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 a few days late, but here's my July update. In another wild month, my company used the PPP loan they received to restore salaries to normal and pay out partial bonuses. So June ended up being a pretty big month for my student loans category as well. In addition, I decided to throw a big payment at the student loans because I had so much sitting in my checking account already budgeted for the loans. Since I keep my expenses relatively low, I had way more money than I needed for an emergency fund. This was the first payment since March, and it felt good to see the balance go down again!
- Click here for January through June
- July Payment: $5,200 ($4,600 remaining in Student Loans category)
- July Loans Remaining: $7,750 ($3,150 after remaining balance in Student Loans category)
We are quite happy with our progress on the debt repayment. We have stuck with the plan and even got a bonus of reduced interest on CC#2 with no action on our part required. So, we consolidated CC#1 and CC#3 onto CC#2 to take advantage of the rate decrease. It will reduce the interest expense a bit and also helps because now I don't have to monitor multiple accounts. We are well on our way to meeting our goals for this year!
CC#1 - paid $922.04. Original balance $19,937.78 Current Balance $0. Consolidated to CC#2
CC#2 - Interest plus $1404.94. Original Balance $13,861.85. Current Balance $21,069.40 as a result of consolidating CC#1 and CC#3.
CC#3 - Interest only on old debt. Card is used for regular expenses so am paying those regularly. Original Balance $7,500.71. Current Balance $0. Consolidated to CC#2
CC#4 - Interest only payments. Original Balance $34,944.68. Current Balance $34,944.68
I had business expenses that have been on my cc's and it put some debt and interest that I had to pay off - I have one more payment and it will be cleared. But these costs have been effecting my ability to pay of my smackdown debt. I paid in total 4353.62 towards all my debt. However only 300.38 went to my smackdown debt. I've been thinking of ways to get around paying the interest once the balance transfer 0% interest rate is done next month. We'll see if these ideas work..
I’ve done it! 💫✨ Paid off furnace and two huge credit card debts. Bought a house last year and so many things went sideways afterwards that I accumulated credit card debt I’d never experienced in my life. Looking at my YNAB budget and seeing zero balance on both the accounts is awesome. Now off to increase my emergency fund and work to get 30 days or more ahead if I can since I’ll lose my job on January 9 next year. Onward!
We are about to get kicked in the teeth. I'll spare you all the details but let's just say a family situation is brewing that will require a substantial amount of our financial assistance. I'm beyond frustrated! This may be our last month to make headway with our debt as I will need to sock away every dime until this storm passes - and it may never pass 😩.
Final numbers for August 2020
Starting balance end of July Ending balance after August pymts
$58,552.13 1st Mortgage $58,017.94
$ 8,661.28 2nd Mortgage $ 7,095.93
Total debt paid down in August $2,099.54, total for 2020 $9,439.36 (49.42% of goal).
July update: Line 500
Paid $1022 towards my credit cards, truck loan, and RV loan. Despite having a large unexpected cost (getting my axle bent back into shape) and having astronomical diesel costs as I towed and drove 3500 miles this month around the western states, I filled out the rest of my $4000 Emergency fund (BS1) and can now focus on paying down my CCs.
July check in... I managed to make a significant dent in my debts! Paid off a credit card, wooot! Just one more card to go (which has 0% interest until next year), and two private student loans I want to knock out this year.
We have shifted into tackling my husband's student loans earlier than anticipated, plus we had some larger than expected expenses in August (our cat died, I had some dental work done, and an unexpected extra payment to my husband's loans). I'm working a LOT of overtime right now, but these big expenses ate into our cash reserves. I will only be making minimum payments on my debts in August.
2020 Starting Debt: $30,766.04
June Debt Paid: $1,509.68
Current Debt: $22,673.71
Debt Smackdown: $8,092.33 / $15,000 (53.95%)
I'm beginning my debt smackdown now, in August. In July I identified $4,800 in debt on my credit card. And I plan to payoff $2,400 in 2020.
AND - I then found a points multiplier to payoff $1,809 of that this week! I'm planning to payoff $1,500 additional this year. That leaves a predicted cc balance of $1,491.
JUNE / JULY DEBT SMACKDOWN UPDATE
So I'm starting a bit late to this discussion- I starting YNABing (again) in late May, and have been stalking around the forum fr July. I'm now keen to keep focussed and motivated so I hope debt tracking will help.
So my numbers as at the 9th August
- Net worth is -$24.9k (excluding mortgages x 2 properties, assets and retirement accounts)
- Net worth has increased by $3.9k or 14.7% on 1st June
Debt totals as follows on 9th August:
- Credit card 1 (the nice bank) =-$14.9k down $0.3k from 1st June
NO LONGER OVER THE LIMIT (this was frozen May to July so no interest)
- Credit card 2 (the nasty bank) =-$13.4k down $0.8k from 1st June ($1.3k less $0.5k interest and fees) STILL $0.4k OVER THE LIMIT but will be back under the limit in August.
- Arrears on mortgage with nasty bank not on freeze =$4.6k down from $5.2k on 1st June
DECIDED NOT TO PAY EXTRA HERE
- Arrears on body corp (?co-op fees) x 2 properties = $1k, down from $2.6k
Arrears on council rates (?property taxes x 2 properties = $0k, down from $1.6kPIF
June and July were a bit unusual in terms of windfalls, one off withdrawal from retirement account and extra income (I'm self employed and currently receiving a business subsidy due to COVID 19) but hopefully this gives me a hit to get started.
I also want to start funding a bit more into true expenses both directly and with a buffer for ‘unfunded’ true expenses, so might prioritise that over smacking down debt! No 2020 smackdown goal yet.
DEBT 1st June $39.3 k
DEBT 8th August $33.9k (excluding mortgages) - down $5,4k
Hi Ynab's Well August is here and I was able to pay the same $800.00 towards the equity. I have been working hard on budgeting what needs to be done on the house/yard and what I want to be done on the house/yard. It is honestly overwhelming, especially at a time where I am unsure of when my clients will start traveling again. In all of the deliberation, I am waiting on the biggest project which is the pool and deck that needs repair but can wait a year or two. Have a great budgeting month!
Paid $1300.00 towards 0% interest credit card (only $1000 to go!) and $100 toward Parent Plus Loan (also 0% interest at the moment...hope that continues with the next stimulus package, fingers crossed) for a little over 66% paid toward total debt goal.
Paychecks back to normal ;) after company gave us a 3 month pay cut ;(
I may only be paying another $1000 toward debt this year (credit card pay off). My new plan is to achieve a $10,000 emergency fund in a high-yield savings account by end of year. I'll add to this amount in 2021. If the Parent Plus Loan remains 0% interest into 2021, I'll keep socking away the emergency fund, and if/when interest returns, pay the balance of that loan off in a lump sum from that fund. Either way it's going to feel sooooo good to have the cushion of debt paid and some $$ in the bank!
August progress report on my battle against the student loan beast:
As of July 6, 2020: $204,853.41
As of August 12, 2020: $202,811.04
Notes: Regular monthly payment resulted in principal reduction of $1,242.37. Made extra principal payment of $800.00. Total reduction of principal in August: $2,042.37.
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 $22,811.04 reduction so far this year, I'm now about 49.23% there.
Whelp, I just realized that it's been a year since I updated a debt smackdown spreadsheet. Turns out I hit my $10,000 reduction goal for our debt last year, and even beat it by $285.68.
This year is a bit more complicated. I started with a goal of $10,000 in reduction, but so much unusual stuff has happened this year that I'm really not sure what to try for at this point.
- My job's been giving me some childcare assistance with the pandemic going on. Since I'd been paying for child care before, it's all gravy. I think their intent was that it was to help with any increase in child care expenses, but I read the policy several times, and that isn't how it was written. So I've been taking that money and putting it toward a savings goal and paying down big chunks on the student loan.
- We also got an abnormally large tax refund this year because for a good chunk of last year, my wife was on Worker's Comp, which isn't taxable, so... yeah. Not the best news, but a good chunk of debt reduction came out of that too.
- Given those two, we're actually already at $12,644.24 of principal reduction.
- On the other hand, my wife, for reasons - some of them more valid than others, traded her car in and added roughly $16,000 of debt to our balance sheet. I'm not terribly excited about it, but it's done.
I think my overall goal for the reality of the year is to get us back to the same point we were at on 1/1/2020 for overall debt levels, but I'm going to only count actual principal payment on the spreadsheet. That leaves me with $3,302.60 more to get paid down by the end of the year. Here goes!
Looking for advice.
Link to Smackdown tracking in case you want background.
So here are my current credit cards:
Credit Union: $4840 @ 8.5% (5K limit, transferred 5K from Chase card in APR for lower rate)
Chase: $1,263 @ 24.49%
Discover: $15,350 @ 24.99%
Current payoff order is Chase/Discover/CreditUnion.
What are thoughts on getting a Citi Diamond Preferred or Citi Double Cash Card with a 3% transfer fee but 0% Balance transfer APR for 18 months or US Bank Visa Platinum for 3% fee and 0% transfer APR for 20 months. Credit score is currently 700 (Eqfx FICO Score 4) to 743 (Exp FICO Score 8) with TU FICO and Vantages falling in between.
I would transfer the Discover to it. Chase will be done in Sept, Then do the Credit Union then new card. If I can't transfer all of the Discover I would Pay that off after Chase. Should save me over $2,000 in the next 12 months and get all debt done a month earlier.
I hope it's not too late to join the party! My wife and I have been using YNAB for about 4 years. It has already helped us pay off her 18k in student loans in 3 years. Unfortunately, we still have a pretty good chunk of debt to go.
My student loans: 14.2k
Odyssey note: 35.3k
Citibank card: 7.9k
Accord note: 3.8k
We've already made ~8.5k in payments this year. We only recently picked up the note on the Odyssey. I would've like to have waited a bit longer to get another car, but my wife's car was starting to fall apart and we found out we'll soon be a family of 4 and we want a van we can grow into. We prefer to buy new because of the peace of mind it gives us. It has also put us in a position to go at least 12 years without having to buy a car. We've set a goal to buy the next one with cash.
We also recently the charged up the Citibank card. We're on a 0% APR through Feb 2022 and decided to use it to pay some of the down payment on the Odyssey to lower the monthly payments. Also, vacation was more expensive than we planned on this year. Due to COVID and extended family circumstances we had to book last minute (we're upping our monthly vacation budget to prevent this from happening again), so we used the card to eat some of the unplanned expenses. I'm appreciative for the 0% APR, but hate carrying a balance on the card. We probably wouldn't do it this way again if we had the chance.
Fortunately, we were able to file a hail damage claim on my wife's old car. We should receive a check this month that will pay off the Accord (one year early!) and a good chunk of the Citi card. Going forward for the rest of the year, we're hoping to pay off the rest of the Citi card, and get my student loans below 10k.
Haven’t checked in for a while, but I just updated our line for the last few months, and I’m super excited with our progress. With both myself and my husband finally working full time, we have really been able to sock it to our student loans for the first time ever. We are at about 82% of what our goal was for the year, and with student loan interest being held at 0% right now, that is huge! We will probably have met our goal by early September!
I know this is only possible because we happen to be fortunate with our jobs during the pandemic, and that many many people here in the US don’t have this option, so I’ll be continuing to look for ways we can make a difference as our own burden becomes a little lighter. We still have a long way to go with over $200K in student loans between the two of us, but seeing the balance actually go DOWN for once makes me know it is possible, maybe sooner than we thought.
We were doing well this year with our payoffs. However, we had a family emergency that blew us out of the water, including our emergency fund. So we had to add some debt. Though our total debt did go up from last month, overall we are still in good shape on the smackdown because of the extra we had paid off earlier in the year. We currently have still paid off 66% of our goal for the year. I still have hope that we will make it or at least come close.
We began YNAB this April and discovered this forum today. As a dual income household our goal for the year is to live off of one of our salary and use the other to get a month ahead, increase our emergency fund and paydown $20,000 of debt. So far we are trending on-track by living off last month's money, having funded an additional 2 months minimum expenses into an emergency fund and having paid off $9,715 since April. Total current debts include car loan ($3,277), 401k loan ($13,298), and mortgage ($145,350). Our target for total debt elimination is 2027. So happy to read your success stories and tips as we continue on this journey :)