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 :)

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  • July Monthly Check In

    • Construction Loan:  Balance $0!
    • Medical Loan: Paid $405 - Balance $595
    • #2 Medical Loan: Paid $300 - Balance $5,800

    I had enough money to finish paying off the first medical loan. But unfortunately my fridge went out so I had to use the money to buy a new one. I'm glad to be able to cash flow this expense and hopefully I'll find some windfalls and knock out the loan next month.

    Total paid this month $705.  $9,475 / $15,870 - 60% complete for the year!

    Like 6
    • The Goat Queen That's amazing that you had the money for the fridge while still crushing the debt!! You've got this!! :)

      Like
    • The Goat Queen Oh, someone else in the fridge died club. We're there, too. And we had most of the cash to pay for it, but chose the 0% financing for 18 months so that we can keep the cash in our pockets, and pay it monthly. Glad to be able to have the budgeting awareness to handle it!

      Like
    • I changed my mind. I decided to go ahead and pay off the first medical loan. Our re-finance closed yesterday and we got back a little more money than expected. So I should be able to pay off the loan and still cover the fridge as well!!!

       

      Updated July Monthly Check In

      • Construction Loan:  Balance $0!
      • Medical Loan: Paid $1,000- Balance $0!
      • #2 Medical Loan: Paid $300 - Balance $5,800

      Total paid this month $1,300.  $10,070 / $15,870 - 63% complete for the year!

      Like 2
    • The Goat Queen WAHOO!!

      Like
  • I cant get the spread sheet to go to the right to reach July.  It won't go past March.  Is this my problem only or have others experienced this?

    Like
    • Cyan Yeti I'm glad you asked! There is a dark grey horizontal scrollbar at the bottom of the sheet. Are you able to click on that, and move it over to the right?

      Like
      • Cyan Yeti
      • Cyan_Yeti.6
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Nicole I can click on it and move it to the right BUT as soon as I release thr mouse it jumps right back!

      Like
      • Cyan Yeti
      • Cyan_Yeti.6
      • 3 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Cyan Yeti Nicole I found the problem.  After troubleshooting on You tube, I found my mouse had gone bad.  it even affected the scroll pad! New mouse installed - all fine now.  thanks 

      Like 2
    • Cyan Yeti Glad to hear it! Nice detective work. 

      Like
  • ☀️June Check-In ☀️

    I'm 93% of the way to my debt payoff goal. Halfway through the year and I'm almost done with what seemed like an impossible goal. I'm a little ... speechless. So, so grateful to YNAB and this community.

    Debt paydown progress in 2020:

    June: $2528.02

    May: $2002.09

    April: $1712.68

    March: $1730.05

    February: $1370.62

    January: $1821.11.

    Total progress: $8636.55

    Current standing

    Student loans: $20,121. 18 (in covid forbearance, so I'm redirecting the payments to cc's)

    Credit Cards (3): $36,480.02

    Like 9
    • Violet Storm You've made the impossible is possible with your hard work! Fantastic job crushing that goal. 🎉

      Like
  • July checkin: Paid $567.16 (includes P&I)

    I'm taking advantage of the student loan forbearance and moving the regular student loan payment amount of $376.65 to a category called Student Loan Payments on Hold, so my debt payments are lower than normal.  I'm happy to report that since starting YNAB in March 2018, I have now reduced my outstanding debt by over $20k! I was so very stressed when I started. I remember thinking getting off the credit card float was going to be impossible. When I started I also just kept thinking that if I got rid of the credit card debt, i'd be fine. I've learned since then the importance of saving for the expected and unexpected irregular expenses in life, even if I have debt. Still plugging along on my debt smackdown journey, my current total debt outstanding in $69,375.60. And I'm looking at houses to buy maybe this summer/fall as a first time homebuyer, which will increase my debt, but feels like a good move for me if I find the right property.

    Like 4
    • Hot Pink Admiral Congrats, that's huge!!
      A house is one of those "debt" things that yes, on paper you owe the money, but it can also be a huge advantage in the long run, and opens doors (pardon the pun) to lots of other things. Depending on your income, there may be grants or additional funding available to you as a first time home buyer, so leave no stone unturned!

      Like 1
  • Things have gotten a bit tight, but I'll find out if I'm out of covid wages next week. I am a bit behind doing some gig work so haven't gotten paid for that. I hope that I'll sort my work out better this month so I can actually increase my wages. Otherwise I'm really really behind in clearing my cc. But $500 in June. I honestly need to be putting 2k, so I must accept I'll start getting some interest payments in the fall. It is what it is. As long as I clear all the other expenses off my cc and get myself back to being balanced I'll be happy.

    Like 4
    • ISuckatMaths Is the interest going to hit because the promotional period runs out? Would it be possible to look for another promotion to roll the debt into? I've done that many times, and it's saved me thousands in the long run. It's not fun, and not what I like to do, but it helps keep me moving forward.

      Like
  • Happy July everyone!   I have paid $800.00 toward the equity and Best Buy and have not accumulated any cc debt.  I need to have some work done on the house so I was not able to put more money towards the debt.  Every little bit helps especially during this time of no work.   

    Like 4
    • Pink Mermaid That's a good chunk! Priorities can shift. Having home be safe & secure right now feels like a big win. I'm there with you! We put on a new roof last month.

      Like 1
  • Well.  Started at $25,980 debt and at 96% paid. $900 to go and I’m hoping to get it accomplished next month.  

    Like 10
    • Slate Blue Network Congrats!!!

      Like
    • Slate Blue Network Fantastic! For such huge news, there is a distinct lack of exclamation points here. 😉 Sending off that final payment will feel amazing.

      Like
  • Eeeee!!!! I just made my usual payment to the outstanding debt I have, and it's below $300! That's the lowest "personal" credit card debt that I have ever had, or at least had in a LONG, long time. I'll wait and post my official update when I add the extra that I'm adding onto my car payments later in the month, but I just had to post that little update! It won't drop under $200 for another 2 months, but this is a nice milestone right now!

    Like 13
    • farfromtheusual Yay! Huge milestone! 👏 You've worked hard for it.

      Like 1
    • Nicole Thanks!!

      Like
  • June Check In

    Auto Loan: $4,788.28 - $4,788.28 = $0!!!!!!!

    Well I definitely typed out a June check in, but I guess it didn't post?! Anyway, June was a GREAT month. I was able to get my Honda CR-V paid OFF! It has been a sprint the past few months, but so well worth it. :D Now to save that " minimum payment" towards future vehicle replacement!

    Like 9
    • CTheJoy WAHOO!!!! CONGRATS!!!!

      Like
    • CTheJoy Congratulations! And I love that you're keeping those dollars focused on the next vehicle. 

      Like
    • CTheJoy Fantastic achievement, well done!👏

      Like
  • Happily on track and hope to be finished with the consumer debt by the end of September and then tack on extra payments to my car loan to finish within the next year instead of 2 years!

    $15,417 Car loan

    $2, 490 Consumer debt remaining

    Total: $17,907

    Like 4
  • Uneventful month in the debt payoff area. Made my mortgage payment and carried on. 👍

    • Car Loan:$7,313.03/$7,313.03 
    • Mortgage: $4,601.62/$7,200.00
    • Total: $11,914.65/$14,513.03
    Like 5
  • July Check-In...Paid $200 towards 1 credit card and Parent Plus Loan (both currently at 0%), bringing total to 62% debt paid.  I threw the bulk of extra money this month towards my Buffer (this is where my Home and Car Maintenance categories are, my Gift Giving, Medical, Pets, and Christmas).  I also made the last ever tuition payment for my son (I choose to cover my kid's Undergrad and they have to cover Graduate degrees).  So...next month I'll be rolling in dough!  Just kidding...but I will be able to make more of a dent in my debt.  I'm more than ready to delete my Debt Sucks ;( Category!!  

    Hoping everyone is continuing to stay safe!  

    "Be kind and have courage." Anne Frank

    Like 4
    • Sweet Tangerine Awesome!!!

      Like
  • Excited to say that the final payment for my student loans cleared today! 🎉 Paid in full.

    My original 2020 goal was $5,893.06, and paid $5932.54.

    Like 13
      • Violet Drill
      • Violet_Drill_0bf6fcf19d
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Nicole That's awesome! Congratulations! 🎉

      Like 1
    • Nicole Congrats!!!

      Like 1
    • Nicole Congratulations! That must be a great feeling.

      Like 1
    • farfromtheusual Violet Drill Thank you!

      Navy Blue Pegasus It hasn't quite sunk in yet. 😂

      Like 1
    • Nicole Fantastic news, must be a huge relief! 😊

      Like
      • Rocket Queen
      • Hair Metal Superfan
      • Rocketqueen
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Nicole Way to go! I can’t wait until I reach that day when I can say mine are paid off!

      Like
    • Nicole WTG Nicole!

      Like
  • $37K

    i want to pay my credit card in 2020 at $16K

    Like 4
  • Paid $2601.00 to my Smackdown amount in July.  Had some unexpected expenses but they were funded so I did not have to add any debt!

    Like 6
    • Cyan Yeti Being able to fund unexpected expenses is the biggest celebration of all to me. It's great to keep paying down debt but there is nothing that would drag me down more than the high of paying debt, following by the crushing low of realizing I couldn't cover something that popped up. Way to go for you!!

      Like 3
      • Cyan Yeti
      • Cyan_Yeti.6
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual thank you!

      Like 1
    • Cyan Yeti Yes! 100% what farfromtheusual said. And you're doing both at the same time! Having those dollars waiting to do their job is a great feeling.

      Like 1
      • Cyan Yeti
      • Cyan_Yeti.6
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Nicole thank you.  YNAB is wonderful.  Things are so much clearer now! 

      Like
    • Cyan Yeti This is the kind of success story I love to hear. Well done you!

      Like
  • I'm a bit late to the Smackdown party but better late than never! 😜 I'm currently focusing on paying off my lowest credit card (now $2391) and if things keep on the track that they currently are, it will be paid off this year.  I'm also trying to boost our emergency savings at the same time so it's a balancing act. I'm quite proud that we have already paid off $200 on top of minimums and we're only in the middle of July! I'm counting that as a win 🤑

    Like 6
    • This_Little_Piggy Welcome to the party!! You're already on a roll!

      Like 1
    • Welcome, This_Little_Piggy ! Preventing future debt by saving up for those emergencies and True Expenses is just as important. Balance is great! Love your avatar too.

      Like 1
  • Hi All, July check in, I was able to pay more this month ($3299) and get one of the credit cards paid off, I did shift some of this debt to a 0% interest card so not "truly" paid off but at least I'm not paying interest on it! And I'll have the 0% one paid off before the promotion ends. Next month I'll start working on getting the Truck paid off! Undebt.it says I'll have that done by Jan 2021 but hoping to find some windfalls to get that done this year and get back on the "before covid" track.

    Like 6
    • Grey Tux Congrats!!!

      Like
    • Grey Tux  That's amazing! 👏

      Like
    • Grey Tux Fingers crossed for some windfalls so you can smash it out this year! 🤞

      Like
      • Grey Tux
      • Silver_Wizard.3
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Aussie Beachlife Nicole farfromtheusual Thanks All!!  :)

      Like
  • Not my official July check in, but my wife and I did pay off our credit card yesterday! Made a final payment of $1,459. Will be focusing on my car loan next. May get it paid off this year, may not. It will be close. If not, it will be some time next year. Either way, it will be 1.5 to 2 years early!


    Also, not directly related to the budget smackdown, but we did increase the limits on our credit cards by a combined $22,500 and decrease the APR by 4% on our most used (which, per above, now will be paid off each month to not incur the interest charge) credit card.

    Celebrating the small wins during the pandemic!

    Like 9
    • 3xDogDad Those don't sound like small wins to me... they sound pretty huge!! Congrats!!

      Like
  • I did not see this coming, but our spreadsheet had run out of lines so we just added a hundred more! If you're thinking of joining in, it's definitely not too late! Claim your line on the bottom of the sheet and let us know your plan!

    Like 7
    • P.S. We've hit 500 folks participating in the Smackdown so far! 🙌

      Like 5
      • Rocket Queen
      • Hair Metal Superfan
      • Rocketqueen
      • 3 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Veronica So glad I saw your post! I’ve been lurking and decided to join the smack down... not a bad way to spend the second half of 2020!

      Like 4
    • Rocket Queen Welcome Rocket Queen!

      Like
  • July - and final!!! - Update! I made a payment of £99.35 and closed the credit card!

    I suppose technically – technically – technically – I still have student loans. But for those of you who aren't in the UK, they work a little different here. They basically function as an extra tax. A % of my income above a threshold is deducted automatically from my paycheque before the money hits my bank account. If I don't pay off all my loans within X many years – and I would need to be very well paid to do that – the student loans are cancelled. So those debts are basically invisible to me, as I said, they just act like an extra tax.

    I cracked open the debt free whiskey I've been saving up and enjoyed a glass of that last night but it doesnt quite feel real yet. I'm keeping one (no monthly fee) credit card open for large or online purchases, as in the UK there's extra protection on credit cards.

    Now onto building an Emergency Fund! 

    Like 13
      • 3xDogDad
      • Financial Services Pro
      • Coral_Clarinet.6
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Mx Emmin Congrats! I believe I saw you on r/ynab as well. Double congrats!

      Like
      • Mx Emmin
      • Orchid_Banjo.5
      • 3 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      3xDogDad  yeah... I've been telling everyone lol... its on the facebook group too hahaha

      Like 4
      • Violet Drill
      • Violet_Drill_0bf6fcf19d
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Mx Emmin Congratulations! It feels great, doesn't it?

      Like 1
      • Mx Emmin
      • Orchid_Banjo.5
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Violet Drill  It doesnt feel real! I keep the checking my banking app again in case something pops back on

      Like 1
    • Mx Emmin Congratulations, and cheers! That is amazing news. I would shout it from the rooftops too!

      Like 1
    • Mx Emmin Congrats! Well done!👏 

      That's good news on your student loans. They work a similar here in Australia too. Repayments made once income reaches a certain level and paid as an extra tax which is usually deducted from pay. Debt only clears once paid in full but does get extinguished on death (not passed on to estate). And the loan doesn't accrue interest, it's indexed each year on based on CPI.

      Like 1
    • Mx Emmin that must feel amazing!!  Congratulations!!!  

      Like 1
    • Mx Emmin WAHOO! Super congrats to you!! Way to celebrate, too, that looks yummy!

      Like 1
      • Veronica
      • Support Manager
      • Veronica_ynab
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Mx Emmin A giant congratulations to you! That debt free whiskey looks like the perfect celebration for you! 

      Like 1
    • KAP's grandma
    • Retired wife, mom, grandma, quilter, gardener, knitter, crocheter, embroiderer, wanna be organized!
    • Violet_Robot_d52d73d644
    • 3 mths ago
    • 7
    • Reported - view

    I honestly have not posted in a few years. Life is just too crazy for me.  But I wanted to encourage everyone.  I am in my second year of No Spend, which means we buy NOTHING that we don't actually need.  So far in the past 2 years I have bought only new walking shoes.  But the biggest news is after much consideration of our life, I took the balance of our mortgage out of my Roth-IRA and paid off our home.  I had paid an extra $50,000 on the mortgage in 2018 and 2019 and I just thought why am I waiting.  I still have my 401K, some left in my IRA and my husband's IRA.  I am 62-1/2, my husband 61.  He has cancer that right now is well controlled, but I do have a fear that it may decide to spread.  He is still working at our business that is pretty well in this COVID environment.  It's really amazing to commit to a No Spend, it now is a habit and since I hate wearing a mask I have no desire to shop anyway.  My husband usually picks up anything we need on his way home from work.   So stick with it.  We are way too late in our debt free journey.  Do it now young people, you won't regret it!

    Like 7
    • KAP's grandma I'm glad you checked in! Thanks for coming to encourage folks, and share your story. My best to you & your husband.

      If you're up for it (no pressure), I and others would love to know more about your No Spend strategies. Two years is an impressive streak! Tips & Tricks would be an excellent spot.

      Like 2
    • KAP's grandma You are so inspiring and encouraging! Thank you for sharing!

      Like
  • I haven't posted any updates here in a few months. But I have PHENOMENAL news. For the first time in 3 years, my net worth is ABOVE zero. While I haven't officially paid off my debt, because I'm trying to keep an emergency fund as well as some liquid assets on hand just in case I get laid off (again).

    I'm doing my best to maintain this new financial health. I am making sure to budget out money for things like rent and other bills a month in advance. I'm also attempting to stay in the habit of paying off my revolving credit cards at the end of every month.

    But I really am so excited that I actually have a chance of paying off my debt by the end of this year. I started 2020 with a payoff goal of $5,664 (the total amount on my balance transfer card). I have officially paid off $3546! Only a little over 2k left and I'll be debt free!

    Like 11
    • SiruhTheSantas Congratulations! That positive net worth is a huge milestone. You're over halfway to the goal! 🙌

      Like
    • SiruhTheSantas I love all those little celebrations along the way! That is a big celebration! Way to go!

      Like
      • spyral
      • Spyral
      • 3 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      SiruhTheSantas Well done!

      Like you, I recently pushed over in to a positive position as well having been ~$16,000 in the red when I commenced with YNAB just over a year ago.

      I also still have some debt left to pay off (about $6,000) but I have been concurrently paying that down plus do some forward planning for a few large expense in the next 6-9 months.

      3 months out from being debt free though!

      Like 2
    • SiruhTheSantas *Happy Tears* for you - that is so exciting! Congratulations.

      Like
  • Paid $1410 down for July. It was my first month in a while that I put a good amount towards debt, as I had been prioritizing savings for a few months. It feels so good to see that debt go down!

    Like 7
    • MoneyMonster Fantastic work! A lot of folks are saving more in uncertain times, just in case. You're not alone there!

      Like
  • July Check-in

    Truck and Car payments were made as planned (minimums, until camper is paid).   Camper was minimum + $4350.  New camper balance:  $6.917.30.  True expenses are still being funded.  

    Work update:   No change since June.  Still running lots.

    In the spirit of upgrading shiny objects before retirement, the appliances have been replaced.  Most were floor models, which saved vs buying new-in-box, so there's that.  There had been a line item that was *mostly* funded.

    The mortgage is being refinanced from a 20-year (3 down, 17 to go, 4.95%) to a 15-year at 2.75%.  Hoping to close soon.  This will save over 100 a month on the required payment.

    MILESTONE CELEBRATION:  The camper balance dipped under 10K!  The end is in sight!

    Prayers that the virus will be stopped soon & forever.

    Like 4
    • Coral Mare WOW! You have made so much progress this year! Way to go!

      Like 1
  • July check-in: Continued to pay down credit card balances as budgeted ($500 plus $192 interest on Card 1; Card 2:  $334, which is interest plus about $254). I've been using Card 1 for my Walmart Grocery Pickups (a lifesaver in Land of Covid), but now also pay off each month's new balance to stay on track with the debt pay down. If I keep up this pace, I'll be credit card-debt free by late 2022. I so want this.

    Like 4
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