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 :)
February quick check-in: Paid off $2763.31 so far this month and that's 2 or 3 accounts leaving us one final loan with a final balance of 2655.32 which is our final last debt which I expect to have paid before the end of this month but will hold off celebrating until that final debt is at a $0 balance. :)
Checking in for February. While I paid larger amounts towards the credit cards, I realized that what I have to give them is only what was budgeted for other categories and paid with a CC. So I'm not counting that amount here, as it really doesn't pay anything off. I added up my auto loan payment, the amount that I budgeted toward CC interest, Daycare, and Student loan payment. I know I won't get all 70k down this year, but using what the tracking info for this year will help me budget the following years. Also, the next couple months I can expect my yearly raise, so that will help give more momentum here as well. Man this looks bleak, lol.
Hi everyone, checking in for February! We get paid biweekly so I’ll probably end up doing 2 posts a month to update. So far have been able to pay of $344 on the visa in addition to not adding anything more to the visa debt. I expect we should be able to pay another $300 to the from the paycheck at the end of the month. Which actually means we might be ahead of the game. Yay! As a new ynabber I’m feeling so much more in control since I started using this software. I cannot stop recommending it to people!
Hi there. This is hard to write about!! Non mortgage debts are heavy for me. I’m the sole income earner in the family, and we have a toddler and a new baby on the way - due in April. Endless to say, saving for and being ready for a bit of maternity leave has been a challenge. I’m a family doctor and generally, the pay is good, but being part time brings us to a more difficult place which is why I reached for ynab. I friend it several times before but was not getting it and never had time. Now I do!
Non-mortgage Debts: credit card is at $1,600; RV Loan is at $60,000 and line of credit (from medical school) is at $102,000!! Totalling around -$164,000.
in this year of working less and having a baby I want to start paying this down.
I have some ideas to get started - selling our old trailer that’s paid off, and selling some ski gear to find something to kickstart debt repay one to. Maybe picking up extra jobs.
I have no idea how this will go but I’m going to start with a goal of $20,000. I may be conservative but if we get momentum I hope to re-evaluate that goal.
I’ve been throwing every dollar past my true expenses, buffer, and $1k EF to my debt, and with an unexpectedly high tax return, my car loan will be down to $4,538.40 and my other loan to $2,990, and I’ll be on course to pay off the car in May and be debt free (except mortgage) by July. 6 months ahead schedule! Seeing the Net Worth report has been really motivating by the way, for others out there. And the website unbury.us where I tweak the numbers of how much I pay and see the time to debt-free go down even with a little more per month. Hope it’s helpful!
I've finally started to colour in the Debt Thermometer!
This month was a bit hard as I have just moved to a new job and was paid less than I was expecting (I had to take a day's unpaid sick leave) so I had to adjust my debt payoff plans a bit so that the rest of my budget could be funded. However, I found that if I reduced my biggest overpayment by £100 this month, I'd only need to put an extra £20 a month for the following months to guarantee I'd clear the debt before interest.
Total Paid off 2020: £1,238.16 (5.72%)
Hello! I have two paychecks each month, so maybe I'll check in twice just so I feel more proactive. So far I paid $575 towards debt this month. I expect to pay at least 200 more, but we'll see what I can squeeze out. One thing I notice in myself is impatience and frustration that I can't do this faster. But my spare money after bills is simply not large. It has to add up slowly, and I guess I just have to be patient about it. One positive thing-- my union finally negotiated a wage increase, and management has FINALLY given us a date for the raise and backpay we are owed. That money is unencumbered and I can use it for debt smackdown. March 12th is going to feel fun. But right now I'm still slowly plodding along. Slow and steady wins the race?
Hello! :waving: A little late to the party, but here goes!
I have £30,420 to pay off... I thought we were making progress last year, then we moved house and it crept back up. I saw that the total went over £30k and I've been hitting my head on the desk ever since. How could we be so stupid?
Our target is to pay off at least £10k this year, using the avalanche method. Our biggest barrier to paying off more than this is our children and the unexpected expenses that come along with them!
Good luck everyone!
February check-in. All accounts are current and any large purchases we made were paid for in full. That means no new debt was added while managing to pay an extra $400ish towards our previous debt. Getting a small refund from the IRS whenever the last 1099 comes in, despite my best efforts to make it a $0 refund, but that amount will be going towards our debt as well.
YALL!!!! I just hit the submit button on the payment for my Visa!!! I can't remember the last time that was at zero. It's always crept back up every time I've gotten it to zero, and I'm so tired of it. The goal this year is to KEEP it at zero now! I believe that's more possible right now than has been since my income has gone up a little bit (and I'm aiming for another raise to boot).
Visa - $1167.73 $1167.73 $ZERO
MC - $656.46 $61.00 $595.46
Total - $1824.19 $1228.73 $595.46
For some reason the debt tracker was a little bit off of what my total was, it was actually higher somehow, so I corrected that, and now it says I've paid off 72.11% of my debt! WAHOO!! The other card will get paid in $61.00 chunks until it's paid off in December. Then I'll be back next year in the smackdown to eliminate my truck payment. I'm looking forward to playing with undebt.it at the end of the year to see what kind of impact I can have on that. I said I'd pay it off early and so far I haven't been able to make any headway in that. I'd love to get a fat enough raise that I can start now, but I won't count those chickens yet.
WHEW. What an emotional roller coaster. It was pretty scary to actually hit submit on the payment. But it's DONE!
Like some others, I get paid twice a month, so I'm going to play around with doing an update per paycheck (because it's more fun that way!). With my 2/14 paycheck, I paid down $1388 of debt (principal only), including an extra $200 toward my student loan, which is what I'm trying to pay off first. That brings my total debt payoff for 2020 to $3503! It REALLY helps to see that progress.
February Check In
I paid another $248.62 towards my principle and $71.38 in interest. Total payment $320. That means that I found an extra $20 to put towards the debt this month. With how tight my budget is, that feels pretty amazing. Put money aside for all of my true expenses, added a category so I can start swimming and put $20 in it, put $20 into my emergency fund, and even put $3.33 towards my summer holiday. That $3.33 felt like such a victory. I even had a surprise vet bill that wasn't a big deal because I had money in my vet category. I may be plodding through my debt but I feel like I'm getting to a point where I'm off of the debt cycle every time something comes up. Age of money: 22 days - gained a day this month.
With small additional payments on my loan, I've got it down by $639. So that plus the massive paydown at the start of the month on my credit lines, my total for February is $11316.
Even with non-planned vet bills, I haven't added anything to my credit cards since they've been zero so far, it's only been a few weeks, but I'm still calling this a victory. I'm worried that'll change as a family emergency came up today, but I'm trying my hardest to roll with the punches and move things around to figure out how to cover it and not add any debt to my life.
Age of money is 16 days. I actually have some savings for once but I don't want to touch it at all since I need to move and that was earmarked for my deposit. We'll see how it goes. Juggling the goal of debt is not an option with touching these funds is not an option is pretty damn tough though.
I'm also worried now that I've down such a huge paydown this month that I'll be discouraged next when I can't match that amount at all, but keeping in mind, everything helps and there's still a good amount of time left in the year to do my best at cutting out the personal loan from my life.
$1190.56 paid towards debt.
$372.99 towards my federal student loans. Balance is $118,783.90.
$600.00 towards my private student loans. Balance is $2841.47.
$217.57 towards my husband's student loans. Balance is $2244.13.
The private student loan will be paid off in June, then we will move that six hundred to my husband's student loans.
New year, new mega mortgage amount 😥
The mortgage is our only debt at $640,000 on 1st January 2020.
Goal is to pay $40,000 off in 2020. Actually, $40,001 so it's under $600k LOL This is definitely a stretch goal so wish me luck! 🙏
January 2020 check-in (line ID #370):
$2,847.00 paid off principal
Since the sheet is so huge now I wanted to share a top tip to quickly find your row - if you bookmark the link somewhere in your browser, you can add a cell reference to the sheet to quickly focus on your own row.
By adding "&range=[yourRow]" you can jump straight to your line in the sheet.
E.g, I am on Row 6 - so my link is this.
Would take me straight to my cell. If you change the number for whatever Row you are on (that's the google row number) it will always take you there :)
You can then bookmark that and you're good to go.
Really disappointed that I have to lower my monthly payment back to the minimum, but with the new Tax Code in effect, my federal withholding is going to cost me $1,500 in taxes for 2020 if I don't increase my paycheck withholding amount. I received a raise this year and I'm actually going to take home less money now. What bunk.
So I can't afford the higher payment to pay off my debt quicker. C'est la vie I suppose.
Checking in for February! Managed to keep my payment consistent and put another $1,050 towards my two student loans, another nice extra chunk over $751.97 total minimum payment for the two of them. I was really hoping to put even an extra $50 more towards them, and pre-YNAB me would have totally just done it. But having learned to give those dollars jobs and to roll with the punches, I realized that this month just wasn't the month to do that, as those dollars had jobs to do elsewhere. Maybe next month I can bump it up, but ultimately if I can at least keep this current level going, I'll still be making great progress.
Send help. Going on my 23rd no spend day, because there's nothing to spend. And, also, nothing with which to pay bills. Being able to vent rather anonymously here is great. Entrepreneurship is truly like this sometimes, but it IS THE PITS. Hopefully we are one of the 20% successful second-time entrepreneurs.
I now understand the HIGH divorce rates among entrepreneurial people. The level of narcissism it takes to keep going when everything is going against you is much higher than the average person's...for better or worse, we're all a little narcissistic.
The budget is still here. It's not happy. It's very red and irritated, but it's here. Hoping we will scrape together enough to pay the rent and the kids' tuition next month, but at least I can get to work.
We are learning to live on very, very little and its actually exciting to realize that other than our very high fixed expenses, we don't need much!