and I'm aiming to try it. Their goal was to save enough money to buy a homestead in Vermont and be financially independent so they could work from home on the internet and raise their family. For the rest of us, their ideas of cutting expenses and saving (paying down debt) will help to make it a reality, and perhaps move the debt-free date closer.
Checkout out her blog and there is a challenge for a month. Here's the link:
Claimed Line 213 :-).
I'm currently paying off two loans: a long term student loan of 22.500 euro's and a personal loan from my father that helped me and my partner finance a house. Currently I've still got around 2.400 to pay off to my father and I'm very keen to do that this year. So, my goal for this year is to pay off the loan to my father and a chunk of my student loan, which amounts to my 'regular' monthly payment.
Good luck everyone!