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 :)
So, I'm a little late on my May check-in. We've had a very fortunate month. My husband was released from Workers Comp, so he's getting full pay again; YAY! He also had 3 pays in May so we really socked it to the debt. The extra pay and the Economic Stimulus payment, made even better by less spending overall, allowed us to pay $8567.26 in payments for May!!! It was really hard not to just spend the windfall and enjoy a little, but I'm really proud that we decided to pay down debt with it instead. I'm so glad to be a part of this group. Everyone is doing a great job blasting the debt...keep it up!
YALL!!! We just collectively broke TWO MILLION DOLLARS in debt paid off! That's insane!!! It's only the beginning of June! AND I noticed there are a lot of yall that haven't updated the spreadsheet, but so many people have been updating on the thread. So go update the spreadsheet if you haven't so we can see how amazing we all are together! This is 1/3 of the total that we paid off last year, and we're just shy of half way through the year. That's so cool!!!
Checking in for May. I updated the spreadsheet for the first time since March. Since the pandemic, I've slowed my debt repayment plan. My wife owns a small business and there was, and to some extent still is, a lot of uncertainty about the future of the business. So, I made the normal monthly payment toward my auto loan and slightly improved my monthly payments on the credit card. I wanted to keep a lot of cash on hand in the event that we experienced a loss of income. The good news is, we've still managed to pay down the debt on both the auto loan and the credit card, but may not hit our goal of paying off both this year. We'll see! We have more to be thankful for than we have to be worried about.
Hi all! I’m joining the Debt Smackdown late. We (my husband and I) have $47773 in total debt, excluding mortgage. For now, we’re just focusing on getting rid of the credit card debt portion, which totals $19954. If we can knock it down by half this year, we’ll be more than happy.
So this year’s goal is to pay off $10000. Looking forward to joining this challenge with all of you YNABers!
June progress report on my battle against the student loan beast.
As of May 6, 2020: $208,917.90
As of June 8, 2020: $206,888.91
Notes: Regular monthly payment resulted in principal reduction of $1,228.99. Made extra principal payment of $800.00. Total reduction of principal in June: $2,028.99.
Year-end goal is to get the balance down $44,934.56 (from $224,934.56 starting place on January 1, 2020) to $180,000.00. With a $18,045.65 reduction so far this year, I'm now about 40.16% there.
Slower Progress this month on the Debt Payoff. With some further re-evaluation of future plans, I decided it was better to put more money towards the next house fund instead of paying down the mortgage here. I also have the next 3 months without my extra teaching income, so something has to go.
- Car Loan:$7,313.03/$7,313.03
- Mortgage: $4,223.55/$7,200.00
- Total: $11,536.58/$14,513.03
My taxes were finally assessed and the 2018 tax payback is now eliminated! Woot! Now I am snowballing that payment towards my HELOC. Been keeping snowball money in my category until things settle. Each month will now be $800 towards debt.
Current Debt Smackdown category is looking like this:
- HELOC payment $495 / month
- CRA payment....now SNOWBALL $185/month
- Mortgage Skim $120/month
- HELOC Snowball $400
The CRA & Mortgage skim categories are there to have goals set up. Once they are met, then I will move them into my HELOC Snowball category. Once I have a $1000 snowball, then I will make a payment. I am colouring a picture with each $1000 milestone of money paid off, so the $1000 snowball is a psychological milestone. Although with paying $800 a month now and the extra $400 snowball ready, then that goal is met.
Current HELOC balance: $25,994.49
June Payment: $495 + $185 + $120 = $800 + $400 = $1200
June Monthly Check In
- Construction Loan: Balance $0!
- Medical Loan: Paid $400 - Balance $1,000
- #2 Medical Loan: Paid $300 - Balance $6,100
Husband had a couple days of overtime so we put it to good use. If we continue paying $700 a month plus add our HSA funds at the end of the year we should just make our goal. BUT our water heater is going out, and we want to upgrade to a tankless. It it looking like it will cost around $2,500-$3,000 for cost + install. So that may put a wrench in our plans. We would need to come up with an extra $500 a month to still make our goal of being debt free. Not sure that is possible.
Total paid this month $700. $8,770 / $15,870 - 55% complete for the year!
I'm very excited to share that I officially paid off the balance on one of my 3 credit cards at the beginning of June! Up to this point, I have paid off $19,676 of my $25,000 goal (78.7%). I took a hard look at my spending and have created a payment plan for the rest of the year that has me paying off all non-car loan debt by the end of October. My stretch goal is to accomplish this by the end of August and to then up both my car payment and my savings/investment contributions. Please find an update on all debt accounts below:
CC 1: $1,575.12
CC 2: $0
CC 3/International Grad Student Loan Balance Transfer: $2,033.90 (0% interest through March 2021)
Auto Loan: $22,012.95
Total Debt: $25,621.97
Updating early as I just received confirmation from the bank that my final personal loan payment was received and the account has been closed. Now that it is paid off (3 months early thanks to YNAB) I can snowball that debt.
I'm sending a small amount to my car loan because their payment portal had a freak out when I was changing my bank details coz my normal fortnightly payment is slightly below half the monthly payment and as a computer it can't see that will smooth out during 3 fortnight months. It's frustrating but means that I will pay this loan off a month sooner so will save some interest I guess. The original plan was to only pay the minimum on that loan as it has a really good interest rate but YNAB is all about rolling with the punches.
My main focus now is paying off the CC. I'm going to wait a month or so for the personal loan closing can make it to my credit report and then shop around for an interest free balance transfer so I can save $100/month interest.
March and April (combined) Check in:
Loan: $620.81 Paid off in Apr! 🥳
CC1: $148 paid
CC2: $100.47 paid
CC3: $502 paid
May Check in:
Now I'm just focusing on killing some of this credit card debt. I still have a mortgage, car loan, and another personal loan that I'm going to focus more on next year.
CC1: Paid $389 left $437.10 I'm on track to pay this off in August!
CC2: Paid $124 left $1485.18
CC3: Paid $296.12 left $9414.53
I'm adding in interest and new expenses that I didn't have money to cover into the form to give a more accurate view of how much I still have to go. The virus really messed some things up and pushed some pay-off dates back. I hope everyone is doing well!
June update. Unfortunately we had to cancel our trip to France for June and July. But on the bright side we were refunded for airfare that was still riding on a credit card (booked before becoming a YNAB user). So including that refund, this month we've reduced principal by $3,418.20 and passed 50% of our stated goal for 2020!
(late) May check-in: paid off $2,554.53, thanks to a larger than expected tax return which allowed me to cover my budget needs, and insurance reimbursements that I put towards the debt. I now have the balance on one CC paid off (it's an Amazon card, so I'm still charging it, but now I make sure I can pay it in full every month!!!), and have $6,176.90 to go on the remaining card.
Thanks to the pandemic my transportation costs, etc are WAY down, so I'm hoping I can pay that off by the end of the year! And I can't say what a relief it is to be able to be confident that with YNAB I *actually have money in my bank account* and I'm not going to be caught short by emergencies. It feels so good to finally get back on track!
June Check-in: Squashed $1300 toward my debts, which included 1 pay-off and that always feels good! (spreadsheet says I'm almost 62% to goal)! Woo hoo!!!
1) $1100 to 0% interest credit card #1 paid off
2) $100 to 0% interest credit card #2 ($2400 to go)
3) $100 to Parent Plus Loan (currently also not accruing interest)
*Was also able to put $3000 in my Roth IRA (via Roth conversion) in the last month ;)
I had originally planned to max this out to the $6000 which could still happen by end of year, but also needing to add to what I call my "Buffer Account" which is expected but variable expenses (car maintenance, vet, medical, home maintenance, gift giving, etc.). A huge incentive for me to get the debt gone is to be able to fully fund this on a monthly basis. I feel pretty good about doing a little bit of all my goals-some to debt, some to savings, some to buffer for true expenses.
Checking in for June: I paid off a total of $2,500 towards debt this month.. In doing so, I paid off my last CC and an put an extra $300 toward my personal loan. Now I can focus solely on paying off my personal and car loans by the end of this year! I am so happy to finally be CC debt free having paid off about $20,000 in the past year. I know I have more work to do but I am happy with where I am!