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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  • NewDawnNewDay said:
    I have printed out visual charts. going to get this snowball rolling and get out of debt.

     Great job! This will help you stay motivated. The problem with consolidating debt, is that it gives you a false sense of security. ...Oh great that MSCD is paid off and I only have X to pay on my HELOC, so then spending happens again...talking from experience. And not embracing your true expenses (debt insurance) gives you many big bills/expenses throughout the year. Being debt-free is the goal! :)

    Like 3
  • Glad to be joining this year! I have been a YNAB user for about 2 years but fell off the wagon last year. I would like to be more aware of my budget (checking it *before* shopping rather than after), and be more aggressive with reducing my debt by trimming down overspending. I am happy that I have 1.5 months of expenses as an emergency fund and am slowly contributing to my True Expenses as well.

    Total Debt - $48 041.77 (student loan, auto loan, 3 credit cards).

    My goal for the year is to pay off my remaining student loan balance - $9920, (part of the reduction will come from a loan forgiveness program because I work in a smaller city)

    Like 3
    • Aquamarine Piano As a fellow student loan tackler, I'm looking forward to seeing you rid yourself of that debt! :)

      Like
  • Checking in with January results. I applied Christmas gift money to my car loan along with the usual monthly payment towards interest and principal for a sizable reduction of $1,687.

    Like 6
    • Keith Borders I love how far under the line January came in at - nicely done! :)

      Like
  • January check in--paid way below goal because of a pay check delayed and lower income due to time off for Christmas.  Planning to put in another payment this week once that check clears!

    Like 4
  • I was on the spreadsheet but I guess I got wiped out by the restore. I can’t get into adding it again because I don’t get onto a computer for this stuff very often and it is fiddly to do on my iPad. 

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    • MXMOM Sorry for the trouble! I'm sure Veronica can get you re-added if you want to message her your numbers. I don't want to miss your update!

      (Or you can post here and any of us can get you aded back!)

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

      MXMOM That would be really tough on an iPad! I'd be happy to help out and get you restored.

      Like 1
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Veronica Faness is it possible to find me on the "overwritten" version? If that is simple, then if you could add me back in and let me know my new line number. 

      Like
      • Veronica
      • Support Manager
      • Veronica_ynab
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      MXMOM I see your line at 120, which is at ID 116! Is that the right one? It looks like you started adding a new one at the bottom, but I can remove the new one if that 116 line looks right!

      Like
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Veronica Thanks yes ID 116 is me! You can delete my new one.  

      Like
  • I'm new to the party and a brand new YNABer. I joined to help control my spending, actually put money towards what I want it to be doing and get out of the consumer debt cycle.

    Opening debt Jan 1/20 - $3,610.86

    Debt payments so far - $1000.00

    Remaining debt - $2,610.86

    My goal is to get this paid off by April so I can put more money towards a vacation in the fall and my car replacement fund!

    Like 5
  • Finally, had the time to sit and look at all CC balances and minimum payments... 😑 I knew the overall... site would not be pretty but I have to take responsibility for my actions. So as of today, I have paid 717.34 towards these debts I hope to increase the debt payments in February.  I want to fund my true expenses while I currently have some extra income coming and then increase the debt payments.   

     

     
     

    Like 4
    • Powder Blue Foal You're close to knocking a few of those off already! :)

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    • Faness Yes! hoping to get rid of the smaller ones early then tackle the rest! 

      Like 1
    • Powder Blue Foal l am late posting for March but finally taking a moment to catch up on somethings today. I was able to paydown 669.28 towards my debt last month. Small steps but YNAB has made some big differences for me since starting. I have been saving along with debt repayment, I am so thankful that I am not currently affected financially with the current crisis. Yet knowing that I have a cushion to fall back on with my savings takes some of the stress. I will continue to make minimum payments towards my debts at this time hoping when this blows over to increase payments.

      Like 4
  • End of January update:

    Credit card consolidation loan

    • Starting balance: $6927.58
    • Current balance: $5712.51

    Used auto loan

    • Starting balance: $18,625.42
    • Current balance: $18,248.26

    We are snowballing our debt payments, so once the consolidation loan is paid off, that payment will go toward the auto loan. And then once that is paid off (next year), we will start applying that payment to my sizeable student loan debt. I did the calculations, and if we keep at this pace, it will all be paid off in 5 years. I'm hoping that with some lifestyle tweaks and pay raises in the meantime, we can come in at 4 years. Great work everyone, keep at it!

    Like 4
  • January update:  paid down $2115 in debt (counting principle only).  That included minimum payments for mortgage, car loan and 401K loan; slightly higher payments for all credit cards, and triple payment on my student loan.  (I am 47 years old and still paying off my graduate degree...I need that loan DONE for my own sanity and self-esteem, especially since I shouldn't even HAVE a loan since I got tuition reimbursement.)

    I've also started truly budgeting in terms of dividing all expenses throughout the year (i.e. quarterly local income taxes, car insurance) rather than panicking when those bills come due.  It makes the month to month look scarier but paints a more realistic and even picture of our financial situation.  

    And, my husband has agreed to regular budget meetings so we can make sure we're on the same page.  I manage all our household expenses, and that's the way we both like it, but it's important for him to truly understand the financial picture.  In the past, I've tried to sugar-coat it for him so he doesn't get stressed (or feel guilty for not making more money) but that doesn't do our relationship any good.

    Like 6
  • In January I paid $2105.74 towards my  debt ($1010 - credit cards, $654.50 -the car, $441.24- student loan)

    Given the debt snowball I will put focus on the student loan debt, I will divert the extra car payment this month towards my student loan and True Expenses. I would also like to find an extra $200 to pay down the student loan this month. My goal February is to pay down at least  $641.24 on my student loan.
     

    Remaining Student Loan - $9 478.76

    Remaining Credit Cards - 16 004.77

    Remaining Car Loan - $20 452.50

    Remaining Total Debt - $45 936.03

    Like 5
    • Aquamarine Piano That's amazing! Are you making minimum payments on your CCs? What are the interest rates? :)

      Like
  • Only $695.77 paid off in January, but hope to gain speed with motivation :)

    Like 4
  • $962 paid off in January. $462 more than I was hoping for!

    Like 5
  • January check-in for me: I just made my regular cc payment at the end of the month; I'd accidentally paid off $1600 in the end of Dec which was more than I could really afford and put me in a weird position. Did great sticking to my budget in January, but didn't really move the needle much on my debt total. I think that was the right choice. 

    Like 5
    • Sparkleworker No one knows your finances like you do. I hope the extra in December put you ahead of where you thought you'd be even now and that things even out soon! :)

      Like 1
    • Faness Thank you! 

      Like 1
  • February Monthly Check In

    Early check in again. But I already paid my debt for the month. Also I had my baby! We are doing well!

    • Credit Card: Paid $400 - Balance $2,300
    • Construction Loan:  Paid $400 - Balance $3,150
    • Medical Loan: Paid $100 - Balance $1,700

    Total paid this month $900.  $1,800 / $8,950 - 20% complete for the year!

    Like 12
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      The Goat Queen 

      ❤️🙂 Congratulations on the new baby.  Wishing you all the best.

      Like
      • xgirlmama
      • Purple_Griffin
      • 9 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      The Goat Queen yay! Congrats on the baby!!!!

      Like 1
    • The Goat Queen Congrats!! 

      Like
    • The Goat Queen Congrats on being so far ahead on the Debt and for the addition to the family. 

      Like
    • The Goat Queen congrats!!!

      Like
    • Things have changed for February. So here is the updated check in.

      February Monthly Check In

      • Credit Card: Paid $2,700 - Balance $0!!
      • Construction Loan:  Paid $400 - Balance $3,150
      • Medical Loan: Paid $100 - Balance $1,700

      Total paid this month $3,200.  $4,100 / $8,950 - 46% complete for the year!

      We ended up getting a monetary gift, and also applied our tax refund towards debt. So today I was able to send in a large lump sum and pay off the CC which we've had for several years. It started at over $15,000 so it is awesome to have no CC debt again!!

      In other news, we also got final numbers from our hospital bill. We will have to get a new 0% interest loan for $7,000... Yuck.

      Like 6
    • The Goat Queen that's a huge win!!!!

      Like
    • The Goat Queen Congratulations on being credit card debt free (and for your new little one!!). February sounds like a month full of new adventures thus far! :)

      Like
  • LINE 344

    Ok, first Forum Post here we go. Bought YNAB back in 2013. Then followed to the nYNAB switch. The thing is, I had never done it for more than 6 months at a time. Then I would rebound and end up worse than I started. Not this time. Already 3 months in and picking up steam. Started a debt payment plan on undebt.it in Jan. Here is my 2020 plan. All number are for starting Jan 1st.

    Total Debt :$51215 Payoff Goal $21025.89 this year.

    The worst part: Credit cards:$27,573 (How did I get here?)

    It stops today (well, a month ago).  The plan is to start with 2 low balance debts ($654 old car loan from parents and $3288 10% interest credit card).  Use the momentum of those two as "wins" to roll the payments onto the remaining credit card debts.  By the end of the year I will have paid off 2 of the 3 credit cards, the debt to my parents from forever ago and start the 3rd credit card.

    Feb 1 update.

    Total paid/Goal: $1414/$21026 =6.7%  just a little behind but I knew that was coming.

    Like 6
    • WhiskeyThief You may be a little behind where you wanted to be, but you're still that much closer to accomplishing your goal! We'll be cheering you on this year! :)

      Like
    • Quick tweak.  I forgot a travel reimbursement from my company for a flight to Korea that got cancelled.  They reimbursed and I paid my card then the Airline ticket got mostly reimbursed.  So one of my cards is artificially low and I owe my company the balance and it gets paid back bit by bit when I have other travel.  The starting balance for that in Nov was $7742.45.  By Jan 01 2020 I got it down to $3971.82 by traveling and putting some back on the card.  So updated numbers:

      Start 2020: $55,187

      Payoff Goal: Let's bump it to $22000 even.

      So as of the end of Jan I have paid $1414/$22000=6.43% but I do have $1000.16 in Travel reimbursement that I was able to cover with cash (not increase debt) that is pending so that is a jump start on Feb!

      Like 2
    • Faness Thanks.  This challenge will be great, although my wife works at a college so Jun-Aug are lean months.  Trying to knock out a good chunk while, for the first time in years, setting aside money to cover a portion of the missing pay.  Working on a few things to increase income, or at least get things reimbursed that I forgot to do (FSA, Pet insurance, etc...).  Plus a little bit of a tax refund should hit this month so (fingers crossed) Feb will be a good month.  The wife is not fighting it, but still working towards "fully on board".  Then we can cruise through it.

      Like 2
    • Ok, Time for the Feb Update.  I feel like this was a better month but I will collect the numbers as I type this, so let's find out together.

      According to Undebt.it I paid a total of $3,417 towards the debt including the travel I was able to cover that decreases the travel reimbursement debt. There was also a payment to finish of a car loan to my parents but we had a small argument and they felt it had already been paid off and my records must be wrong so they sent me that money back. Not a huge amount, but a good argument to lose.

      So total payments were 3417.60.

      Started the month with $53773 of Total Debt.  or $20,586 left for my 2020 goal.

      End of Feb... $51,031 or $17,844 left for my 2020 goal.  That means I paid off $2,742 this month which is 13.32% of my goal.  Much better than the monthly goal of 8.33%.  After two months I should be at 16.66% paid and I am at...calculating... 18.89%! 

      I pulled ahead and it feels good.  Also since January my age of money increased by 2 weeks from 7 days to 21 days and my Net Worth increased by $6,800.  That is huge.  That is only my liquid asset and debt accounts, not affected by a 401K or other investments.  Thanks YNAB.

      Like 4
    • WhiskeyThief Those are some pretty huge accomplishments! And yeah, that's an argument I would prefer to lose, too. Glad it's not in the other direction!

      Like
    • WhiskeyThief  End of Mar Update

      Started with $51031  Paid $2300 bringing the total principal down to $49232.  Total Paid off for Mar is $1799.  Brings me to 27.07% of the way there. and a total of $5,955 paid off so far this year.  Wow, that feels pretty good.

      Not sure how this coming month is going to be.  Mar was tough with a lot of extra grocery and home entertainment.  Possible 2 week furlough coming up so who knows.  But with YNAB I know I can survive a lot longer that without it.

      Like 4
    • WhiskeyThief It also just dawned on me what your user name is. :)

      Like 1
    • farfromtheusual Typically only check in around the turn of the month.  This comment just made me smile.  It is a little play on words, as I am one, and my dream job would be using one.  :)

      Like 1
    • WhiskeyThief I love it!! The newsletter and "VIP Club" for Sagamore Rye Whiskey is called the Whiskey Theif :)

      Like
    • farfromtheusual I love Sagamore.  Did a tasting back on Feb 29th at an event with Brian Treacy of 8 different expressions. May have even sampled a little penny. ;) 

      Have a Sagamore Reserve Double Oak and a Barrel select blend that is amazing (Awry 421 - Quad Batch).  I love what they are doing both themselves and within the industry.  Some of my favorite Rye.

      Thanks to you, I just signed up as a Whiskey Thief.

      Like 1
    • WhiskeyThief awesome :) Glad to share!! I went and did a tasting at the distillery last year on Fathers day with the BF's dad and family. Their whiskey is a bit strong for me (the BF and his brothers finished my tasting!) but I enjoyed the tour and everything. And I agree, I like what they are doing as a company, and for Baltimore. Of course, it's all Kevin Plank's genius, and he's got the money to do it.

      Like
    • WhiskeyThief Student loan payment was processed today so it must be that time again.  End of April Update.  This has been a strange month for all.  Groceries are through the roof, but eating out is $0 for the month.  Other expenses are a bit out of whack trying to keep the kids entertained and educated.  But between some lower expenses, and the stimulus payment that came through we made a good dent this month.

      Start of April Total Debt: $49,232

      Total Payments : $3,398 (WHAT!)

      Total Principal paid: $2,942. - what I am tracking in the spreadsheet!

      End of April Total :$46,289

      That means I have paid 40.44% of my goal for the year.  This is big.

      So glad I made it this far and look to maintain the momentum through the summer when my wife doesn't get paid (works for a university).  Thanks to YNAB, this is the first time we have actually put money aside to use as replacement income during the summer, it's not the full amount, but better than the $9K in debt we added last year when we didn't pay attention.  Probably lower expenses this summer too. 

      BIG NEWS: Paid of my lowest balance credit card this month.  I needed that mental boost, that card (Credit Union) was at 10% and has dropped to 8.5%.  So I did the responsible thing and maxed out the card transferring $5,000 from a 24.5% interest rate card.  I will now focus on the high rate cards but really needed that emotional win.  The next card should be done by the end of summer then on to the BIG ($15K) card.  We can all do it though.  If I make my goal, the $15 K card will be down almost $10K.  That has had a balance on it since I got engaged to my wife (ring) in 2003.  That will be the biggest win I can have.  Think of all the interest that has been wasted in 17 years of carrying some sort of balance between $1K and $18K. But it ends now.

      Take care everyone.  Good luck and let YNAB help you if you are going through rough times.

      Like 3
    • WhiskeyThief WOW! That's HUGE!! Way to go!!
      The mental wins are the best ones, I find. It is amazing how much of a boost they give you in keeping up the momentum and continuing to take big steps!

      And congrats on having the income replacement available. That's also a big win. When I started making some small adjustments for things like that that happen in my life it was huge as well. It feels SO good to know it's all covered!

      Like
    • WhiskeyThief It's been a little while.  I'm not surprised I didn't update as I knew I wasn't doing as good as I had before, but I just updated all the numbers and must say I am more than happy.  My wife works at a university and only gets paid 9 months out of the year.  Since I restarted YNAB in Sept we have gotten expenses down to being able to "barely" live within our means on my salary which enabled us to have this loft goal of $22,000 in principal paid off in 2020.  I also was smart and started putting away $ to help even out the summer month.  For reference, I am here because last summer we didn't track anything and suddenly at the end of Oct '19 I realized we added $10K in debt with nearly nothing to show for it.

      We were able to put away $4K in "Summer Float Money" and $1,400 for vacation funds to use for camping trips and eating out.  With the way 2020 has gone, I am so glad we did this.  With the cancelled vacation and reduced eating out, we really lived within our means and the $3000 emergency electrical work we needed done (water coming in the main and flooding the panel!) we were able to pay in cash!  That felt so good.  Out of the $5,400 total we saved, we still have about $900 left for small summer fun and seeding next years vacation savings.

      On to the good stuff.  I knew the summer would be leaner on debt payoff and I just finished calculating what I actually paid in principal over the last 3 months I skipped updating.  Without further ado here are the numbers (Principal paid, % of years goal($22K) paid to date)

      May: $1,345, 46.56%

      June: $1,143, 51.75%

      July(the month with $3000 in unplanned expenses): $878.06, 55.74%

      So, I am still pretty well on track and we start to get some additional income again starting at the end of Aug!  Pretty excited.  I should be a little over 58% complete by now, but I am well above what I expected, especially with the $3K surprise expense.  Not going to complain about being over $12,000 in less debt.  Especially with over $7,000 of that being in debt with over 20% interest.

      Like 5
    • WhiskeyThief Congrats, those are some really big wins. In the past years I had gotten sucked into the not keeping track thing because I felt bad about my progress, and that is a big trap. SO glad that you've come out of it with some big wins, which will help encourage continued tracking!

      Like
    • WhiskeyThief Back on track with tracking and everything.  Paid off $1,414 of principal this month. Pretty happy with that and I am at 62.17% of my goal.

      Still a bit below the trend of wanting to be at 66.67% but I am in the ball park.  My wife's seasonal salary also kicked back in last week so the next few months should be pretty good.  Feeling optimistic about reaching my goal!  Every month I feel a little more liberated as the debt disappears.

      Like 5
    • WhiskeyThief WAHOO! That's all good news!!

      Like
    • WhiskeyThief  Here is the update.

      Looks like I missed last month.  Paid $1863 in principal in Sept and reached 70.64% of my goal.

      Paid off $1353 in principal this month.  Part of that was I finally paid off a Credit Card with ~25% interest!  I have paid a total of $16,893 in principal so far this year.  That is AWESOME!  Not quite at the goal, but that goal, while possible at the time, was a tough goal.  But even if I don't make it, this journey has shown me what is possible with a little planning.  AND, I know start paying off the big one.  A Discover card with near 25% interest and a balance around $15K.  I have carried a balance on this since buying an engagement ring in 2003.  It has also gone up over the years for really no good reason, but, given what I have done this year, by the end of next summer, I should be done with it.  I'll never regret buying the ring, and we are still married.  I do regret not paying it off as it would have been so much easier to just limit my lifestyle before kids, but we learn in our own time. 

      So, I am at 76.79% of my goal for the year.  Lets see how close I can get.  I am buying a car next week. A reliable used car from my parents with fairly low miles for only $5K.  Paying half cash and "borrowing" the rest through Jan. So my debt will increase some but the car is a necessity and I am being responsible about it.  Probably should have save more and paid off less debt, but I couldn't resist paying off more on the cards and swapping it with a short term interest free loan.

      Like 3
    • WhiskeyThief All good stuff!! The car is a necessity, and it's great that the loan from your family can help spread things out a bit. I think we all need a leg up now and then.

      Like
  • Feb: so bad news, I lost $100 a month, that's $1200 gone. Also, my car insurance has gone up by 200$. Super sucks, so, I'm going to have to re-jig everything, plus need to find more income this year. Going to do the one thing I avoided, I'm going to have to get a part time job. With my health this is def not a good thing :(

    Like 2
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      ISuckatMaths that's too bad. Hopefully you can find something that pays you well for your skills.  And don't even get me started about car insurance!

      Like
    • ISuckatMaths Aw man :( I know how it is doing work beyond the hours you can manage physically. I hope you can build in some rest time and good strategies for coping with what needs doing around the house to keep you fed and sheltered and warm.

      Like
    • ISuckatMaths Anyway you can negotiate a lower price for your insurance, or look into a competitor? That's quite the rate hike. 

      I'm hoping you find a part time job that's flexible, works for you and that you enjoy! :)

      Like
      • ISuckatMaths
      • Where Budget and Math collide
      • ISuckatMaths
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      MXMOM uggg, I've had the worst luck with car insurance. I didn't know that if you're without insurance for more than 2 years, the consider you an 18 yr old. So when I moved back from living abroad, my years didn't count. So I've been paying like I'm 18. The worst is that every year my star rating goes up, but my insurance isn't going down. Sooo frustrating.

      Like
      • ISuckatMaths
      • Where Budget and Math collide
      • ISuckatMaths
      • 9 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      WairereRose aww thanks. I might have found a pt job, that might actually help me do well in my current role. So, I'm bitting the bullet and planning to apply for the job. Aggg.

      Like 1
      • ISuckatMaths
      • Where Budget and Math collide
      • ISuckatMaths
      • 9 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness thanks, I hate working haha. Yah that's what I'm doing now. Going through the insurance rounds. But with all the disasters insurance companies keep on increasing rates, so they keep on saying. I'm sure they are still making lots of money🤨

      Like 1
  • Line 345

    I've been on YNAB since 2015.  I've made tremendous progress, but still miles to go...trying to lose that debt once and for all!  Not tackling mortgage this year, focusing on credit cards and whittling away a Parent Plus Loan to set it up for final payment next year.  Also funding my emergency fund and building up a (small but present) buffer fund. One thing I am proud of is that last year I decreased spending by $35,000 from previous year and $48,000 from 2015, my first year tracked in YNAB.  Going for less spending again this year....I'm ready!

     

    Goal is to pay off all the following, and $11,000 of the Parent Plus Loan.

    Total Debt to pay:                         $32,556.79

    1) Overages 2019 (Buffer unfunded)   $4324.79      ;/   

    2) Credit Card #1                           $5800.00 (0% interest-pay off before accrues)

    3) Credit Card #2                           $900.00 (0% interest-pay off before accrues)       plus $1800.00 that has 22.24% interest-yikes that's high!)

    4) Credit Card #3                           $3900.00 (0% interest-pay off before accrues)

    5) Loan for work on home        $4342.00 (0% interest 6 months)

    6) Care Credit (Vet)                     $490.00 (0% interest)

    7) Parent Plus Loan                     $19,300 owed (7% interest), pay $11,000 2020  -I've always paid the interest on this loan since taking it out, trying to knock out more principle now

    *Total Debt Smacked DOWN in January $3275.00 

    Like 7
    • Sweet Tangerine Those are some great goals!  You have some great interest rates combined with the spending decreases, you should be able to knock this out.  How great would it feel to end 2020 with just 8-9000 left on the Parent Plus Loan.  So many bills you wouldn't have to worry about.

      How did you decrease your spending that much last year? $35K!  Sounds like the makings of an impressive blog post.

      Like 1
    • WhiskeyThief It will feel great to end 2020 with that much lower debt!!  Woo hoo!  As far as the decreased spending, I just couldn't believe that I spent what I did (overall numbers), basically what was coming in was going back out.  I live a very modest life, and pretty much always have (to be fair, much of my spending has been tuition for 2 college kids which is by my choice...I take care of undergrad, they will pay for graduate degrees).  But still....I wanted to control the other stuff more.  I just became more intentional.  I cleaned out tons of stuff in my home (did a lot of simplifying, minimalism) and sold items.  I put that money towards debt or saving, not more spending.  I didn't overdo eating out, I used up stuff in my pantry before going to the store again, I consolidated errands to use less gas, and got rid of excess things I wasn't using (cable tv!).  I gave mostly handmade gifts for Christmas, and didn't spend near as much on that this past year.  Even with a trip to Europe to visit my daughter studying abroad (16 days!), I still spent that much less (did some solid travel hacking to get cheap flights, free accommodations, etc.).  I was really good about not using anything that wasn't already set aside in YNAB, but my company decided to defer our PTO pay-out this year (typical Clark Griswold scene where our bonus that usually comes right before Christmas got deferred to 2020 in straight up "jelly of the month club" style, ha ha!).  Sigh.  So...this is why I had an "overages" category.  I know I know I should never ever ever count on something like that...still, it had been paid at Christmas the last 15 years!  Lesson learned.  Ha ha!!  

      My goal is to spend another $5000-$10,000 less in 2020 than 2019.  And smack that debt down.  And another year of maxing out 401K ;) Thanks so much for the words of encouragement!!  

      Like 5
    • Sweet Tangerine Those are great budgeting steps you are taking. Keep going! And put a few celebratory treats in there for you when you hit a milestone to keep you motivated otherwise the tight budget won't be sustainable. :)

      Like
    • Purple Foal great idea!!  Thanks for the tip!!  ;)

      Like
    • Sweet Tangerine I must say, this is so encouraging.  That is an amazing shift of funds in just a year.  I need to take a hard look at all the usual bills.  We probably wouldn't miss cable anymore, could possibly save on cell phones, that is great.  I do agree a bit with Purple Foal though.  You are trending down into the real austerity area.  Create a small category with a big impact.  Something you want but think you shouldn't get.  A couple hundred can seem like a big splurge, but if it keeps you saving $10K...seems pretty good.  The PTO pay out kinda stinks but from my end, the Christmas Vacation reference was gold.

      Like 3
    • WhiskeyThief Glad you liked the Christmas Vacation reference...ha ha!  What was truly funny was mine and co-workers back and forth memes about it "Why of all the cheap lousy ways to save a buck!" ;)

      Agree, I likely need to add some small happies/splurges in there as reward.  I do plan to contribute a bit to my travel/AirBNB category for a few weekend trips.  But I want to add milestones too so that when I hit them, I feel motivated to keep going.  My debt smack-down includes a yearly Bonus and that (deferred) PTO pay-out, so not all coming out of my paychecks!  Also, I should say that last year I did not remotely feel deprived...I felt just normal, like everyone else around me were the weird ones, spending so much dang money ;)  

      A huge motivation for me is having that Parent Plus Loan paid off before my daughter's graduation in May 2021...I just can visualize it being a REAL celebration (for her and for me!) being paid before it ever officially goes into repayment!  And that will be the true reward!!  Thanks again!  It does take a village!! 

      Like 1
  • My hubby had a total knee replacement last week.  This week will be our first without his regular pay check.   I received a raise and bonus from my job in January so we have beefed up our emergency fund.   We are in full blown BUDGET LOCK DOWN mode so debt pay off progress is only our typical amortization.  Fortunately hubby is doing good so far and thanks to YNAB we are not only a month ahead, but fully funded to meet our true expenses and ready to weather this storm!

    Final numbers for February  2020

    Starting balance end of January                           Ending balance after Feb pymts

    $61,712.47                1st Mortgage                         $61,193.94

    $12,663.91               2nd Mortgage                        $12,449.95

    $74,376.38                                                                       $73,643.89

    Total debt paid down in February $732.49, total for 2020 $1,460.07 (7.64% of goal).

    Like 6
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 9 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Whiskey Mama 

      Like 3
    • MXMOM so true!  haha

      Like
    • Whiskey Mama Wishing you a quick end to your lockdown (and an even quicker recovery for your husband)! :)

      Like 1
    • Faness thank you! :)

      Like 1
  • So I guess this is technically my January check-in.  I thought I was going to wait until mid-February to see all of my January statements (my way of determining my debt reduction is to plug all of the numbers into a spreadsheet and seeing how the month falls out).  But I guess I'll use the December payments/January statements as my starting point.

     

    So, my overall debt fell $351.29 in January.  My credit card debt went down $380.33.  The reason the overall didn't go down by more is that an annual interest charge came due on one of my insurance loans.  And no snowball payment this month, as we did a budget reset and are still getting back on track budget-wise, getting a month ahead funded.  But I will be able to make a snowball payment this month, so it should start going down now.  No word yet on the potential child support windfall...

    Like 4
  • January check in - started the challenge late January and did my starting amounts as of the day I started instead of beginning of January so I only used $400 as my paydown in January.  Updated my total debt paydown to include the normal payments as well as extra I will be putting on my debts for the next 11 months.  Planning on just over $25,000 this year which will pay off my husband's tax bill and two credit cards plus almost another credit card.  Using a self-made snowball spreadsheet - quite eye opening to see how much you can really kill if you can put a bit extra each month on something and then roll it forward.  Should be debt free (not incl mortgage) in about 2 years!  Pretty exciting.

    Like 6
  • Hi Everyone, 

    I'm new to YNAB and trying to use all the features and support possible. Between my partner and I we have racked up $32,000 CAD. Mainly on our line of credit but  about $5000 on a credit card. There are various reasons that we've racked up this debt, medical leave from work, career changes and training blah blah blah. Whatever. I'm here to whack this debt out of our lives while also saving a robust emergency fund for future catastrophes. The only snag that is holding us up from focussing entirely on our debt is that before we really started getting serious about debt repayment we commited to getting married in the fall (people coming from all over the world - the whole bit). BUT we are commited to have this wedding without adding to the debt we already have. So all that to say that the plan for this year is to get rid of the credit card debt, pay for the wedding upfront (my parents are helping) and then start working on the line of credit next year. I've claimed line 353 on the sheet and I'm looking forward to being a part of this community!

    Like 6
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 9 mths ago
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      Spring Green Cobra congratulations! I recommend that you do a separate category group called Wedding and start breaking things down into tiny details. A line and a spend by date goal for each thing. Using a spend by date goal will let you start paying things at the same time that you save. So if you have to pay the caterer a deposit but you haven't funded the whole cost yet, this type of goal lets you do that. 

      I am posting an example of what I mean by showing you my Germany trip category group.  This started as a single category in the wish farm. When we decided to go, I created a category group and started breaking it all down.  Also, any inflow (eg. if your parents give you money), you can have a separate category you use to track that and then as things come up or details are locked down, you can move money from the inflow line to the detailed line.  What I like by doing this is that I can click on the whole category group and see where I am at (see the 2nd image) .  This quickly tells me how much I need to budget this month to stay on track. The amount in my 2nd image is misleading because I haven't reallocated the inflow (net pay contributions) to categories yet.  But this should give you the idea. 

      I would see categories under wedding like dress, limo, flowers, etc. and each should have a goal. 

      Like 2
      • Stephy T
      • StephyT
      • 9 mths ago
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      • Reported - view

      MXMOM thanks for that tip! I hadn’t really thought about breaking up the wedding category - newbie mistake. I will do that for sure! 

      Like 2
      • Orange Sun
      • Orange_Sun.8
      • 9 mths ago
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      • Reported - view

      MXMOM Really good idea!  Using this for the next trip I plan.  I always get caught out by committing to one part of the trip and then not having budgeted properly for the rest (part of the reason I have the credit card debt I do!)  Did pay cash for my trip last year for the first time, but it was a close run thing.  This would be really helpful for next time.

      Like 2
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 9 mths ago
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      • Reported - view

      MXMOM Nice! I started doing this for my trips too and you can really see how things add up. I make a master budget line at the top too for the total money and then move it to lines as needed. I did this for Xmas by person. I had a master total and then all the people were a part of the whole. :)

      Like 1
  • I bought my debt down in January from $5168 to $4777, which is $141 more than I budgeted, yay!

    Like 9
  • February Check In

    Credit Card: $3,601.56 - $1,201.56 = $2,400 (0% interest)

    Auto Loan: $3,837.08 - $100 = $3,759 (adjusted w/ interest)

    Total: $6,159  

    Like 4
  • Gah! does anyone else get frustrated waiting for the CC statement? (Never thought I'd be saying that)...

    Debt payoff money is allocated in YNAB, Statement date is today but because their system hasn't refreshed I can't actually pay it. If I paid it now, I'd have to pay it again as it wouldn't register against February's statement.

    Like 4
    • Turquoise Major I sometimes have the same issue #YNABProblems, although, make sure your Feb minimum payment you keep (you should be able to estimate this) or a set monthly payment.  Then you can pay any extra, if that is what you are targeting, whenever you want.  They calculate your interest every day so paying early helps.  This assumes you CC allows multiple payments in a month.  

      Like 3
    • WhiskeyThief Thanks - yes it's definitely a #YNABProblem! This particular card is the only one not set up on a direct debit, but YNAB has kept me straight in terms of making sure I've budgeted for it.

      As it's not on Direct Debit, I want to get this one paid the moment the bill comes to ensure for my own peace of mind I've paid it.

      Now 11 days to wait until the next one is collected by Direct Debit (and I can make an overpayment)

      Like 1
  • February goals:  planning to put $750 to debt this month and $100 into savings as I have no emergency fund currently.  I will restart my freezer/pantry challenge as I failed miserably last month and spent over $900 on groceries, I plan to keep groceries to $400 this month.  In other news, I checked my credit score through my bank and it's up to 852!  

    Like 4
    • GroceryAddict You have two boys and a grocery goal of $400? Woohoo! I have two very young ones + a husband and we're at $800. I don't think we could go much lower, and as the boys grow up I expect them to eat a lot more! There goes my budget *grumble grumble*. 

      Like 1
      • GroceryAddict
      • RN Mom 2 Boys
      • groceryaddict
      • 9 mths ago
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      Yellow Pufferfish  no - not normally.  But I spent almost a grand last month in groceries for me and my 2 sons who are at their dads 50% of the time. I need to work on eating the food we have in the pantry and feel freeze so am trying to really limit myself this month. 

      Like 2
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 9 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Yellow Pufferfish @groceryaddict

      I have been doing the grocery challenge too. I have 2 boys, 15 & 12, half the time and my budget for January was $350 and I came in at $275. I have been eating healthy meals from scratch. Not buying processed/ready made foods is key. I also use an app called Flashfood, for the Real Canadian Superstore, which lets me buy clearance foods which I stock my freezer with. I pricematch all the time now with the app FLIPP.  I have been stretching meat with beans (well soaked/cooked) and I make muffins etc. I heard that a food budget should be $100/pp/month, so I made it $350. In the past few months I was averaging $400 and stocking up my freezer & pantry. Cooking real food is way cheaper. No food waste. I have started an anti-inflammation eating plan too which is real food, but selective. And do I need to buy all the food suggested in the menus? Nope. I'll buy/eat what fits my budget. 

      Check out these suggestions to save money and read the comments too:

      https://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/01/18/our-complete-guide-to-frugal-healthy-eating/

      Like 2
      • GroceryAddict
      • RN Mom 2 Boys
      • groceryaddict
      • 9 mths ago
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      Purple Foal Thanks for the suggestions.  I have tried Flipp before and don't find it saves me much money because the food I eat doesn't tend to be on sale a lot.  I rarely eat meat, and we eat a ton of fruit/veggies.  I do cook almost always, I always bring my food to work, still I manage to go over my grocery budget every month.  I can't say I don't know why though - it's because I shop at Costco!  Too many temptations!  I have a ton of food in my house right now so going to see how long I can go before getting groceries again. I'll keep ya posted!

      Like 1
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      GroceryAddict you can price match produce too!  I didn't realize that for a while using Flipp and then I saved almost half on grapes. We price match EVERYTHING!

      Like
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 9 mths ago
      • 1
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      MXMOM yes price match everything! You never know! And once you know the sale prices & stock up prices, it makes a difference. Doing an inventory of what you have and what you can make is key. Just like clothing, shop your closet instead of always buying new things. Try to eat everything you have and look up recipes for items you have you don't want to eat. (Costco size bag of frozen broccoli. Can't stand it. Must've bought for when my Mom was over. lol)

      Like 1
      • GroceryAddict
      • RN Mom 2 Boys
      • groceryaddict
      • 9 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      MXMOM Yeah I do know this - but I just haven't enjoyed shopping at Superstore or Walmart.  I think it's a quality thing for me - and now I would miss the things I always buy at Costco.  I just need to better meal plan and stick to my list. 

      Like 2
    • GroceryAddict I know, I don't enjoy Superstore either. Actually prefer No Frills and they do price match at a lot of stores. But regardless, meal planning will help you & look for cheaper meals for awhile. :)

      Like
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