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 have been a long time user of YNAB. We were completely debt free. Recently we purchased 2 rental properties and leveraged funds with mortgages. While I know we get to write off some off the interest and expenses I miss that feeling of being 100% debt free! So over the next 10 years I want to pay off these mortgages too!
Total debt: $451,000
Goal: Pay off $45k per year and be debt free in 2030!
We are working on reducing our spending, waste, and enjoying values such as time together! Extra funds will help pay down the debt! Have no idea where the funds will come from but it is great to have a goal and see it in writing!
Update: Line 278
Aloha! Late to the game, #374 on this years Debt Smackdown chart and ready to slay!
YNAB, ILY. I played with you for too long, since 2017, before coming to my budgetting senses in October 2019. You are now part of my daily ritual and you’ve taught me so much!
COR CC $3588 19.99%
COM CC $8592 19.99%
CTR CC $10826 26.99%
STLOAN $5125 6.45%V
2020 Jan 1 Debt Total $ 28131
2020 Dec 31 Debt Smackdown Goals
- keep true expenses well funded for no surprises
- pay off CTR CC and COM CC and close accounts ($19418 principles)
- any windfalls go directly to the first goal, no justifying “wants”
As you can see, we were horrible with spending dollars we didn’t have yet. I’m still guilty of future casting and credit spending for a few guilty pleasures. For the last 3 months of 2019, we made a lot of credit card purchases but spent less than $2000, but we also made payments in excess of $8000. Hoping to hone in my laser focus of throwing every available dollar at debt pay down, avalanche method while budgeting with YNAB to stop frivolous spending.
There’s so much more I have to do and learn. Can’t wait to look back in December and see how far we’ve come!
(PS - meet my cute doggos!)
Claimed line 210. Total debt at the beginning of 2020 - $128486. 103005 mortgage, 7000 student loan, and 18, 481 car loan. My goal for this year is to pay 12500, eliminating my student loan and applying that payment to my car loan. My other goal is to significantly increase my true expense funds so I don't have any new debt and to finally use credit cards correctly in YNAB. I have always paid them off but with money from the next month. I am now pulling the money from the category at the time of purchase.
Line 224 here! Debt total is $15120.87
$842.60 in credit cards
$8716.69 of a personal loan
$5561.58 in student loans.
My goal for 2020 is to pay off the credit cards and $3329.94 of the personal loan. I'm also planning a move this year so I want to save $10,000 for that - currently have $1172.54 saved. I included this in my total debt goal because I like having a big goal to shoot for. I'm getting about $3300 (after insurance) in dental work done this year so my goal is bound to change once I have a more solid idea on cost of that.
Excited to see this number drop!
Line 226 claimed!
Hi all! This is my first time doing this. I'm extremely nervicited!
I have a LOT of debt (about $615,000 including my mortgage and student loans). The debt I want to focus on in 2020 is my consumer debt. I intend to pay off my credit card debt in 2020, all of it. I'm hoping to move in with my girlfriend later this year, and I'm motivated to have a healthy financial start to our life together. I lost 80 pounds when I focused on fitness as a goal, and I've never been healthier. I know I can do difficult things! I'm grateful for this forum as a support in this mission!
Total credit card debt: $24,526.14
Bank of America: $17,736.75
Citi Credit Card: $3472.18
My plan so far is to:
- set up a debt snowball so I can track my progress and see those numbers go down
- increase my income by joining a private therapy practice when I get my independent license in a few months (I'm a social worker a few years out of school)
- build up cash reserves so I don't have to use a credit card for every extra expense
- spend time every week reading about debt management and financial health (this helped me a lot with my fitness goals, just learning all the time about the topic kept it fresh and front of mind)
Looking forward to learning and saving with all of you!
Oh, this sounds like fun! I've been "dabbling" with YNAB for nearly two years but this past month, I've buckled down to really make some headway.
I claimed line 400.
My current debt stands at:
Discover CC: $4,367.17
Capital One CC: $726.97
Student Loans: $52,557.28
Car loan: $3,830.71
For a total of: $61,482.13
Whew, that's a lot. Just seeing that number kind of made my heart race.
Currently, my student loans are in deferment, and my Cap One and car loan are at lower interest rates. That Discover is a whopping 22%, though, and I want to get that sucker down and keep it down.
For my plan, I'm going the Avalanche method, paying down my highest first. So, for right now, I'm only going to pay minimums on my Cap One and car loan (at $25 and $121 per month) and throw everything else at Discover. I'm changing my car insurance and hope to cut my bill by about $50 dollars (and save more by paying for six months at a time instead of monthly) and I'm lowering my phone bill by about $20. I've gotten rid of my gym membership and went to a lower adobe subscription, so I've freed up about another $50 a month.
If I'm diligent and just say no to eating out (my true weakness, I've learned), I think I can sock away at least $300 a month to my Discover, for a total of $3,300! This doesn't really take interest into account, I don't want to do the math. Either way, that Discover bill is going to be adios in less than 2 years!
So, for this year, I'm looking to pay off at least $3,300 dollars of debt, not including my mins for my other loans. Here we go! I've already paid what I can for January, so I'll just put 0 for Jan.
Glad to be joining this year. Line 399 Claimed!
Total Debt - $119,053.12
Student Loans - $111,347.91
Auto Loan - $2,041.10
Credit Card Consolidation - $5,478.54
Credit Cards - $7,705.21
My method of payoff is accounting for principal reduction only. Payments toward interest do not count for me. Total planned principal payoff - $16,449.62
This year, I plan to pay off all of the credit card debt, minus about $2k, which is interest free for the life of it (Tempur-pedic). My Amex has $5k on it, whose interest begins accruing in March. I plan to pay off as much as possible here before then, and after until it is paid off. Then I will focus on consolidation loans and another card with $800 on it whose interest period ends in the summer.
I also plan to pay off at least $3.3k of the consolidated cards via minimums. In the best case, I'll be able to pay all $5.4k off, and this is where the bulk of my planning will be focused. As much extra as possible will go here. The fruits of reducing expenses will also go here. If I happen exceed the payoff, it will be saved for emergencies and for vacations.
The auto loan is scheduled to be paid off this year via minimums - $2k.
Paying minimums on the student loans will reduce the balances by $10.2k.
Global minimums account for about $30k of my income. I have to find another $5k-10k on top of that to pay off the credit cards and consolidation loans.
I've gone into this trying to be realistic about expectations, and I'm still not super confident about meeting this goal. But I believe it will challenge us and I hope to grow some good habits this year.
Okay, I'm really trying to be more intentional this year. This will be my first time joining the Smackdown and I hope the community support really helps.
My total debt is over $90k across 6 credit cards, a personal loan, a car loan, and a student loan.
I'd like to pay off all the credit cards (total $10,677) and to pay off my personal loan (total $23,213) this year. That's my reach goal for 2020.
I'm going to be using my bonus after a grueling 2019 to take care of the credit cards first (which should be coming soon) and then focus on the personal loan from there.
I've been in debt my whole life and I'm ready for the freedom not worrying about that will bring finally. Fingers crossed for everyone!
I'd like to pay down $12,000 in credit card debt. Pay off cc#1 of $4,600, cc #2 of $2,400 and the other $6,000 on to my cc#3 which has a balance of about $14,000 right now. I am also working on aging our money (currently at 12 days) and being more cognizant of when I whip out my credit card to pay. Our mortgage is set to renew this year so I am considering an open mortgage so we can slam some money on that next year with no penalty...
New to the Smackdown this year but I REALLY want this year to be THE YEAR that we finally get on the right track! I've been an on-and-off YNABer for a year, but I can never really keep the momentum going from month to month once we run out of money at the end of the month. We've started using a credit repair company because we have a completely messed up credit report & we need the help. I'm hoping that along with that outside help, I can get to paying down the monthly debts that are burdening our budget. What would you all suggest as the best way to start freeing up money?- should I try to lower our monthly payments on things like dr bills & smaller debts to be able to get going on a snowball-paydown, or does anyone have any other great suggestions for a newbie? It just seems like once I cover all our regular monthly bills and payments, we have nothing left to throw at our debt & I feel like we get no-where in our struggle to tackle all of this... so frustrated! But I'm happy to find a non-judgmental support group like this. You all sound like pros!
Total debt is a bit intimidating! $306,482.00 which is comprised of a mortgage, a lot of student loans, auto loan, personal loan for solar panels, and credit card debt from a balance transfer.
The amount I will be smacking down in 2020 is $30,000.00. My student loans are in forbearance pending a dismissal decision but two of them will not be dismissed for sure (different school). Since those are my highest interest debt and they are accruing interest even while I don't have a payment, they are my target. Debt avalanche because it gets me out of debt fastest and I don't want to pay more interest than I have to. I plan to pay the minimums for the car, solar loan, and the credit cards, which I will BT again when the current promo runs out. I have enough existing cards with offers that I don't have to open new ones and the one-time fee is much less than I pay in interest on the student loans. I will continue to make the payment I'm not required to make plus any extra I can find above my immediate obligations and true expenses for the month. I am expecting a tax return, a raise, and a bonus within the next month, so I am sure my numbers will go up!
Joined and claimed a line!
I have about $50k in debt (personal and business -I'm self employed) and I'm determined to knock off at least $15k of my personal debt and not incur further debt. I'm tackling both snowball payments AND true expenses. (Also joined the Bootcamp, so that's given me a kick in the pants as well...)
Nice to have people to "talk" about it with!
Good morning from far Northern California!
My personal credit card debt (in order of payoff):
- Old Navy: $127.03
- OrthoBanc: $200.00
- Capital One: $1,081.39
- Chase: $5,785.53
- CitiBank: $1,800.00
- Total: $8,993.95
My hope is to get all of this paid off in 2020 and then never create any new credit card debt to have to worry about! My immediate plan is to use extra pay from moving jobs to pay off the two smallest amounts and then use tax returns to pay off however much I can on the next two cards. The CitiBank card has a 0% interest rate for 15 months, so that will be the last thing that is paid off. Once the tax return is gone, it will just be a process of budgeting my money and throwing as much as I can every month toward my debt. I am changing jobs next week and I'm not quite sure what my paychecks will look like, so any concrete plans are on hold for now.
Hello! I claimed line 245, and am new to the Debt Smackdown challenge. I have 4 credit cards ($7,602), auto loan ($9,411), student loan ($43,758), and ever increasing daycare bill ($11,125), which currently total about $71,898 according to Undebt.it, holy cow. I use YNAB to track all my spending, however I do know that at the store my impulse spending gets the better of me and I don't always look at how much I am allowed to spend, I just spend what I "need" and then cover it with other funds or the next check (hopefully). I know this is driving me more in debt. My goal this is year is to give myself a tiny bit set aside that I can splurge on what I feel the urge (If I have the money to spend, I'm actually less likely to spend it), and focus on checking my category's balance before entering the store. My work also just announced a career progression path in my department, which will come with pay increases as I work to each next level, so I will work on those at work and submit that additional income to expenses to my debt. I will probably have to use a combination of snowball/avalanche methods. A couple credit cards are pretty low on the balance, however the biggest impact to life is the daycare. If I can't pay that down and pay the month in full (which is an outrageous $1700 a MONTH), then I do not have care for my kids and can't work. Here's to a hopeful year of better finances!
$24,758 In credit card debt. I have a new job! I am planning on picking up 2 extra shifts in the hospital to pay towards the debt. It felt very real typing that as I have been dreaming of all the things I can do with the extra money...But it's not extra money silly!!! Writing it down has shed light on the ugly hair ball truth of my debt! Thanks everyone for the support! I have loved and am inspired by the posts!
January Update - I paid off £100 gbp this month, and I plan to pay off £100 every month with the exception of a lump sum I expect to recieve at some point early this year.
I could have sworn I claimed a line on the sheet already, but I can't find it? Also I noticed it looks like a whole bunch of lines are are missing? Did something happen there?
January Update -
I tossed $803.00 at my debt in January. The total went down from $2,400.00 to $1,597.00. 😄
A greater win is that I have really stemmed the tide of using my credit cards as my primary source of payment. I was always afraid if I used my debit card I would 'run out' of money because I wasn't really aware of when and how all my bills left my account. Now that I am using YNAB I am much more aware of the jobs I have given my dollars and when/why my balance will change. I am also more aware of how much it hurts me to use my CCs as cash flow. I have also switched over some automated monthly payments that were scheduled to be paid with my credit cards to my checking.
I don't have much debt to get rid of things year (I am not counting a family loan that I have scheduled automatic monthly payments towards - I just see that a regular bill) but my goal is to wipe the debt out AND keep it gone for the rest of the year. I will break the cycle!
I have credit card debt, student loans, and auto loan. I've been working on getting my credit card debt down already ~$10k over the last year and a half. My main goal is to pay off my remaining credit card debt by the end of this year, although if I do it right I might be able to get it paid off sooner than December!
I will then use the extra money to pay off my student loans, I'm going to use the debt avalanche method to tackle the highest interest ones first.
- CC: $0/$5,077.61
- Student loans: $0/$61,283.14
- Auto loan: $0/$14,665.20
- Total: $0/$81,025.95
405 - - - - Hey there - looking to pay off $12050.98 this calendar year - includes my car and 2 credit cards - all at 0%. (not including my mortgage). This goal would not erase all of the total debt, but would eliminate 1 credit card and pay off my car 1 month early. It's a little aggressive, but I think it's doable.
- CC 1 - $4000 (goal to pay in full)
- Car - $7090.98 (goal to pay in full)
- CC 2 - $7900 (goal to pay $960)