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've already checked in this month, but I spotted today that the card that I'm targeting at the moment has dropped from the third-highest balance down to the second highest :)
There's quite a way to go to have this one with the lowest, but I'm really chuffed with the progress and this little milestone. 🙂
February check-in! First a big thank you to you all for sharing your stories! I check this thread in the morning and it keeps me focused on my goals before starting my day!
We made major progress this month thanks to budgeting and a few windfalls including our tax return and a refund from our escrow account. We used most of it to pay off as much debt as possible. We saved the rest of it for my husband to sign up for some classes he can take, which if he finishes means he can get a raise next year. Definitely worth it! So this month we were able to pay off our car and one credit card! We also did a balance transfer from CC#2 to CC#3 which has 0% interest. So we are now going to focus on CC#2 for the next few months. Our pace will be much slower the rest of the year, but it felt good to kick start our effort like this!
(Starting Balance/New Balance)
Car Loan $3,912.75/$0Paid in Full! CC#1 $6,297.39/$0Paid in Full!
I didn't read the part about checking into thread - but I did check in to the spreadsheet every month last year. I paid off over $20,000 in debt last year. That is my goal for this year too. I am forecasting that I'll be rid of my student loans in May and totally debt free in October. I cannot wait.
Starting Balance/New Balance, as of 2/4/20:
LAST Student Loan: $5,264.46/$4,588.48
My goal for the year is $31232.00. This is not my total debt but what I hope to get rid of. I have eliminated the overdue bill ($1232), paid $1060 on my truck, and reduced 6 credit cards by a combined total of $1741.19. Hopefully now that the overdue bill is gone, I can put more to the cards! Let me just say THIS FORUM IS SO INSPIRATIONAL!!! (Pardon me for screaming but it has been so very helpful) Thanks
Feb Principal paydown: $2011
YTD principal paydown: $2929
2020 total goal: $20K
I have another $2600 saved towards debt paydown in YNAB, paying in big chunks since $30 of my payment goes to interest whether I pay an extra $100 or and extra $1K. Also, all current extra payments are going to a 403b loan, so even though timing the market is terrible blah blah...I'm trying to throw chunks in when the market is down a bit (like today).
So far so good, and watching the group paydown total is inspiring!!
Hello! Newbie to this forum here. I'm just wrapping up YNAB's Debtbootcamp on Facebook and while I made some progress, there is still more work to be done! I love having a spreadsheet tracker and support group so I figured I'd join this for the remainder of 2020.
Aside from our mortgage, I have an auto loan that is at about $11,500 right now. My goal for 2020 is to wipe that out!
February Check-In #2
Our tax return came!!!!!
I fully funded our savings goal for our upcoming vacation after stealing from it earlier this month. Paid off two cards and made my snowball payment to a third! I still have about $850 sitting in the budget as part of one card payment waiting for things to process, but the money is there so I've taken it out of the debt total. All-in-all for this month I'll have put $2585.29 towards debt!
Only 5753.75 to go!!! 😁
So in February I paid off $975.58, up from $421.58 in January. This moves my total for the year to $1397.16, or 11.18% of my annual goal. I'm still running a little bit behind, but things are starting to head in the right direction. A lot of this is me "out-earning my stupidity", basically just working my backside off to make enough money to make the numbers work. The good news - this has led to some legit stability financially. Next step is to start drilling down into where the "waste" is (HELLO FAST FOOD!!!!) and start using that extra income from all the overtime to not just stabilize, but really crank down on these debt numbers. I've got an extra $1,200 coming on my paycheck at the end of this month -- so there's a solid beginning.
Keep working folks! This is absolutely do-able!
My Feb update: My balance is now $9298. My original goal was to pay of $7k, but since I got a bonus refund from my home insurance being paid during my refinance and I finally put my redecorated basement on Airbnb again, so that income should help, I'm going to try to kill my entire balance this year, by the end of 2020. Hopefully I start getting some reservations in soon and can use that to help me meet my goals.
Oh, I'm line 81, I didn't mention that last time.
Checking for February:
Let me begin with a story. I've been really focused on doing what I need to do to get this paid off, and that made me realize I needed to sell some items too. I'm a bit of a gear head when it comes to camera equipment, and over the last two years have put a lot of money on my credit cards to pay for a camera/lens, tripods etc. It suddenly occurred to me that I never owned those cameras/lens. They were bought on credit and that cost was still sitting there so were still part of the problem. So, I hopped on Kijiji (our buy/sell app) and sold all of it. This has helped me with my payment plan as it moves me along. Once this is all done, if I want that stuff back, I can save up for it the way I should have the first time. As a result, I also bumped up my goal for this year to $32,700 so that it really matters.
Total payment this month: 5883.20 - 23.3 % of my way to my goal this year. This will not be a standard month as I also did not have to pay rent due to next steps, but it was a great way to kick off the year and helped to shift the needle.
I'm now embarking on step 2 of my plan. As of this weekend I'm moving back in with an old roommate. This will free up money due to sharing of rent and utilities:)
February check-in: One credit card has a balance of $15.00. I have the money to pay it, I just haven’t scheduled the payment yet. I’m mentioning it here to keep myself accountable since that’s one way my balances crept up over the years (“I’ll wait until the balance is at $100 to make a payment, it seems silly to bother with such a little amount” very quickly leads to “the balance is now $100 but I don’t have that much available to pay it all off” and so on, rinse and repeat). I paid a total of $567.91 this month, of which $39.02 went towards interest, for a total of $528.89 paid.
Just joining in. My husband and I started 2020 with the following debts:
- Student Loans: $113,107.27 (down from $213,187.12)
- Mortgage: $215,681.79
We are focusing on paying off our student loans, while just paying the required monthly payment on the mortgage. So, for my monthly progress, I just plan to report on the student loans. We're paying the minimums on each student loan, and then throwing everything extra towards one target loan (until it's paid off, and then we'll turn to the next).
We want to pay off $20,000 on our student loans in 2020. So far, we paid off $2,030.41 in January.
ID 393. I'm new to the smackdown and to posting in the forums at all. Last year we got some inheritance money and paid off both cars and my husband's student loan. So now we just have our mortgage, which I'm not tracking because at this point I don't plan to pay extra to it, and my student loan.
Student loan: $95,899.64. Enormous, but I'm trying to focus on the positive - I'm under $100k finally and I'm paying extra. Monthly payment is $1,086 but I'm paying at least $1,336 and hopefully more, with a goal to pay $20,000 this year.
I got a new job at the start of the year that was a huge step up in pay. My plan was to pay a crazy amount of extra on the loans...but as it turns out I don't like it here and am looking for something else already and it will probably mean a pay cut so I still haven't settled on the exact extra amount I will pay each month.
What a great project! Can't wait to smash the debt with you all.
Hi, first time coming across the Debt Smackdown. It's good timing because last week I just resolved to get serious about eliminating my credit card debt this year. I had refinanced it with a 3-year payment plan, but it still has a high-ish interest rate. I suddenly thought, hey, maybe if I get rid -all- the debt, I can actually save and keep my money faster!
So as soon as my savings amount is > my debt by at least a one month buffer, I'm planning to pay it all down. I'm already living more simply this past month, so hopefully I can keep up the momentum.
Good luck to everyone!
Holy moly! I just smacked down some debt! Woo hoo and hallelujah! $16,115 debt remains...but I'm coming for you!!
I got my yearly bonus and was able to pay the following for a total of $12,066.79 for February (includes $400 already reported towards credit cards with previous Feb. paycheck):
1) Paid off loan for work done on home $3342
2) Paid off credit card balance $700
3) Paid off travel debt $700
4) Put $3500 toward a 0% credit card ($2000 balance)
5) Put $800 towards a 0% credit card ($3000 balance)
6) Paid off remainder of previous overages $2624.79
Now...while this is all wonderful, what if, I mean WHAT IF....I actually had that bonus to use for whatever my heart desired instead of yucky old debt! Literally, fun I've already had (do I sound like Jesse yet?)! But alas....I am willing myself to not get in this kind of hole again.
Some positive things:
I confess some of these debts are college tuition and trade school related, and I would not change any of that. To each his own. I have 1 more year to pay college tuition (my daughter has amazing scholarships as well as grants, but obviously still costs) and my son will complete welding school this year (I'm helping with some of those costs)...and I have a plan in place to cover it monthly, no credit cards (these are 0% interest but still), no parent plus loans, no donating a kidney. Just paying that last year with what I've got! Also, I've set aside some money for my "travel" fund...nothing crazy mainly just weekend trips to visit my college girl in New Orleans and some hiking in the TN mountains type thing. Some incentives thrown in as y'all suggested for these extra shifts I'm picking up (some people like purses and shoes...travel is my jam!).
My savings should be able to truly improve after this year...and that is already better, so it's definitely the journey! I'm still maxing out my 401K this year in addition to this debt SMACKING (and I maxed it out last year as well)! Peace! ;)
Checking in for Feb! This month things slowed down, which I guess I expected. My husband moved out and despite my best efforts to control the money some stuff happened and I couldn't quite hit my budgeted goals. Next month I'm scaling back some of the emergency fund money I wanted to set aside to fund more of the immediate TE and scaling back slightly on debt paydown.
Overall, we paid $1750 towards debt this month and I'm looking forward to March when I will pay off our third debt since getting serious!
Congrats to everyone on their wins and sticking with it. That's the hardest part.
Here's to March and it's lamb/lion tendencies!