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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  • YNAB has opened my eyes to what I'm REALLY paying on debt. I'm almost ashamed to share the number, but I figured I'm probably not the only one out there. I am paying almost $700 per month to credit cards and loans. I'm still paying on groceries from 4 years ago...😱 

    I've been trying to change the way I look at credit cards and loans. I went on vacation to Florida on my first credit card when I was 22. I always looked at credit cards as "extra money" and not seeing the real cost of maxing out credit cards on take out, shopping and more vacations 🤦‍♀️. 

    I know it's going to take a while, but I'm determined to pay off my credit cards once and for all!

    Like 10
      • Violet Drill
      • Violet_Drill_0bf6fcf19d
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Dawn D I have definitely been there (and, um, beyond- there was a point where my monthly credit card payments were 4 figures). I'm now on the other side of things, with no more credit card debt, and it feels amazing. You can do it!!

      Like 1
      • Dawn D
      • Ivory_Router_a5b227f927
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Violet Drill Thanks! I'm glad that I'm realizing this before I hit 4 figure payments. I was definitely heading in that direction. 

      Like 2
    • Dawn D You can do it! Laying things out really makes a difference. No shame or guilt needed. Easier to say than do, I know. Now you're creating a plan with your budget to move forward and pay it down!

      Like 2
      • Dawn D
      • Ivory_Router_a5b227f927
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Nicole Thanks! I just watched one of YNAB's YouTube videos and realized I haven't used Ynab correctly, like the abuse of rule 3...

      Like
    • Dawn D Was it this video? Hannah is the best. 😂 I like using the mobile app to check my categories and find the money first!

      Like 1
      • Dawn D
      • Ivory_Router_a5b227f927
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Nicole yes it was! I've been using YNAB for over 2 years and I was using it as an ideal budget instead of real numbers. 

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

      Nicole WOW!  Just watched that video.  I am learning SO much from this forum.  Thanks everyone!!!

      Like 1
  • GroceryAddict said:
    sometimes I just really need a break from being the one who plans and organizes everything.  

     Hugs to you!  And I am right there with you on the lack of vacations. Last night my husband was on the phone with someone from work and said "oh, are they back from Mexico yet". Ya, I wish.  Even the big expensive (to me) Germany trip isn't all a vacation per se. It is partially obligatory family functions that my mom can't go to so I am going so she doesn't feel too guilty.  Yes, it will be fun (I hope) because hubby has never been. But in my perfect vacation world, this trip is not my perfect vacation. That's why I made sure to tag on the side trip to Malaga to ride the horses in the ocean. Going there by myself, no husband. Might just be the best part of the whole trip.

    Like 6
    • MXMOM I know you said this isn't your perfect vacation, but riding horses in the ocean in Malaga is definitely perfect vacation-esque. I hope you have an amazing time and that you can start planning your perfect vacation for the future!

      Like 3
  • Dawn D said:
    I went on vacation to Florida on my first credit card when I was 22

     I often joke that we are still (at age 54) paying for our Florida trip when we around that age. We consolidated and transferred so many things I swear its still in there.

    Like 4
      • Dawn D
      • Ivory_Router_a5b227f927
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      MXMOM it's an eye opener when you realize it. Unfortunately I lost my job and started skipping payments. It took me about 5 or 6 years to pay that card off.

      Like 2
  • Whoah! I had no idea that YNAB challenges (or even a YNAB forum) existed! Totally joining, if a bit late. Let me go get my numbers...

    Like 4
    • Steel Blue Inspector It's never too late to join in! 

      Like 1
  • Total debt (as of Jan1):

    403b loan: $7594

    Student loans: $13,226

    Zero-interest loan from family member: $14,760

    Mortgage: $218,208

     

    2020 paydown goal: $20,000

    Like 6
  • Hey all! I tried this in 2018, but as I was paying off debts with one hand, the other was using my credit card like it was monopoly money. So this year I'm being more modest, with the goal of paying down some debts, but mostly learning to live within my budget.  That said, they're big debts, with big monthly payments, so I should make some good progress. 

    • Total debt: $116,605 (mix of student loans, personal loans, car loan, and credit cards...bad stuff) 
    • Goal pay down: $48,000

    I'm excited to join this challenge, and do have one question:  

    Which loan should I tackle first? 

    • Car loan: I'd like to pay off my car loan first, since it's the one that would make me feel the best, but it also has one of the lowest interest rates, and the final payment is in Dec anyway. But it would free up a good chunk to throw at something else. 
    • Credit card: Avalanche says I should tackle a credit card, it's just so big that if feels daunting. But also, that interest number that I see every month is terrible!
    • Student loan: Snowball says to tackle my tiny student loans first, but I've also made my peace with them and they don't hang over me like some of the others
    Like 6
    • June2022 a combination of what makes you feel the best and what is most practical are the best places to start. If you can knock out the car loan faster than Dec, you'll probably save a little bit on interest, and you'll be able to snowball that amount to your bigger debts faster. undebt.it is a great place to start and experiment with different options to see what saves you the most money, and while you're playing with it you can tune in to what makes you feel the best along the way, which I have come to learn is critical for success. So don't go with what the "experts" say just because they say it. If that advice makes you feel terrible along the way you won't be successful.
      And welcome to the party!

      Like 5
      • Cyan Yeti
      • Cyan_Yeti.6
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual after reading this, I went undebt.it and plugged in 6 credit cards. When I ran all the "plans" I decided on debt/ratio. Undebt.it made everything so clear! I had only planned to focus on 4 credit cards but now I think I will add the other 2. (Plus the planned pay down of my truck and a LARGE overdue bill from last month) I hope I'm not biting off more than I can chew???

      Like 2
    • Cyan Yeti if you are, then you can always adjust course and recorrect. That's part of learning to navigate things, it's never really static. Tools like undebt.it will help you see the bigger picture of what option will have the most impact for you so you can feel successful the fastest.

      Good luck!

      Like 2
  • Steel Blue Inspector said:
    (or even a YNAB forum)

     And now you have fallen in the rabbit hole! Welcome.

    Like 4
  • January brought some activities not totally conducive to debt payoff. New nephew (family visit out of town), Business trip (to which I tacked on another visit to another new nephew) and a previously scheduled music festival in Florida. Though vacations are not part of the debt-paydown lyfe, I managed to do them affordably (i.e., not on credit). 


    In good news I payed over $2k to my debt, refinanced my mortgage (which should save 400 a month) and brought my dining out spending to 25% of its usual levels. 

    I also had a forehead-smack moment when I noticed that if I budgeted by average spend I overshot my income.  I have now set budget levels that correspond to my actual income so I can avoid the credit card float. I also realized that the realistic extra I can devote to debt is way less than I thought if I fund true expenses first.

    February is looking great, I'll be home more so I can actually cook. I already got my tax refund and I should also get a refund of my escrow amount (that I had to pay in the refi). I also don't need to pay my mortgage this month (though I had already paid 1/2). This means I can fully fund my true expenses, get ahead a bit and payoff at least one debt in full (of 4). Yay YNAB.

    Like 9
    • Tomato Barnacle I know you said January wasn't the best month for paying off debt, but it sounds like February is making up for it - great job getting those ducks in order this month! 

      And congratulations on your new nephews! :)

      Like
    • Tomato Barnacle awesome way to restructure and get clarity at the same time. Those little realizations make a big difference between success and staying stuck. Way to go.

      Like
  • Checking in.  February is looking up...I'm cautiously optimistic that things are turning around and our horrendous last few months has really helped me make some changes that I hope will be lasting in how we spend on food, entertainment, and commuting! We've saved over $300 since January 15 in our month-over-month gas/transportation categories, with an unplanned maintenance expense! Here's to a grand year of self-employment!

    Like 5
    • Slate Blue Vacuum Saving money when faced with unexpected expenses and a slew of rough months is a feat to be proud of! I'm rooting for your self-employed ventures! :)

      Like 2
    • Slate Blue Vacuum Congrats of the year of self employment! It comes with it's own unique challenges, but I wouldn't trade it for the world!

      Like 2
      • Slate Blue Vacuum
      • Trying to ignore the Joneses
      • Slate_Blue_Vacuum.5
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual Thanks! This is the end of year 8 for DH in self-employment/entrepreneurship. Hoping this year will be the big one!

      Like 1
    • Slate Blue Vacuum people have no idea how long it takes to really make headway as an entrepreneur! Kudos to yall for sticking it out!

      Like
      • Slate Blue Vacuum
      • Trying to ignore the Joneses
      • Slate_Blue_Vacuum.5
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual Thanks. It’s great until it’s not. When it’s not it’s REALLY not.

      Like 2
    • Slate Blue Vacuum Yeah, I feel your pain!!

      Like
  • WELL. I kind of forgot that January was a three mortgage-payment month for me, so I'm disappointed that I'm currently sitting in my overdraft. However, after feeling kind of lost and like I wasn't possibly going to succeed in this challenge, I built out a few months worth of budget tracking and feel much better. 
    I know I need to be diligent in not spending, and not eating out, those are my two financial downfalls. As long as I do that, I should be A-Ok. 

    Like 4
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Lavender Jackal Have you set up the mortgage payments as scheduled transactions in YNAB? That way it shows you when you are underbudgeted for upcoming commitments.

      Like
    • Lavender Jackal Doh. It's still early on in the challenge, and there is plenty of time to turn it around! Since MXMOM mentioned Scheduled Transactions, here's a link. That way you'll see an alert if there is an upcoming transaction that hasn't been budgeted for. Let me know if you have any questions!

      Like
  • Mine’s just a collection of small debts that I vehemently want to be rid of so I can start tackling bigger goals:

    Debt from a summer trip: $2,774.90

    Excited to be a little part of this big thing!

    Like 8
    • Lionel Vehemently is a great way to tackle those debts - big or small! I'm happy you're joining us! :)

      Like
  • I owe on a mortgage and student loans. I'm hoping to pay off my student loan debt by the end of the year, so I can start tackling the mortgage next year. 
    Total to Blast in 2020: $9967.75 
    🎉🎉🎉

    Like 4
  • Line 364 claimed.  We have 4 CC's, Debt Consolidation Loan, & Auto Loan.  We're glad to be knocking that down by $12,000 in 2020 (after years of it only ever going up!).  This Challenge is just what we needed to figure out how to better prioritize debt elimination as we get rolling on our YNAB journey!

    Like 5
    • Yes, it's fantastic motivation! Welcome to YNAB, and the challenge, Team AOAL 2020 . 🎉

      Like
  • Hello, I would love to payoff $50,000  on my $118,000 student Loan.  Here is my plan: 

    1. $3,100/ mo x 12 mo= $30,000 (principal)

    2. Portion of 3 extra paychecks in 2020= $10,000

    3. Income tax return= $10,000

    Target: $50,000

    Like 4
      • HappyDance
      • YNABing consistently since 2014
      • HappyDance
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Sky Blue Wizard 

      Big goals but a straight trajectory.  Cheering you on.

      Like
  • Just paid minimum payment on outstanding debt 621.83. With the remodel still in full swing, this is the max I can bear this month, but it is still progress! 🙂

    Like 4
    • Powder Blue Sound Some months are like that! What are you remodeling? We're hoping to start that process next year. 🤞

      Like
  • February check in

    I've not had the best of times lately. Some not awesome mental health feelings that trickle into everything. All that to say I didn't have as much this month to put toward my snowball, but still way more than the minimum. So hooray for that, at least. Hopefully next month will be better. :)

    Balance from last month: $3543.00
    Paid down this month: $250.00
    New balance: $3293.00
    Debt Smackdown Totals: $3293.00/$3885.24 = 15.24%

    Like 5
      • GroceryAddict
      • RN Mom 2 Boys
      • groceryaddict
      • 5 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Orchid Display Every bit counts!!  Take care of your self 🤗

      Like
    • Orchid Display I hear you on the mental health. My strategy has been to try to find smaller (cost) things that meet that need to be out there buying something. Also, I talk to myself while I'm driving - encourage myself - "You just need to drive past this ONE store, you can do this, and then there are no more stores to catch you on the way home". Sometimes there is more than one store still to pass, that's a little trickier. I can adjust my route sometimes, or do a store countdown with that 'you can do this' refrain. Hang in there. As your goals get closer to becoming reality your motivation surges more often and it gets a little easier. Remember not to beat yourself up when you slip - that just makes the guilt buying worse and it's a downward spiral. Reassure yourself that you only spent x instead of the usual y or more, and you're still closer to getting out of this hole than you would have been if you hadn't made any changes at all.

      Like 3
  • Expecting a tax refund of $4100.  If I did it right and get this amount expected I will fund a $1000 emergency account and send the balance to my debt.  So excited!

    Like 7
  • February update:

    Credit card consolidation loan

    • Starting balance: $6927.58
    • Current balance: $4496.57

    Used auto loan

    • Starting balance: $18,625.42
    • Current balance: $17,878.22

    I am going to power through that consolidation loan, come hell or high water. It should be paid off by June at this pace.

    Like 4
  • Just made the largest payment to my card in years!  $1500.00.   You all are a huge inspiration to me, Thanks for the updates.  I am putting every bit towards my first CC.  It has the highest interest rate.  I also have decided to be an adult and put my tax return...all of it! towards my debt.  I am really motivated to get rid of this anchor I have been toting along...for years!  I could pull out my debt to remind self what a piece of dookie I was.  No more!!  I am now down 8%!!!

    Like 8
    • Powder Blue Song (44d53057347e) Woohoo! Congratulations on your progress. I've found that adulting doesn't get easier but you do get better at it with practice. 😂

      Like
  • February Check-in: I paid $3,0005 toward my debt this month. This does include a good chunk from my tax refund, so I'm unlikely to be able to match this the rest of the year.

    My debt total is finally under $50,000, and I'm super close to paying off another card. I'm also still contributing $500/month to get buffered. 

    Like 8
    • MoneyMonster I love that you're using the refund to get ahead. That tactic served me well in the Smackdown last year! Sending off the last payment to the card is going to feel pretty great. 

      Like 2
  • Good Morning Ynab's  Ok, funny question, how do I find myself again in the spreadsheet.  lol.  I thought I wrote down the line number but cannot find it. Is there a search?

    Like 1
      • Pink Mermaid
      • Travel Consultant
      • Pink_Mermaid.8
      • 5 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Pink Mermaid Finally found myself.  lol

      Like 1
    • Pink Mermaid With so many people on the spreadsheet getting lost can be easy! If you use ctrl+F (or command+F on a Mac) it will open a search bar. :)

      Like 3
    • Faness I did not know this...

      Like
  • Happy Saturday, February Checkin:  I did consolidate all of the credit cards to the equity so it is easier to manage.  So far this month I am putting $1747 towards the debt.  I am also excited since I created a Business budget and have funded all of this month's bill and the full payment towards the credit card not due until March 11th. Plus I will have one more commission check come through before the end of February and a child support payment.  

    I will say that Ynab has me looking at my bills and finances in a whole new perspective and I can see that there is a better way to manage my money and become debt free.  Thanks for everyone sharing your stories. they are a great inspiration.   Have a great rest of your weekend. 

    Like 7
  • Hey guys, total February redo. I was getting way too caught up in interest vs. principal and I felt like my numbers were all off. I took some time today to organize and redo my debt spreadsheet. I have undebt.it too, but it was part of what was throwing me. I paid off my two credit cards in January and re-did my payments to be principal only. Ooof, it's tough to see how much goes to interest in a month (~$550), but all the more motivation to get this mess paid down! Here's a breakdown. My 2020 stretch goal is to knock out $20000 in principal, totally doable if we buckle down.

    CC1 - $267.46/$0  - BYE! 👋

    CC2 - $1,508.70/$0 - BYE! 👋

    Car Loan 1 - $3,376/$3,025.55 (January total; I was able to throw an extra $274 to this yesterday for the debt snowball)

    Car Loan 2 - $11,691.27/$11,497.35   

    Personal Loan - $33,190.77/$32,733.27  (January total) 

    Student Loan - $37,624.96/$37,532.77 (January total)  

    $2856.67 total principal paid in January, 14.28%  of the way there!

    Like 5
      • Gfamily46
      • Forest_Green_Python.5
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Full February update now that my last debt payment of February processed.  Both of my credit cards are paid off!  And no more need to put anything but my husband's business expenses on there, for which he will be reimbursed.  He should get a corporate card soon, but I'll still throw some budgeted expenses on there and our other cards from time to time just to keep them active.  January vs. February below.

      Car Loan 1 - $3,025.55/$2,398.49 - the extra $274 I was able to put to this helped with the interest.  It's less than $8/month at this point...this one will be history by October or November!  My husband looked at me like I was nuts when I said that I wanted us to buy our next car with cash (that's a long way away, though).  I can't even fathom handing over a check for a car and walking out without a monthly payment to stress about.  How cool will that be?

      Car Loan 2 - $11,691.27/$11,497.35

      School Loan - $37,532.77/$37,264.08

      Personal Loan - $33,190.77/$32,270.94

      Progress feels good, y'all.  $4212.51 of principal paid this year, 21.06% complete! 😎

      Like 2
      • Gfamily46
      • Forest_Green_Python.5
      • 4 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      March update - 28.17% done.  In a time of such uncertainty for many, my husband and I are incredibly fortunate that we both work in high-demand industries.   Our jobs are (relatively) safe for now and we're trying to help as we can.  With the quarantine, the fact that I'm working from home and school is cancelled for the academic year, we no longer have to pay for before/after school care for our 10-year-old son - that's $500+ a month we get back.  Great time to work on getting a month ahead (we're close) + an emergency fund and to stay on track with our debt payments as usual.  I track all this on a spreadsheet and monthly interest is going down slowly but surely.  Still an ugly number, but going in the right direction for sure.  I might nerd out and create some graphs to make my analyst brain happy.  

      Car Loan 1 - $3,025.55/$2,044.66 - so close on this one I can taste it!  It'll be done by September at the latest.

      Car Loan 2 - $11,691.27/$11,330.61

      School Loan - $37,532.77/$36,846.61 - you better believe I'm throwing my snowball at this one since federal student loans have 0% interest through at least September.

      Personal Loan - $33,190.77/$32,270.94

      Like 2
    • Gfamily46 there are some silver linings, aren't there??

      Like 1
      • Gfamily46
      • Forest_Green_Python.5
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual Yes there are! 

      Like
      • Gfamily46
      • Forest_Green_Python.5
      • 3 mths ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      April check-in:

      So in light of the school loan 0% interest thing until September, my husband and I decided last month to still keep budgeting out for the regular school loan payment + extra $300 snowball.  Then we'd keep it as a temporary EF and then pay it all towards principal before the 0% interest expires if our jobs stay stable.  We changed our minds this month and decided to keep all that money in our EF since we only have 1k in there right now.   That school loan is going to hang out for a while and while throwing $4k-ish in principal is tempting, it's more important to have something to fall back on, especially in this climate.  I doubt we'll hit our $20k principal goal for the year unless a windfall happens, but that's TOTALLY okay.  Any progress is still progress - 33.21% done.  

      Car Loan 1 - $3,025.55/$1690.68 - good to see this one under 2k!

      Car Loan 2 - $11,691.27/$11,149.02

      School Loan - $37,532.77/$36,846.61

      Personal Loan - $33,190.77/$31,315.53

      Like 4
    • Gfamily46 the good news is you can change your mind a million times between now and when the interest hits again :) And you may, and that's ok. Whenever that time arrives you'll know if that's the right decision, and you can do it without a second thought.

      Like 2
      • Purple Foal
      • Purple_Foal.3
      • 3 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Gfamily46 Good idea to let the money sit! :)

      Like 1
      • Gfamily46
      • Forest_Green_Python.5
      • 2 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      May check-in!  Whew, what a month.  So throwing my husband's deferred student loan payment and our $300 monthly snowball into a temporary EF proved to be a life-saver.  We had finally gotten a month ahead with a small 1k emergency fund on top of the temporary one and our upstairs heat pump finally took a crap.  I made a heat pump category a couple months ago because we knew after 16 years, the poor girl was hanging on by a thread.  But I only got around to putting about $60 in that category.  We have a fantastic HVAC company and they quoted us a shade under $7k for a new one. 😖  Any other company easily would have hit us well north of $10k, so counting our blessings there.  Sooo, I really had to do some creative WAMing and depleted our EFs, but by the time our cc payment for the amount is due in July, it'll be totally paid off, no interest accrued!!  $7k stings, but not as much as adding $7k on top of our debt and paying way more in the end.  My husband was floored when I told him we could pay in full.  38.33% to our goal and rolling with the punches in our nice, cool office upstairs. 😁

      Car Loan 1 - $3,025.55/$1335.37 - almost there!

      Car Loan 2 - $11,691.27/$10,963.62

      School Loan - $37,532.77/$36,846.61

      Personal Loan - $33,190.77/$30,875.61

      Like 5
    • Gfamily46 That makes you feel SO good when you can manage that! Way to go!

      Like 1
      • Gfamily46
      • Forest_Green_Python.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      June check-in and here we go!  This month, I've needed a good kick in the pants to start focusing on accomplishments instead of shortcomings.  So last month was when our heat pump died and we had a new $7k one installed.  This past week, I sent the final payment to Chase to totally pay it off and no interest accrued.  THAT IS HUGE and I keep telling my husband that it would have crippled us pre-YNAB.  It would have gone on our cc, cost us a ton in interest and we'd just leave it in purgatory until that magic payoff date that we knew for a fact would never come. 🙈 

      I've been a little bummed since I had to move a lot of funds, lose our month ahead and deplete our EF, but hey...that's why all those funds are in place, right?  We're focused on getting all that built back up and it will take a while.  We just need to take it one paycheck at a time. 😉

      One of our car loans slid below 1k this month!  Barely, but we only have two payments left plus one partial to finish up in September.  That's around the time when my husband's student loan payments will kick back in.  Unfortunately, this SUV is due for a trip to the shop due to a knocking engine...ugh.  But there is money in the Car Maintenance category, so let's hope the repair isn't too crazy.  My husband will look at it this weekend to see if it's something he can fix, but modern car engines are in such tight configurations, it might be something best left to the shop.  It's never a regular month, huh?  

      Even typing this little blurb helped me see that we are making forward progress.  The important thing for me to understand is where we'd be if none of these funds to WAM from were around.  

      Car Loan 1 - $3,025.55/$978.98 - under 1k!

      Car Loan 2 - $11,691.27/$10776.03

      School Loan - $37,532.77/$36,846.61

      Personal Loan - $33,190.77/$30352.73

      Like 4
    • Gfamily46 Those are really big steps forward! Congrats!!

      Like 1
      • Gfamily46
      • Forest_Green_Python.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual Thank you!  One step forward at a time.  Just found out the car repair is going to be $800 (the bearings are shot in the water pump, so it definitely needs to be replaced), but we can swing with that.  We have $500 in auto maintenance and can WAM the rest from our household category.  We might have to delay our deck board replacement a little, which I honestly don't mind.  It's too freaking hot here to work on our deck in full sun, lol.  We did a total replacement of our front steps last summer and OMG, it was miserable!    

      Like 2
    • Gfamily46 That sounds like a win all the way!!!

      Like 1
      • Gfamily46
      • Forest_Green_Python.5
      • 4 days ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      July check-in time!  Somewhat uneventful month when it comes to unplanned stuff, but hey, I'll take it.  The most exciting thing is a stupid problem child molar that I need to get pulled later this week.  In the past two years, that molar has had a root canal, crown and apicoectomy when infection showed up last year.  But the infection is back, so it's time to pull that $2500 tooth out of my face.  And I'm probably looking at a dental implant after that (NOT cheap).  But we have a local teaching dental school, so I'm definitely going to make an appointment to see if they'll take me as a patient.  We can say bye-bye to any remaining money we have in our FSA, but that's why we contribute the full amount every year.  And we're still trying to recover from draining our EF and losing month-ahead status when we outright paid for our new heat pump in May.  Slowly but surely digging back out.  On another note, I've started researching travel hacking since we pay all our cards in full every month now.   We would like to travel after all this COVID mess, but there isn't a whole lot of money in the budget for that.   But it's a good time to learn and start working on points.


      Car Loan 1 - $3,025.55/$621.92 - two payments to go!! 😁

      Car Loan 2 - $11,691.27/$10,584.87

      School Loan - $37,532.77/$36,846.61

      Personal Loan - $33,190.77/$29,860.80 

      Like 2
    • Gfamily46 Ugh, my BF had a lot of major dental work, that's not fun. I hope you find an easy and economical solution!

      Like
      • Gfamily46
      • Forest_Green_Python.5
      • 4 days ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual Thanks!  If the dental school takes me, I'm hoping that can save me 3k or more.  I hope your BF is all recovered now.  TBH, I have no worries about the pain, I just don't want it to mess up our budget goals! 😁

      Like 1
    • Gfamily46 I love that your budget goals are a higher priority than your pain!! 😂

      Like
  • February check-in...paid $400 towards credit cards and student loan.  Not much, but this was planned as I had a college tuition payment to make for my daughter.  February 28th will get my yearly bonus and I'll be able to knock a chunk of my debt out (will update again end of month!).  

    Have loved reading everyone's stories...so motivating!!  

    Like 6
  • February check-in: I was able to pay off an unexpected extra $2200 this month (thanks tax returns!) and after paying off my credit card last month I'm feeling pretty good about my progress so far this year.

    Like 7
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