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 :)
Thanks for putting this together folks! Excited to join in for the first time. I keep buying new dog beds and things and getting further from my goals. (Although to be fair, the dogs deserve every creature comfort I can provide.)
I have a $170k mortgage to pay off, but I'm not going to focus on that just yet. I want to work on paying down my car loan. I owe over $16k, and hope to get 1/3 of that paid off this year... I didn't want a 6 year loan term but that's what I signed for anyway. I want to pay it off in 4 or 5 years. This is year number 2.
I'm here with my sort-of-pathetic-but-I'm-looking-on-the-brightside update for January!
We put a whopping 248.23 toward the car this month. Is that my minimum and regular monthly payment? Why, yes it is 😅
Here's the brightside - we crushed our savings goal for the month AND our washing machine completely died. We rolled with those punches, moved money (we had some ready in a true expense category, but not all) and bought brand new fancy ones for the very first time in our lives. Maybe I'll love doing laundry now - but probably not.
It's January but consider this my February update because that's when the money will officially go to the accounts. Tomorrow I get my bonus from work and another bigger check for selling some stuff. With it, I'll be paying off all 6 of my credit cards and cut out a total of $10,677 from my accumulative debt. I'm beyond excited to only have my 3 loans to worry about from now on and I'm vowing to not add a single amount of debt back into my life on those cards. I've funded all of February. I'm hoping to finally age my money to 30 days this month too. Finally feel like I'm making some real progress. Old me would have saved half to go on a vacation and still accumulated more debt by not following the budget on vacation. Now I'm actually cutting out a big amount and making some intentional moves on my spending.
I don't know that I even made it to the thread to post yet, so here are my numbers:
Ending December 2019 I had:
CC owing $241.23 give or take; and
Personal Loan owing $1055
There is also some student debt, which I won't be tackling this year, but my goal is to pay both of these down to zero by the end of the year.
Over the course of January, I was able to pay $55 off my personal loan, bringing it down to a lovely round $1000. To my great disappointment, I was not able to pull funds from anywhere to get that down below the 1K. Regrettably, I have also gone backwards in my CC, which at the close of January now stands with a balance of $320.37 *sigh*
That's a net step backwards of $24.14 :(
Excited to join! Longtime YNAB user, net worth improvement in 2019: 31.253, 22 euro. Paying off student loans slowly over the next 10 years (0.01% interest, no rush) so still negative net worth overall.
Current situation: re-modelling the house. Kitchen, 2 toilets, 1 bathroom, ceilings, floors, full replacement of all gas, electricity and water lines, new windows etc.
Expect to be done at the end of March. Took out a 60.000 euro loan to pay for this but think we'll probably go over with 15.000 🤷♀️ Total 75.000. Yikes.
Already paid off 12.500 of that 60.000 loan, so expecting to have (60.000 - 12.500) + 15.000 = 62.500 in debt at the end of March.
Goal for the year, starting from April 1st, pay off 2.000 a month* 8 months = 16.000.
Somehow that seems doable 🙂
Long post alert!! Guys, I forgot how satisfying it is to pay off a bill where the money is already allocated. 🤗 I didn't make the bill I paid yesterday part of the debt smackdown because it's a yearly expense. It was about $320 for a refill of our propane tank which we only use for our gas fireplace, so it'll last a couple of years or more. Especially with this super warm winter we've been having! Before YNAB (I restarted back about halfway through January after falling off the YNAB wagon a year or so ago), I was planning on putting this on one of my credit cards because I didn't think we had the funds. And then I just wouldn't think about the debt monster hanging over our heads, right? I paid the bill in full yesterday with money I had budgeted and it felt great!! Once our tax refund rolls in, I'll be paying off CC #2 in its entirety and then that card will only be used for reimbursable work expenses. That leaves the following. I didn't account for our mortgage or my husband's student loans in my original post, because those are the big dogs and we'll tackle that once the cars and personal loan are paid off. But just for recording's sake, it's probably good for me to see these numbers in black and white. I also didn't include my husband's car loan in my original post, but I'm adding that in because I'm seeing good progress so far! So I'm going to update my line on the spreadsheet shortly.
DEBT SMACKDOWN DEBTS
- Personal loan for credit card consolidation (just took this out a few months ago) - currently $32,638.70/started at $33,408.28)
- CC #1 - $276.46 - paid off this month! 👍
- CC #2 - Credit card - currently $913.70/started at $1413.70 (will be paid in full in February)
- Car loan #1 - currently $3,025.55/started at $3735.88
- Car loan #2 - starting balance of $11,678.61
TOTAL STARTING BALANCE: $50,512.93
END OF JANUARY TOTAL: $48,256.56
Hey, I'll take it!!
NON-DEBT SMACKDOWN DEBTS
- Mortgage - $239,360.02
- Student Loans - $37,128.30 (I SERIOUSLY hate this one the most because the progress is so slow and so much of the payment goes to interest. The government has screwed us way too long on this one).
I have an annual bonus and tax refunds coming in the next month and I was toying with the idea of paying off car loan #1 since I'll have the funds. But with my regular payments, it'll be gone in November of this year anyway and it really only makes a one month difference in my undebt.it snowball. So I think I'm going to funnel that extra into the beginning of an emergency fund and getting all the bills I can funded a month in advance. Plus my husband's position has changed very recently at work (like this week, but it's been about a six month transition to get to this point) and hopefully a substantial raise is coming with really good yearly bonuses. His company is about as cheap as companies come and their culture is a strange one. It was something he was promised, but honestly, I'm budgeting like it's not going to happen. Plan for the worst and hope for the best! Keep plugging along everyone, we got this!! 😉
January check-in. Brutal reality check. We incurred $3,300 in new debt this month. Next month must be the month all the contracts come in, right?! Trying to keep the faith. We are steadily budgeting and, on the plus side, have learned how to get through a month of groceries and eating out for a family of 5 (6 for half the month as my mother in law is here from out of the country) under $600. We dropped our transportation costs pretty significantly so after this month (which will have the gas from driving back and forth to move) we should see a healthy reduction in our transportation costs. The electric bill dropped $50 immediately, but that's also probably because it's cold.
We are spending less on eating out because we are a LOT closer to home, so less likely to give up and go out! Overall, I am SO ENCOURAGED that this will be the year we figure out our new normal and KICK THIS DEBT!
January check-in: $333.27 paid toward the student loans, minimum payment.
This month was a doozy! New furnace and a set of tires, with a few impending situations we're keeping an eye on.
Definitely thankful we've been budgeting a percentage of our home value each month for Home Maintenance since we purchased. The Auto Maintenance category didn't have quite enough, but we moved money around to cover it.
Debt paydown progress in January: $1821.11.
Student loans: $20,467.01
Credit Cards (4): $45,477.65
Big win this month: I paid off one credit card and almost 25% of the balance on the next and I'm on track to beat my $12K in 2020 goal by more than 75% without really feeling pinched at all AND while saving almost $1000 toward true expenses. I am feeling SO FREAKING GOOD.
At the start of 2020 our debt was $34,330 from a car loan, HELOC, 0% interest cc, and a personal loan (does not include our 20 yr mortgage). Our plan for 2020 is to pay off the car loan, credit card and personal loan completely while also paying some of the HELOC for a total of around $20,000.
So far we were able to pay $3,048 in January towards the debt and are feeling great about our goal!!
Just under the wire January check-in, fellow awesome YNABers! For my January, I managed to put $1,050 toward my loans ($250 towards the smaller, $800 towards the larger). I'm not following the snowball or avalanche per se, as I'm actually putting a bit extra toward the small and a lot extra toward the large loan. In essence, I'm treating them as one big loan even though they're with two different lenders. I'm on track to put the same amount toward February, though I'm hoping to up it by $50 if I can, for an even $1,100. Every little bit helps, so cheers to another month onward!
January pay down: $905.45. Would have liked to pay more but had the following expenses this month: drivers license registration, baseball registration for 2 kids, snowboarding lessons for 1 kid plus lift tickets for my other, new running shoes for one kid, hot lunches at school for both kids (from jan to June), night/away hotel (saw an NHL game that I gave to my son as a Christmas present). Most of this is wants not needs I guess, however I do see activities for the kids as needs in a way. I can almost say I had a no-spend month on things for myself, except that I did buy myself a $30 e-book to read at work on nights. I had daily urges to buy new workout clothes but managed to hold off on that. I hope to be able to pay down $1000 in February - will keep you posted!
Fell off the budgeting bandwagon in 2019 but ready to come back swinging.
Auto - $16572.48
LoC - $9999.52
Visa - $12734.37
MC - $1988.12
Student - $19893.43
Total - $61367.92 (yikes on a bike)
2020 plan is to knock out the 2 CCs and save $5000 for unexpected expenses so they don't go right back on the cards.
January Check-in: $1781.37 paid off, meanwhile added ~685.63 though a majority will be reimbursed since my flex spending plan requires me to pay first then request reimbursement, so to play fair since it's debt, I increased my total debt to pay from $6500 to $7200. I do not believe this will hinder my ability to knock it out by March as I'm going to throw every single penny available at it.
Monthly check-in: After joining the YNAB debt bootcamp, I FINALLY realised how I should be funding my True Expenses. So... debt smackdown on the debt I would like paid off is not going as fast as I would like. However, after January, I feel a bit more caught up and can now forsee a time where I will be comforable enough in other areas to enable me to get stuck in at it. So I still feel like a winner! Also, I find it difficult to keep up with how many amazing comments this thread gets but I'm looking forward to reading those that I can!
OK. here we go again. I joined the 2019 smackdown and only succeeded in increasing my debt. I played the transferring cc debt to 0% interest cards game and didn't pay them down. I just took out a personal loan to pay off those two now high interest credit cards. I have $17345.00 to pay off. $11,304 to the personal loan @ 10.24% interest. A credit card that is 0% until 08/20/20 at $5275.00 and two small debts $333 and $428. I have picked up a 2nd job to help hustle this down, plan to be more diligent with sticking with my budget and not overspending categories. I have printed out visual charts. going to get this snowball rolling and get out of debt. Once i pay these off i can start on my 44,000 in student loan debt that i have not included her because i need to focus on the other debts and win those small steps first. ☀️🌻
January finished pretty well. We set aside 1000 dollars for our emergency fund, and managed to pay off one of our dentist bills which had a couple hundred dollars left on it.
February our pay was lower than we projected due to the new tax code and still we are hoping to pay off one of our credit cards for 2600.
keep grinding y’all!!!