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 :)
Will have paid $495 total from regular weekly payments.
Just made a LUMP SUM Payment!! $884.31, to just get me under the $25k mark so I can colour a letter on my artwork. I've increased my monthly payments to $800: $495 regular + $305 Snowball. But want to make it $1000 or higher. Feels great! :)
HELOC New balance: $24,999.99
June check-in: Being one of those whose name & line totally disappeared from the spreadsheet back in February put me a little behind on monthly postings and check-ins, but thanks to YNAB crack solve-its, I'm back in action (phew!). Happy to report that in June I was able to put a windfall I received of $4,200 totally toward my highest of two credit cards, and on top of that didn't fail to also pay my regular planned monthly pay-down on the same card. Am trying to improve my credit score in case we want to buy a house again (currently renting). I have also started paying off every monthly expenditure on the card instead of blindly letting it ride and add on to current debt--because of the pandemic, we now no longer eat out or spend money on much beyond daily living expenses, vet bills, and groceries. In each of the previous months I have paid down a budgeted amount on my two cards (recorded on the spreadsheet so not repeating here). Thanks to this virtual YNAB community and YNAB's weekly tips, I think my whole financial picture has gotten a lot clearer.
If there is one thing this virus has taught me, is not to put off what can be done today. So with that in mind, I totally decimated my budget and I am now debt free. I just needed to get my head around to paying off the remaining $3,300. In total $5168 paid off with the help of YNAB since the last 2weeks in December.
Life is crazy, missed updating for a few months, but was able to fill everything in thanks to undebt.it! I took a crazy leap and changed companies (well, changed which laptop I log into) this month, which came with a pretty substantial raise due to the company looking to fill niche roles and generally having a better compensation policy than my previous employer. With that, a sign-on bonus, and a PTO payout from my previous employer (since, surprise, I haven't taken much PTO this year), I have been able to keep funding extra debt payments and am on track to hit my goal of $35,000 total paid this year! Still trying to balance to make sure I'm padding my emergency fund and funding true expenses well since my spouse works in the hospitality business and has variable income in the best of years, but I am so, so thankful that we'd already been using YNAB for a few years before 2020 hit us.
I thought I made this post a week ago and found it odd there were no replies, but now I can't find it, so I guess I never actually posted? Anyway- I'm just wondering: how do you all track CC debt in YNAB? Not spending/PIF "good" credit card use. But like if you have a balance you are paying down. Because I just realized that it's not counted in the "debt" section of YNAB! All that has is my mortgage, student loans, car loans.
June.... pre-update I guess, since I haven't actually made the payment yet. The Direct Debit is due to go out next week ish and I don't like making extra payments this close to the payment date in case it cancels the DD or in case it doesn't and I pay twice. Still, for the last couple of months I've been trying to scrape together an extra payment and life has intervened but it looks like this month is the month! Once I make the extra payment I should - fingers crossed - be down to only £100 of CC debt which I can pay off entirely at the end of July!!
I've no idea when I'm going to be getting that inheritance money I was told I'd get in the New Year but I don't think 2020 has gone according to plan for anyone.
As a side note, when I pay off this particular credit card I'll be shutting it down immediatly as it's costing me £3 a month. In the UK you get extra protections if you run large purchases through a credit card, so I'm wondering if I should get out a different (free) credit card in case I have large purchases in future? I'd still be saving up for things - a laptop or whatever - so I'd have the money to pay off the card immediatly, but running the purchase throguh a credit card would give me extra protection. I'm just wondering if I should get a card out in advance when I have no plans for purchases anytime soon or if I should wait until I actually intend to make a purchase. Food for thought. I guess I'm probably still a little bit wedded to the idea of a CC as a backup when I don't really need that anymore.
Hi All, happily I think I might be back on track this month with my normal Snowball amount, I paid $2884 towards debt this month. My debt freedom date moved out to Feb of 2025 but I think I might be able to pull that back in. With pulling back on my debt snowball for the past few months, I've gotten a month ahead in YNAB, July is all set! Yea! And I've got an emergency fund that should cover approximately 1 month of Must Pay monthly obligations. So feeling pretty good about it this month!
June payments include paying off 2 smaller credit cards. Total for the month is $3528.90. That makes my total paid since February ($14445.93) almost half of my smackdown goal for 2020. I hope the next 6 months go as well so I can keep on track. Then next year I can tackle more debt because I will still have quite a bit left! Thank you YNAB!!!
Credit card consolidation loan
- Starting balance: $6927.58
- Current balance: $0 - paid off on April 14
Used auto loan
- Starting balance: $18,625.42
- Current balance: $15,301.61
I missed May, so here’s my update all wrapped in one.
Last time I wrote, we had just received word that ManSpice would be furloughed in mid-June. We started adjusting to the idea, tightening our belts, and getting ready for him to be a house husband for the foreseeable future.
Well, lo and behold, a couple weeks ago, his company called and rescinded the furlough! He is still gainfully employed and while I skipped an extra payment on the car loan in May, I ramped it right back up after we got word he still had a job. The plan is to send $1500 a month toward it till it’s gone. If all goes according to plan (HA! What’s that?!), we will smash our debt repayment goal this year.
I’m so impressed with and inspired by everyone’s progress. Go us!
I continue to appreciate that I've been able to keep working like normal and therefore haven't had to face the struggles I'm sure many other people on this thread have.
June debt pay down:
-Student loans: $1106.50
-Car loan: $416.86
2020 Debt Pay Down: $8,580.66/$10,000 goal
I'm excited that I'll likely reach my goal next month or the month after that. Would love to be able to completely get rid of my private student loan soon so that I can focus on the rest of that $350,000 pile come 2021. 😬
Joining in a bit late on here, but debt payoff has been my 2020 goal all along.
Beginning of 2020, we had $24,168.88 in credit card debt to pay off. We're currently at $14,661.30. So, we've paid about $9500 so far this year. I managed to pay a total of $9300 in 2019 (also with YNAB help), so we're doing good this year, already beating last year's total halfway through. I'd love to manage to payoff the remaining $14,661.30 we owe and be credit card free at the end of the year!
Then I can acknowledge the existence of those student loans >.<
Paid off in June: £573.24
Paid off YTD: £4329.53 (19.99%)
June was an unusual month - I had to transfer my largest CC debt to a new 0% interest card as the promotional rate was ending, so I incurred a transfer fee, meaning I didn't reduce my overall debt as much as I would have otherwise.
However the one-off transfer fee was much lower than my interest fees would have been next month, had I not moved the balance, so overall it was a good move, even if the net result was I'm now at 19.99% and haven't filled in another block on the thermometer... 😬
On a more positive note, my targeted credit card has now become my lowest balance 😁 Just two more payments on that card and it will be gone forever! I normally make my payments when the card balance is due, so I'm paying for June's bill with May's Salary. However, in July I'm intending to make my July payment as normal on or around the 20th, then straight after I get paid on the 25th, I'll make a second payment in July, using July's salary to clear the card :) can't wait!!!!!
Paid off in June: £1177.63
Paid off YTD: £4314.19 (43.14%)
Remaining: £5685.81 (for this year's goal) / £27,457 (total left to go)
Decided to put the gift money we received last month into a savings account, ready for when we find another car rather than using it all on debt. Our old rust bucket needed to be repaired again recently (thankfully a fairly small fix), and I think it's time that we looked for something newer/safer.
I did take a little of the money to pay off a two smallest debts though.
I've been so very derelict in checking in. I just updated my previous months. I was furloughed due to Covid-19 but since I made so little, unemployment ended up paying more than I'm used to. I was able to pay off a student debt I had of $1900. I didn't include that in the original debt I was trying to pay off so I didn't include it in the spreadsheet. I'm really focused on paying off my Discover CC. My biggest amount to date was $350 this month. I made a scheduled transaction early in the month for the date it was due and made sure that I saved up enough from my paychecks to make it. Next month, I'd like to strive for $400. That's about half of my monthly earnings but I want to pay as much of it down as possible while I still can. I'm back to work now so no more unemployment to help bring it down quickly but I am getting great hours so I'm making a little more now than I was at the start of the year. I'm also due for a raise in August. It won't be much but every little bit helps.
June paid-off: $350
Total so far paid-off: $1,099.17 (out of, I believe, a lofty goal of $3500)
June check-in: we paid $4067.26 toward debt payments this month. That is all regular monthly payments plus a triple payment on the HELOC. We’re trying to pay as much as possible to get rid of our debt before hubby has to find a new job, but we still have to live. Next month looks even better for debt pay down. You are all a great inspiration to keep on track. Keep that momentum going!
Paid off in June: $2645
Paid off YTD: $13330
I paid off my Citi Flex Loan in June. Very excited to see that $0 balance in YNAB. Now all that's left is my 0% Chase CC. The balance transfer expires in November so I need to pay $300/month to have it paid off by then. Totally doable!
June Update: Paid off $1402 to the remodel loan.
Still $42747 outstanding so it will take a little while, but progress is progress. Also funded some emergency funds like the Vet Emergency fund (input $50), Dental Emergency Fund (input $50), Tech Replacement Fund (input $50), House Maintenance Fund (input $100) and the No Job Fund ($500).
Could have paid off more and really had to stop myself from transferring those fund straight to the debt, but I know future me will thank me for setting some money aside for when doodoo hits the fan. All in all, pretty happy with the month so far 🙂
Missed my May check-in, so my debt reduction was:
June was the first non-stellar month we've had since January. But next month is shaping up to be a blockbuster, with some big back child support payments incoming. I set a ridiculous goal this year ($30,000), and we've been ridiculously blessed. While we're not even halfway there, our total of $11,578 this year is amazing. We've already almost matched the $14,000 we paid down last year, and we're only halfway through the year! Woohoo!
I was able to pay off a hospital bill. Then I was looking at my statement for a surgeon bill and was confused. Also, it was taking weeks for payments to be processed. I called them to ask some questions. The lady told me that the payment I just sent in will be my last payment and that she was clearing out the remaining $348 because I've always made on time payments and paid extra! I was in shock! So, now my medical bills are done!
Now to decide if I want to continue just paying income-based on student loans when repayment comes around again or to pay extra and try to eventually pay them off. Currently I'm on the public service loan forgiveness track. I'll be 47 payments in of 120 total. The thing is that I'm not sure if I want to stay in public service for the next 6 years or not. If I do, I'd pay a ton less with the forgiveness program. Currently the payment is set at $140/month. I owe $55k.
YALL!! Everybody is doing SO amazing this year!! We're at 2.279 M I L L I O N dollars!!! Last year we only did 2.8! We're going to blow by that number really soon, which means we are really close to DOUBLING the amount of debt that we've smacked down this year, despite a whole world of upheaval! That's amazing!!
Here's my June update:
MC - $412.46 $61.00 $351.46
Total - $351.46 $61.00 $351.46
Extra - $50.22
I'm SO thrilled that the balance for my personal debt is below $400! This is the least personal credit card debt that I have ever had! I'm still able to put the extra $50 on my car payment, which is awesome, too, and so next year I will put that debt officially in the smackdown so I can knock it out as well. Now if I can get the raise that I'm after in my office job I'll be able to put even more of a hurting on my debt!!
June Check in - progressing on track. Still aiming to be debt free at the end of this year. $2815.76 paid off this month. I constantly review my progress charts almost every day if not every other day. I find it helps keep me focused and on goal. I've been on a really tight budget to get this done, but I suddenly realized I kept overspending on my grocery budget every week for a few months as I had it too low to make it look good. So I've tweaked the number a bit higher this week and will see if that is the true number I should be using.