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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  • Total Debt I owe: $50,090.45 (95% student loans)

    In 2020 I would like to pay off $8,748.68

    YTD I have paid $1,855.28

    Like 6
  • Uhh, yall. It looks like as a group we are on track to pay off $1,000,000 in debt BEFORE the end of the first quarter. 馃槷

    Like 10
    • farfromtheusual That is Amazing! The momentum in this thread has been astounding! 馃帀

      Like 1
    • Faness It truly has!

      Like
    • farfromtheusual Wowser! that is awesome.

      Like 1
    • WairereRose I know!!! I can't believe the progress everyone has been making!

      Like 1
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual go us!

      Like 1
      • Chinese Orchid
      • Facing facts and getting it done.
      • Orchid_Device.6
      • 6 mths ago
      • 5
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual I'm loving having people who are in the same boat as me and I can reflect with honestly. There is no shame here, just encouragement. It isn't my dirty little secret anymore. 

      Like 5
    • Orchid Device yes!! I think that is the biggest help of all!

      Like 1
  • Hah! Got my tax return and applied most of it to pay off a no-interest credit card BEFORE they started charging me interest!

    Like 6
    • Slate Gray Cobra Nicely done! A lot of those interest-free offers come with a number of fees if not paid off in time - you avoided any extra costs and got rid of a debt! Congrats! :)

      Like
    • Slate Gray Cobra That's how you play the game!!!

      Like
  • This is exciting! I'm a little bit late to the party, but thanks to YNAB I can easily find and fill in my info :) 

    Outstanding debts:

    1. Federal student loan = $10,781.62 ($1,305.48) 
    2. Provincial Student Loan = $20,359.02 ($2,444.64)
    3. Bank Student Loan = $23,533.57 ($3,593.52)
    4. Car Loan = $28,681.12 ($6,451.12)
      Total = $13,794.76 + 1205.24 = $15,000 debt pay off goal

    This rounds out to about an additional $100 a month towards debt snowball. I'm excited. I literally stare at my YNAB budget all day every day while I'm at work. So I'm looking forward to updating everyone here. 

    2020 is going to be an excellent year. 

    Like 7
    • Orchid Stallion 2020 is Definitely going to be an excellent year - I can see it clearly! ;)

      All puns aside, we're happy to have you joining us! Looking forward to your updates!

      Like
      • Orchid Stallion
      • YNABer and Baby-Stepper
      • Orchid_Stallion.8
      • 6 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Orchid Stallion 

      Jan and Feb I made min payments on all of my loans,

      Jan - 1139.09

      Feb - 1108.21

      Mar - debt snow ball 34.40 so far, planning on more. :)

      Like 2
  • February was more successful for me than expected! I ended up working a lot at my second job and have been selling plasma. Unfortunately, my arm bruised up pretty badly the last time I went so I have to take a break from it. 

    February- $2067.74 paid towards debt!

    I have such a hard time after making a payment when I can't pay more towards it for a bit! 

    Like 4
    • Gold Song I love the months that breeze by easier than expected - nicely done! I hope your arm feels better soon! :)

      Like 1
  • February check in: $333.27 paid toward student loans.

    Another month with the minimum payment, as we re-filled savings categories. Back to principal payments in March!

    Like 5
  • HI All, a bit late to the game as I was in the YNAB Debt Bootcamp and just now hearing about this! But I claimed line 413. 

    Not new to YNAB been using it fora  couple of years, but new to this forum. 

     I am trying to pay off 3,000 of my roughly $5,000 in credit card debt. I have an issue with the credit card float and I've been trying to utilize more of my debit card, but realizing my budget is also "over budget" meaning I have more categories and things I want to save for, but not enough incoming money to fill those up. So I'm also trying to figure out what I need to eliminate or focus less on so that I don't stretch myself too thin. And really really focus more on my budget, in the moment, rather than after the moment has passed. 

    I'm also looking at changing jobs and with that an increase in net income as well so I hope that will help as I go throughout this year. 

     

    Excited to be apart of this group! 

    Like 7
    • PepperPackAmbassador What did you learn in the Debt Bootcamp? :)

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

      PepperPackAmbassador I'm not sure if this is relevant for the things you're saving for, but I've recently learned about the concept of 'Wish Farming' which has been invaluable for me to focus my savings and feel like I'm getting somewhere!  I've watched the Youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PSJlyBTVIo&t=480s and only in googling this to post learned there's also an article which I am now about to read!  https://www.youneedabudget.com/wish-lists/

      Like 2
    • PepperPackAmbassador You're joining us just in time! March is Get Off the Credit Card Float month. We plan on sharing a number of tips and tricks on how best to tackle the float so you can swim along float-free in the future! :)

      Like 3
      • Emma Catherine
      • Civil engineer getting back on track
      • emmacatherine
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Orange Sun Wow! That's such a cool concept and not something I would have thought of myself. Totally going to be implementing that now. 

      Like 1
    • Purple Foal I learned about not trying to go crazy and pay off all my debt in one sitting. As I believe that was keeping me doubtful and unsure and hard to work on because I kept having set backs. So now, knowing its okay to put money towards debt, and towards my buffer, and towards my savings is okay. Its okay to take a breath and just figure out the pace that works best for me. 

      Like 2
    • Orange Sun Hi! I actually have a wish farm! However, I'm trying to fully get a month ahead and make sure my yearly expenses are funded and those misc. as well as my monthly expenses. So thats mainly what I'm saving for. 

      Like 1
    • Faness YAY! Thats great to here! Glad I've made it to this forum :)

      Like 1
      • Orange Sun
      • Orange_Sun.8
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      PepperPackAmbassador That is also what my wish farm looks like ... but I'm excited to start!  It's such a great idea for when I actually get out from behind the 8 Ball.

      Like 1
    • PepperPackAmbassador If you have used YNAB for a while, then you probably have enough history to be able to check your averages on your categories. I didn't think of doing this until I'd been using the program for about a year and a half. It dramatically changed the way that I budgeted my categories since I started using the reports to periodically check averages and then fund the categories based on my averages instead. We haven't struggled to make a power bill payment since, and in winter it's always high. I don't know if you've done this or not, but since I didn't know to do it for a long time I figured I'd say something if it might save someone else a little stress and help smooth out the budget a bit more.

      Like 4
    • farfromtheusual Hey hey! Yes I love the average budget section! I haven't looked at in a while though, so thank you for the reminder! That may help with my budgeting going forward :) I definitely just need to be more mindful and pull up the app before a purchase and evaluate first, instead of afterwards too. 

      Like 2
    • PepperPackAmbassador haha, yeah, that's important, too! Averages helped me so much, though, man, that made a huge difference. And while it was logical, it hadn't ever been mentioned to me before, so I share it often just as a reminder in case someone hadn't though to look at the reports in that way before.

      Like 1
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 6 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      PepperPackAmbassador We got off the float by changing from budgeting by month to budgeting by paycheques. Which is really what YNAB says to do - only budget money you have.

      Like 2
    • MXMOM Thanks for that advice! I currently have been budgeting by paychecks, and do so, its mainly just, me needing to leave the credit cards at home, so that I dont use them and connect with my debit card more than anything. 

      Like 1
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      PepperPackAmbassador Freeze them in  a block of ice in the freezer! 馃ぃ

      Like
  • February wasn't great for my family in the spending department. How that's possible with a shorter month, I'm not sure! We didn't have any significant events or losses last month, but we went WAY over in groceries in particular. I'm working to reign that back in this month!

    I stuck to the minimum on this car loan on February - $246.98 gone to the debt! I'm still really confident we can get it paid down by the end of the year.

    I can't believe we hit over $500,000 as a group in February and are ready to hit the $1million payoff this month! You all are amazing and focused!

    Like 4
  • Hey all. I鈥檓 new to this forum but I love the idea of being aggressive with the debt payments. I鈥檓 starting late, but I鈥檇 like to pay off $9259.82 worth of debts this year. Spending definitely went off the rails the last couple years. I think it will be difficult but still attainable.
    I also did a fresh start in my YNAB so I can start over and not stress about past mistakes. 

    Like 7
    • Jennifer It's never too late to join - we're happy you're here and welcome to the forum! :)

      A Fresh Start is a great way to reprioritize and shift direct in your budget. That debt will be gone before you know it!

      Like
  • February Check-in:
    I paid $495 off my HELOC. It is the maximum allowed but no snowball this month. I've battened down the hatches until my work strike is over. I did manage to fund my True Expenses, sell some stuff, and put $426 in my HELOC lump sum category as a buffer that I am building up until I'm in the clear. I'm not stressing about paying off this debt right now. Surviving is key. By the end of the year, I will have paid the maximum allowed, and will find the $7500 snowball amount. 

    I've also been busy switching banks to lose the fees. I have set up an account with EQ for all my daily banking (bills/paycheque)  that is linked to a Tangerine chequing (ATM for cash, free cheques). Once all debits/credits have made a cycle, then I will close my TD account and save $16 a month. It's annoying when you look at your expenses in the report to see that the bank fees cost more than Spotify or Netflix, both of which I enjoy way more! I just needed to be motivated to make the switch. It wasn't that big of a deal after all to notify all the PAPs. 

    I got a recommendation from a neighbour for an accountant who was fabulous & only charged me $65, when I had budgeted $200. The refund will go to the money owing (previous error in 2018 they wanted paid back, yeah me) and then once that is paid, I should lose this debt repayment in the next month. I can then put that $92 biweekly towards my HELOC lump sum. :)

    Like 6
  • Okay here I go.....

    $17000+ dollars.

     All consolidated down from various credit cards into two personal loans with much lower interest rates.  How fun to find a group like this!  I look forward to hitting Christmas debt free AND have $1000 in the bank to buy those gifts and travel home.  I skipped a row and claimed 418 as my line since that's my birthday 4/18.  

    Like 8
      • Green Song
      • Green_Song.5
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      lil Ronnie We're birthday twins! You can definitely crack down on this debt! You got this. 

      Like 1
      • lil Ronnie
      • lil_ronnie
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Green Song Yay!  Birthday twins 馃榿

      Like 1
  • Finally checking in for February. Paid down $4,630! I don't know if that momentum will continue throughout the year since I'm a freelance editor and hubby is in sales and our income fluctuates month to month. 

    Started using Walmart grocery pickup, and it's great. I plan the meals a few days ahead of time, place my order, don't get tempted to buy anything extra, and pick it up when I'm picking up my boys from school. So far, so good. We're eating healthier now, which means less processed food and more homemade. Kids are jumping in to help meal prep more, and my teenage sons are fantastic chefs! 馃槃

    Like 8
    • Purple Mama Having kids help with meal prep is a win on so many levels - yay for saving money, teaching the next generation how to cook and eating healthier! Making so much progress in February is just icing on an already really nice cake - nice going! 馃

      Like 2
      • Cyan Koala
      • Cyan_Koala.5
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      @Purple Mama  Way to go on your February progress!  I've started using Giant Eagle grocery pickup and it's definitely helping me keep our grocery expenses under budget.  I actually enjoy grocery shopping and cooking, but over the years as we weren't quite as poor as we used to be, I stopped paying attention to how much things cost.  Seeing that running tally as I fill my cart online helps me understand and be able to react to how much I'm spending!  

      Like 1
      • Michelle
      • No drama llama
      • Salmon_Tiger.7
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Purple Mama I also started using Walmart grocery pickup.  It's a great way to stay in budget.  If you use the ibotta app, you get a few dollars back every time you schedule a pickup.  馃檪

      Like 1
    • Cyan Koala So very true! And it helps me to be more organized about our meal plan. I shop from that now with the little extras thrown in, but no one can be tempted to grab ice cream and throw it into the cart. It's a win-win for the budget and the waistline!  

      Like 3
  • February check in:

    I put off doing this one as I didn't actually manage to pay off any debt this month and I'm feeling really guilty about it. Between health problems that popped up and the fact that I probably don't really have a handle on impulsive/emotional spending - this month sort of sucked. 

    Although I expect to be getting money back from taxes so I'll be putting all of that towards my debts this month at least. 

    Like 3
    • Little Red Your health has to come first, so tackling those issues is still a win! We all have months that don't go as planned (we like to say there's no such thing as a "normal" month), but you've rolled with the punches and already have a plan to make this month better!

      Here's to a healthier March! :)

      Like 1
  • 3/4/2020 -- we are late to the smackdown game but can't wait to participate

    We have personal loan, medical, and mortgage debts to work on for 2020. Our family goal is to pay off $20,000 in debt.

    Can't want to see everyone's progress throughout 2020!

     

    - The Sedgwick-Landrys (row 420 in spreadsheet)

    Like 5
  • We are still in budget lock down mode with hubby's knee replacement recovery.  He's doing fantastic and hopes to go back to work later this month.  Till then, we are only making minimum payments on our two debts as noted below.  

    Final numbers for March  2020

    Starting balance end of January                           Ending balance after Feb pymts

    $61,193.94                1st Mortgage                         $60,673.95

    $12,449.95               2nd Mortgage                        $12,228.17

    $73,643.89                                                                      $72,902.12

    Total debt paid down in March $741.77, total for 2020 $2,201.84 (11.53% of goal).

    Like 6
    • Whiskey Mama I'm happy to hear he's well traveled on the road to recovery!! :)

      Like
  • Yay! We cracked 1 million dollars paid off! Part of me is sad that we didn't all have that money to save. But this is the first best step towards getting to give our future dollars much better jobs.

     

    Way to go everyone!

    Like 10
    • Peripherie Well said, and it's wild to see that over $500,000 of that was in February alone! Cheers to this community for sharing their debts, their stories, and especially the moments where we get to see what it means to roll with the punches when we need to, but still managing to push forward. I'm glad to be a part of this journey with everyone and here's to reaching $2 million!

      Like 2
    • Peripherie True... but imagine how much interest that MILLION would have cost us collectively if we hadn't paid it off!

      Like 4
    • farfromtheusual 馃槰 I'm sure the interest alone could pay off the rest of my debt and give me a large chunk of spending change (maybe "buy vacation houses" type of change). 馃槅 

      Like 1
    • Faness SERIOUSLY. That's a LOT of money!!!!

      Like
  • OK so I just found this. I'm so excited to crush a few debts this year!

    First up is a personal loan that has two payments left on it: $615.57

    Then there is CC1 that I have a goal to pay off by August (though I hope to have it gone sooner): $462.50

    Then CC2 with a higher balance since it took the unexpected vet bills last month: $1,057.41

    CC3 is crazy at $7,677.68  it's been taking a beating as I try to get everything else budgeted out and paid down.  

    Total debt pay down: $9,813.16

    This is not including my mortgage, car loan, and another personal loan.  I'm just trying to focus on what's doable so I don't get too discouraged.  The plan is to stay the course with my goal targets until my loan is paid off.  Then pay off CC1 and start focusing on paying off CC2.  Once those are paid off, I'll shift to really working on getting CC3 paid down.   

    Like 9
    • Michelle D. not trying to worry about too many things is totally fine right now. I have a car loan, but I didn't bother including it in this year's smack down because I knew I probably wouldn't get to it. But after December that will be my focus for next year's smackdown instead!

      Like 5
      • Michelle
      • No drama llama
      • Salmon_Tiger.7
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual Thanks! I started using YNAB a year ago and I had a hard time getting used to it.  Mostly because I hadn't changed my mindset and everything seemed too hard to manage. I've restarted a number of times, but I think I finally got a handle on it.  This year I finally feel like I'm seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

      Like 1
    • Michelle D. Awesome!! Just decide that from here forward you're not going to do a restart. The longevity in the budget itself gives you access to so much more information that will help make budgeting easier in the future - being able to look at reports and check average spending across several months is a game changer! That's what helped to push my budgeting to the next level and enable me to better fund my categories and stop WAMing all the time.

      Like 2
  • Hello! Checking in.  Total paid in March so far is $2093 with another $1500 planned. I took my car loan ($12k) off my total plan so I鈥檓 at 56% pay down today. Although I鈥檒l snowball the car payment once the other debts are clear it鈥檚 unrealistic to pay it all off this year since I鈥檓 losing my job in May.  Plus, took down two enormous trees threatening my house so some debt funds went there. Onward! 

    Like 5
    • Slate Blue Network 56% only 3 months into the year - Nicely done! :)

      Are you going on a job hunt after May or do you already have another opportunity lined up? Either way, good luck with the transition! 

      Like
    • Faness it only looks good because I took the car loan debt out. 馃槀  I've got 30 weeks severance so I'm going to take a bit of a break once I'm done. I'm close to retirement age so I may do semi-retirement and work part time vs. full time. Lots to figure out and while I'm in the midst of the stress it's tough to think sometimes! 馃檪 Thank you for asking!

      Like 3
    • Slate Blue Network Hey now, progress is still progress! :)

      It's great that you have that cushion so you don't have to rush into the next thing. Wishing you as much peace as possible with making that decision. Any form of retirement sounds lovely. 

      Like
      • SapphireSweetie
      • Changing my financial future!
      • Sapphiresweetie
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Network Good Luck with whatever you decide to do!! 30 weeks severance is pretty nice! 

      Like
    • Slate Blue Network yesterday afternoon I got a call that I鈥檒l remain on the project until December. 馃槑 No more job loss in May! 馃帀 Got a raise and nice bonus too. Bonus was expected, raise wasn鈥檛.  I鈥檓 stunned. I鈥檓 going to continue to leave the car loan off debt smack down and further fund my emergency fund until I鈥檓 at a comfortable level while continuing to pound the charge cards and furnace payoff. 

      Like 6
    • SapphireSweetie 2 weeks for every year of employment. I had lost the job due to redundancy after a merger. 

      Like
      • SapphireSweetie
      • Changing my financial future!
      • Sapphiresweetie
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Network That is amazing!!! I鈥檓 ecstatic for you! Plus you have a great plan in place! Wishing you all the best!

      Like 1
      • Wiecked
      • Happy Happy
      • Orchid_Tiger.5
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Slate Blue Network Great news!

      Like 1
    • Slate Blue Network WAHOOO!!! That's way good news!!!!! Congrats!!!!

      Like
  • February check in - $640 - lots of expenses this month with kids' sports and still spending too much on groceries (about 700).  March so far:  $2244.02 - this is thanks to my tax refund.  Paid off my only CC, put $2000 towards my LOC, and $650 towards my emergency fund which now sits at $750.  And according to my bank's credit score checker - my credit score is 852.  Well on my way to paying off the remaining $6700 by the end of the year!

    Like 8
    • GroceryAddict WOW! Those are some awesome things to be proud of!!

      Like 1
  • February was a little tough, and March may be as well. We had to run up to NY to help deal with issues resulting from my father wandering off and falling. Luckily, no bones broke, but his glasses frames did. We did luck out that a very helpful employee at VisionWorks found a frame that could hold the lenses. So, instead of throwing that money at the debt, I bought the frames. And had to take money from the emergency fund to pay for expenses while he was in the hospital, and, ultimately, moved to a long-term facility. So, last month, I paid $487.11 toward the last loan, $50 over the minimum. A smaller chip than desired, but chipping away, and looking forward to this being gone by end of summer.

    Like 7
    • Schiaparelli Hat I'm happy your father is alright! Older-aged adventures make me nervous for all the reasons you just described. My mother has a special place in my heart, so I gave her a special place in my budget, as well (her own category). 馃槄

      I hope he's feeling better and taking well to his new home!

      Like 1
    • Faness Giving your mother her own budget category is a really good idea as parents get older. Thanks for the tip!

      Like 3
      • Schiaparelli Hat
      • Wear your best shoe on your head
      • Schiaparelli_hat
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness Dad has  had a special place in my budget. Since his meds cost so much each month he hits the Medicare donut hole by March at the latest. I have been sending money to my sister that is his primary caregiver every month, the category was called 馃懘馃徎 Drug 馃崺 hole. Currently, all these transfer to long term care expenses are being charged against that category, no need to create something new at this time.  I wish you well with your Mom.

      Like 1
    • Schiaparelli Hat It sounds like you were already somewhat prepared, which is great! I love the category name, but reaching that point just a few months into the year is terrible - and that's coming from someone who usually loves donut holes (the glazed kind). 

      Kudos to you and your sister for being there for your dad. I know it isn't the easiest thing to manage, but it sounds like you're doing an amazing job!

      Like
  • I realized I skipped February's update!

    I was able to put another $3,000 toward my student loans. Loan 2 was a little higher than $3k (with interest), so I skipped it and paid off Loan 3 (just under $3k) in full instead. If I can manage an early-ish payment in March, I should be able to catch Loan 2 at under the $3k mark. If not, I'll aim for Loan 4 instead. 

    There's something about being one whole student loan shorter each month that I'm not ready to break away from just yet. 馃槄

    Like 11
    • Faness Yaaasss!!! I feel like one less loan to count is well worth it and gives an extra good feeling in addition to the total amount dropping, too (win-win, seems to me). Here's to more in March! (On this end, keeping at least the same, maybe more if I can swing but depends on the tax bill I have to pay once all my self-employed earnings/SEP IRA deposits clear, oy vey.)

      Like 2
    • Spider Plant It's definitely been a good goal so far - for both the sake of planning and motivation. 馃槃

      Wishing you all of the deductible expenses! I hope that tax bill comes in much lower than you're expecting! 

      Like 1
    • Faness Thank you! Once student loan interest, SEP deduction, and the usual business deductions all come through (business expenses are deducted from business income, thankfully; which means less taxes on that money, but also less money in the SEP and less money to take home, too)... I'll be able to finally file and pay. It'll be a relief to have it done, and it seems I've been able to reduce the bill by about $500, which is about 25% less than what I originally had calculated, which is less than I'd hoped for, but still a nice difference all the same. I've made adjustments to withholding for one W-2 job (while also increasing my 401(k) withholdings from that same job) in order to hopefully prevent this happening again next year. Fingers crossed!

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

      Faness That's excellent! You'll knock them all out at this rate! :)

      Like 1
  • We didn't' manage to do much more than our minimum payments for February, but mat leave is almost up, and tax season is upon us so March we should be able to a good dent in one of those credit card balances. 
     

    Tax return is going straight into our vacation fund (fully funding it for our winter 2021 vacay) and then we can reallocate that goal money to go straight onto the debt. 

    Like 5
  • March Update: Paid approx. $954 towards debt. Managed to find an extra $50 a month to throw at it, which is nice. 

    We had a brief "oh no this potential house problem could cost potential large amounts of money" scare this month that resolved itself, so that's good/lucky...but interestingly, I find that I'm a little more on edge nowadays than I was about money now that we're tackling this debt. Once upon a time, when I was ignoring our student loans and telling myself they would just always be there so whatever, it was maybe not optimal, but it was peaceful (in an "ignorance is bliss" kind of way I suppose). Now that I'm on board with tackling the debt, I'm really on board...and I want it to get done. So now I have to have things like patience and the ability to handle setbacks with aplomb....patience and aplomb not being personality traits I'm generally known for. Still, it is better, and I look forward to the day we are debt-free. That will be a good, good day. :D

    Like 8
    • Turquoise T-Rex I went down the student loan path for a while with my head in the sand - telling myself they weren't real debt (haha). It sounds like your mental shift has taken full hold - yay for finding those extra funds! :)

      I'm glad the potential house problem turned out not to be a problem! Is it something you can start preparing for now or the type of issue you have to wait to address? I'll hope it holds off for a while to come! 

      Like 1
    • Faness It was some water accumulation near the house that we were concerned might be a leak but is instead just a drainage issue. We'll have to fix it of course, and it will cost a little bit to do that (theoretically covered already with the amount I've managed to save in our home improvement category), but not nearly as much as it would to fix a leak, so I'm grateful for that.

      Like 2
  • Hi Everyone, not sure if this is helpful or not but thought I would share some of my tracking tools that keep me motivated. I'm a big visual person, so I have all kinds to charts and graphs drawn in my bullet journal.

    The top one is a brick wall of my total debt (each block is worth about 93$)- found the design on Etsy. Every time I pay off a little, I head here and color in some bricks.

    I also have a bar graph for each of my line of credit, this is the one I am working on right now. I'm keeping track of how much I'm putting on that each month.

    The final one is a simple line graph of my repayment, as well as tracking my emergency fund at the bottom (will be holding steady til I'm done).

    All this to say, I find these really helpful and motivating. It helps me see the progress so far, especially on the tough days when I'm trying not to spend. I review them frequently. 

    Like 6
    • auntdar Yay bullet journalling! Starting a bullet journal improved my life hugely, it made it so much easier to stay organised. I hadn't thought of using it to record debt payoff though! I'd just been using the reports in the YNAB app. Might make a new spread for this, thanks for the idea :D

      Like
    • auntdar Looks great!! :)

      Like
    • auntdar Visuals are awesome!!

      Like
  • Hey Y'all,

    If you have YNAB on your phone, there's a great little accompaniment app called "Allowance".  It keeps track of only specific categories that you designate.  It will let you know how much you have left in that category.  Fr'instance:  If I want to know how much I have left in my fuel budget when buying gas, I just need to open that app and the number is right there.  No need to scroll through the YNAB app looking for the fuel category.  Best of all, it's FREE!  The developers ask for a donation which I will probably be sending soon.  Quite helpful.

     馃槉

    Like 7
    • lil Ronnie Is this available on both iOS and android? Looks super useful!

      Like
    • Quantum Jump The Allowance for YNAB app is for iOS. You can find more details from the app developer here!

      Like 1
      • lil Ronnie
      • lil_ronnie
      • 6 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Quantum Jump what Nicole said 馃槉

      Like 1
    • Nicole Quantum Jump Just a heads up that Nicole linked a different app. Here's the correct link for Allowance for YNAB.

      Like
    • Spider Plant Nicole Thanks! Unfortunately I have an Android phone, so this isn't available for me, but it looks super useful! I'll see if I can contact the developer and enquire as to the possibility of an android version.

      Like 1
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