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 :)
I'm stopping in again this year - I have £878.56 left remaining on the one credit card. I'm a single income household on near-minimum wage, but I should be able to get this paid off in a few months.
Been sorting out a new YNAB budget sheet for the new year, but suddenly the app is down for maintainence 🙄 probably high traffic w the New Year
We are line 43. I like the idea of owning the debt we have and what we hope to pay off in 2020.
We made some terrible errors financially at the beginning of our marriage and now (after 13.5 years) we are climbing out of it with determination. I've (husband) not been as invested in our finances leaving my wife to shoulder that burden. I blamed it on many things including stress/dislike of my job (I was a burned-out teacher) but recently realized that it's unfair (took long enough right?) to her and found YNAB and dove in. I've gone into a more stressful and more lucrative career as a school administrator (currently a middle school assistant principal) and we also were able to purchase our dream house in a great neighborhood. Our kids have never been happier and that makes us happy.
It's somewhat reassuring that we are not alone in this debt train. We separate debt into 2 types - 1) normal (bad) which are things like the mortgage, 2 car payments, student loan debt 2) consumer (badder 😂) which is credit cards and personal loans. We currently are ONLY focused on the second type because of the lengthy nature of "normal debt."
- CC #1 - $1,266.79 (0.0%) ---$126/mo
- CC #2 - $2,827.13 (26.99%) --- $72/mo
- CC #3 - $2,702.42 (20.24%) --- $76/mo
- CC #4 - $4,953.61 (0.0%) --- $100/mo
- Loan #1 - $4,432.41 (0.0%) --- $200/mo
- CC #5 - $21,060.05 (18.49%) --- $400/mo
- Kohl's Charge - $556.82 (Unsure) ---$35/mo
Total (Badder) Debt: ~$38,000
Goal for 2020 Debt Smackdown: $7,000 (payoff CC #1, CC #2, CC #3, and Kohl's)
We have an additional $2,000 of income coming in during Jan. that we intend to pay off CC #1 and the Kohl's and rolling those payments into CC #2.
Believe it or not, we are in a much better place financially than we've ever been. My wife will graduate with her Master's degree in May at which time her salary will increase by $8,000.
Finally getting serious about paying off the credit cards. I knew my husband and I built up a lot of debt but didn’t realize how much until yesterday.
$32,000 over 13 credit cards, that’s embarrassing and there is no excuse, we just are horrible at budgeting and saving money. We also have about $11,600 in personal loans.
This year I’m just focusing on some of the credit cards. I’m aiming for $18,000 which will pay off 8 cards and free up $658 a month. The majority will be paid off in February, with my husbands bonus and tax return, hopefully around $12,000.
After lurking for an hour this evening so I could make sure I got my lucky number (#44) I am ready to start my 2020 debt smackdown! My goal is to pay off the $4680 left on my balance transfer card. I was able to pay down 2k last year despite a ton of unexpected expenses and I have a lot of hope for this year! I also have a savings goal, but I'm going to put that in the backseat until I know I'm going to be able to achieve my Debt Smackdown goal. Cheers to a New Year and good luck everyone!
Hi, I've claimed line 58 and entered my stretch goal of €17,500. My minimum goal to achieve is €15,819.40 made up of:
- Credit Card: €1,600 - to be paid off in full before May
- Overdraft: €1,000 - to be paid off in full before May
- Bank Loan: €7,184.85 - €260.33 monthly - any extra payments will go here as I have a goal to pay this off by the end of 2021
- Private Loan: €30,000 - €500 monthly
- Mortgage: €511.93 monthly from May
I started using YNAB at the end of October as I had just bought my first apartment and needed to stop my head in the sand, credit is there to be used approach. Already, just by having more awareness, I've paid off one credit card of €1,000 and not gone further into debt despite Christmas and moving costs (I owned no furniture as I'd always lived in furnished rentals).
I'm really hoping this trend will continue and I can be debt free ASAP.
Good luck to everyone for 2020!
Hi, I participated last year and was excited that I managed to exceed my goal!! For 2020 our current debt is:
Total Debt as of 1/2/2020
Visa CC @8.99% - 7,513
Auto Loan @2.24% - 13,478
Mortgage @3.24% - 138,590
We will be paying off the Visa CC and hopefully the auto loan. According to my Snowball Table we should be paying off about $27,000. My goal is to pay off more than that, I think I'll make $30,000 my stretch goal, hopefully more! The main thing I want to accomplish this year is getting rid of both the CC and the auto loan, and to "catch up" when I wasn't paying as much last year because of my husband's job change.
We're using the undeb.it website to help keep us on track with our debt smackdown! I'm claiming line #64 in the Google Spreadsheet.
Hi! I claimed line 60, and entered my goal of $6,750.
My debts are as follows (this excludes my mortgage). I have $404 budgeted each month to cover these, and will be paying them down using the debt snowball method. They're listed in order of the snowball.
- Debt Total: $15,810
- Credit card 1: $844 (targeted payoff May 2020)
- Credit card 2: $2,690 (targeted payoff November 2020)
- Home equity loan (HELOC): $5,000 (targeted payoff July 2022)
- Car loan: $7,276 (targeted payoff November 2022)
Card 1 had been used to cover the Credit Card Float for us, and was added to with a major car repair in November. We've paid off the Float, and are working on the car repair balance now.
Card 2 was used to cover medical bills resulting from emergency surgery in August. We paid this down a bit, but then a surprise bill came in December that erased that progress (grrrrr).
The home equity loan covered the need for a new picture window to replace one that was rotting and dangerous. We've paid only the interest on this for more than a year now. I'm eager to knock this one out.
The car loan was a 6-year loan that we expect to pay off early.
- Debt Total: $15,810
Back in this for 2020!
Starting the year off at $224,934.56 of student loan debt. Total reduction was $26,480.25 in 2019, and I am going to push for an aggressive reduction of $44,934.56 in 2020 so that I get down to <$180,000.00. To do this, I am going to continue to make debt pay-down my main priority.
Another financial goal for this year is to achieve a positive net worth! Even though this is partially out of my control due to the market going up and down, I am determined to work on the parts that I can control, including my spending and non-invested savings.
Line 62 claimed.
Happy New Year!
Claimed Line 63
Payoff Goal: $3,880.57
My goal this year will wipe out two of my credit cards that don't get used so I don't have to worry about adding to them as I pay them off. That will leave me with just two major CCs - the one I use as my daily card both for the rewards and for the security that comes from using credit vs debit. And my sadly overused Amazon CC. My goals for those this year don't really any major pay down but I do want to work on not adding more to those two cards any more than absolutely necessary. Curbing spending and only buying things when I have that money budgeted for it ... two really big goals for me that I've been working on for years. I've gotten better since I first started YNAB, and I have every intention of keeping that slow and steady progress going!
Good luck to everybody this year!
Happy New Year! I claimed line 64
Not new to YNAB (have been using it for about a year), but I am new to the YNAB Forum and this will be my first time participating in any kind of challenge like this.
We started aggressively paying down debt in September and got rid of all credit cards except for the medical one. It is amazing how relieved I was after Visa and MasterCard were removed from my life! I sleep much better and don't lay awake the night before payday trying to figure out who gets how much.
Now I pay the regular payments and throw anything and everything extra at the Jeep.
I am glad to have found this thread to help keep me motivated and accountable!
Total debt -71,985
Jeep loan - 13,393 (4.49%)
Care credit -4,513 (0%)
Mortgage - 54,535.06
I am shooting to pay 16,500 off in 2020, which will have the Jeep and Care Credit done by next Jan/Feb. I am simultaneously working on building our savings which is why I am not just knocking them out by December.
After we paid off Visa and MasterCard , I threw some money in savings, and the lack of payments along with a little cash in the bank made me feel so much more secure.
Here we go again 2020!!
Thanks to these challenges we've paid:
$29,525.29 on the official 2018 Debt Smackdown
$ 25,506.58 on the official 2019 Debt Smackdown
We ended 2019 with $6,495.20 remaining debt and loaded up the official 2020 Debt smackdown with $6500 on line 66 and it will gone by April at the latest! Whoohoo! 2020 is the year we finally break the bondage of debt and get our savings back up and NEVER go back (2020 goal is debt free + rebuild emergency fund)
Remaining Personal: $1,321.28 (6.98%)
Remaining Credit Card: $1,960.66 (11.40%)
Remaining Auto Loan: $3,213.26 (2.75%)
2020, here we go! I’m number 67 on the spreadsheet.
I’ve been participating in the Debt Smackdowns since 2018 and while I have yet to reach my goal 100%, I am still pretty pleased with my progress. In 2018, my stretch goal was three credit cards, a vet credit card and a personal loan. I paid off one of the credit cards as well as my vet credit card and also ended the year with around $500 less credit card debt than I had started it, despite some injudicious spending. My big priority for 2019 was not creating new debt as I worked at paying down what I had. While I didn’t *quite* succeed in that as we added a car loan, I still managed to pay off the credit cards- all three of them have $0.00 balances for the first time in 23 years (!!!)- and I will hopefully keep them that way. For 2020, I’m going to keep focusing on my willpower and on only using the cards when I have the money in the bank to pay the charge in full that day. I’d like to get rid of the personal loan and then take aim at our car loan.
Total Debt: $62,638.12 (includes $45,382.83 in student loans, $13,726.01 car loan, and $3,529.28 personal loan)
Goal: Pay off personal loan and keep credit cards at a $0 balance
Stretch goal: pay off personal loan, keep credit cards at a $0 balance and get car loan below $10,000
Hello 2020! After conquering 2019 and paying off my car 3 years early, this year our goal is to pay off the 2nd mortgage we took out 5 years ago on a 10 year note. However, we will have a late start really cracking down on the debt since my hubby is having total knee replacement surgery on the 27th of this month. Right now all extra income is going into our emergency fund category until he returns to work in late April or early May. Until then will just be making minimum required payments and tracking principal reductions. We have no other debt thanks to YNAB and feel confident we can handle this bump in the road. Happy New Year!
Final numbers for January 2020
Starting balance end of 2019 Ending balance after Jan pymt
$62,229.55 1st Mortgage $61,712.47
$12,874.41 2nd Mortgage $12,663.91
Total debt paid down in January $727.58, total for 2020 $727.58.
We currently have $7791.87 ($6,924.80 principal) in debt that we owe to the IRS due to errors made by my husband's employer and our (very much former) accountant. My husband's employer did give us $4,000 to compensate for the mistakes they made, but we have put that into our emergency fund as about the time we received that money, we learned that his job would be ending and he would need to find a new job, which now also is going to require a move and a new baby in the same month. We are on a payment plan with the IRS, paying the minimum ($155/month) but this year our goal is to try to pay off $3,000 total. With a new job, a move, selling a house, and buying a house, we feel like that's a reasonable goal.
Claimed line #70
January 1, 2020 10:00PM - Where Things Stand
Total Debt: $12,254.56 plus interest charges (Discover, Credit Union Loan, Credit Union Visa CC, Personal Loan); Interest averaged $152/month in 2019
Total Income: $18,084/year (Social Security Disability)
Debt to Income Ratio: approximately 89% (YIKES!)
Credit Card/Loan Monthly Payments: $386
Fixed Expenses: $681 (averaged $700/mo in 2019)
True Expenses - Sinking Funds: $14 (averaged $14/month in 2019)
Variable Expenses: $220 (Groceries, Laundry, RX & OTC Meds, Medical Supplies) (averaged $288/mo in 2019)
Think Before You Spend: $80 (Spending Money, Transportation, Office Supplies, Hair Cut/Color, Gifts/One Time Donations, Household Stuff, Clothes & Shoes) (averaged $651/month in 2019)
$1,507/monthly income - $1,381/monthly expenses = $126/month to use to pay extra on debt
I have $1,055 in savings. I have no other savings or emergency funds or buffer.
Areas to focus on:
- Pay off debt as quickly as possible (doing the YNAB Bootcamp)
- Variable Expenses, in particular groceries (this is typically an emotional/impulsive purchase)
- Think Before You Spend; this is the major area of focus for me, I averaged $651/month in 2019 but I plan to budget about $80/month going forward, that's a huge difference and I am going to have to commit to staying on budget (reminder card in wallet)
I don't have a big income and I have a lot of expenses so that means I don't have much left over to pay extra toward debt. I do occasionally get gift cards or some small monetary gifts but I typically blow them on impulse purchases. If I can be more purposeful with this extra income stream, I can possible cut some areas in the budget each time that happens and put that money toward debt. I know that most people's first suggestion is to get some kind of side gig to make more money, but if I make any money at all, I can lose my SSDI income and also have my rent increase by a lot. I cannot make it without my SSDI and my low rent. I wish I could work but I can't. I have found a few things where I can volunteer some time, most from home, doing patient advocacy type stuff and I get compensated with gift cards (which do not affect my SSDI or my rent) and about once a year I get an all expense paid trip to somewhere in the US for patient advocacy. I typically end up spending money I shouldn't spend and don't need to spend on these trips so I need to either say no to the trips if I can't trust myself to not spend or accept the trip knowing I'll have a very small dollar amount to take with me for incidentals (bus fare, entry fees, etc.).
The most important thing for me to work on is being honest with myself and everyone else. I lie to myself all the time about money, impulse spending, and justifying just about anything. I do see a therapist weekly and I know I need to work on these issues with her. I have YNAB, the YNAB community, and my therapist to help me get my debt paid off, if I use them appropriately. I know I am doing much better than I ever have done in the past so I'm not down on myself. I just have to face the reality of my situation and decide what is most important to me.
I want to be able to fly from Colorado to Boston if my sister has a medical emergency like she did a year and a half ago. If she needed me, I'd have to put it all on credit cards right now. I'd like to get all the debt paid off so I can put that money toward an emergency fund, emergency travel fund, a fun travel fund, electronics replacement fund, and a service dog. My sister and a service dog should be a priority but obviously to date they have not been because I find it easier to spend money on other stupid stuff than save for those things. I'm hoping these 2 months will help me to get in the habit of stopping before I spend and thinking about what most important to me. I have a business size card on top of my debit & credit cards but it hasn't stopped me yet from spending.
Now is the time to STOP & THINK before spending. The craziness has to end now. I know that I can stick to my budget and pay off all of my debt. I just have to do it.