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 :)
Ooft, so plans are going to take a bit longer than anticipated pre-Covid19, but that's OK. My pay is being reduced by 20% come April, and that mean half of my pot for paying back debt goes with it. This was a stark and very real reminder about the reality of how far beyond my means I had been living before deciding to fix it, but that's OK because I love historic Green Forest Motherboard . 😄
Dialling back on spending as much as possible (without losing any joy) in order to see how much I can continue to pay off within the reduced salary. Whatever is paid off is better than borrowing more so I will persevere!
Good luck everyone and stay safe! :)
March check-in: we paid $2269.56 toward a credit card this month. We are chugging along slowly, but surely, but I cannot wait for this to be over. We have been at it for almost two years, and I'm so tired of paying for our past mistakes.
We have $20,855.33 left to go this year, and have paid $7,144 this year. Slow hand clap. I'm glad, but I'm ready to get his done.
Credit card consolidation loan
- Starting balance: $6927.58
- Current balance: $3119.15
Used auto loan
- Starting balance: $18,625.42
- Current balance: $17,498.36
We're slated to pay $1400 to the consolidation loan in April. ManSpice and I are both still employed (for now) and able to work from home, but have been talking about what to do with the stimulus check that is supposed to be issued in April. At that point, we'll be at just over a $1700 balance with the consolidation loan, and I think we'll use the check to kill it.
I am going to be cautious about paying down our other debt aggressively at this point, until we have a clearer picture of where this pandemic is going to take us financially. I want to make sure we are cutting expenses where we can and bracing for the worst-case scenario. We are in a lot better position than we were just a year ago, and I credit YNAB and this supportive forum for making that possible.
I hope you and yours are all staying safe and healthy!
ETA: We are 40% of the way to our goal!
Added an additional $290 towards debt smack-down and wiped out the vet bill, for a total of $890 for March. Also added $1000 to my emergency fund this month with plans to do the same in April.
Total paid in 2020 $17,331.79 at a little more than 53% towards goal.
Hoping everyone stays safe and well. The debt can be attacked, but make sure you have what you need to stay safe, even if that means putting debt pay-off on hold. We'll make it through this...hold tight! Peace everyone!
So, March was an interesting month! It was very hard to focus on the budget this month, but I made sure to make time for it! It actually made me feel much better and I felt more in control, even when everything else felt so uncertain.
I paid $674 towards my debt this month, as well as $153.67 in interest! So, not as much as my goal, but I did get a LOT of my true expense categories more filled up, so I'm excited to be able to put more money towards the debt next month since those categories are more satisfied!
I paid the absolute bare minimum towards my student loans this month - which was a whopping $10.64. I still budgeted for the larger payment, but I'm going to let that money sit nice and cozy in that category until things calm down a bit.
I hope everyone is staying safe, healthy and in-doors when possible! :)
I've decided to only pay minimum payments on my debt until this Coronavirus crisis is over, because I may want that cash for something else. Another factor is that I decided to up my investments into my 403b and try to max out my 2019 Roth IRA contributions with the extra time I have due to being able to contribute until 2019 taxes are due in the summer, and focus on that now while stocks are on sale. So I will still be updating here, but I'm taking a break from extra debt payments for awhile. Right now I have $9122 left of debt, which is pretty amazing after already paying of $19246 so far after starting my debt payoff last year, almost a year ago. I'm slowing the debt payoff down for now, but I'm really glad I got so far already.
I'm going in the opposite direction but considering what is going on in the world, I am not going to stress about it. I'll do the best I can. I'm grateful to have Social Security Disability income. I know a lot of people have lost their income. I am paying my rent and all my bills. It makes me nervous to do that, but I don't have a choice. I have money in checking and savings so I'm okay. With all that is unknown, it's hard to figure out what to do. I honestly can't wrap my head around everything that is going on.
Current debt total: $14,021.44
I will pay only minimums on debt. No extra payments until I feel more secure about things. And that might be a while. Doing my best to keep a smile on my face or my mask. LOL
Because of the virus, my income are lower now.. so I couldn't manage to tackle my debt (but it's a personal one, so no money lost). In fact I even had to take some money from my emergency fund because of all the mess. I'm so glad I have this emergency fund. I keep thinking of all the people that doesn't, struggling in those uncertain times. Good luck for everyone. Hope april will be easier.
Check-in for 2020 so far; Coronavirus will hit us hard this coming month, I can't see too much progress made, to be honest.
January Check in
Starting balance | Ending balance
€2542.74 Credit Card €2377.04 (-165.70)
€12214.34 Bank Personal Loan €11735.53 (-478.81)
February Check in
Starting balance | Ending balance
€2377.04 Credit Card € (-72.23)
€11735.53 Bank Personal Loan € (-493.39)
March Check in
Starting balance | Ending balance
€2304.81 Credit Card €2493.30 (-188.49)
€11242.14 Bank Personal Loan €10757.50 (-484.64)
March check-in: $333.27 paid toward my student loans, the minimum payment. Under $5k left, which is an exciting milestone!
My husband and I were chatting that adjusting our plans and goal expectations has been the theme for March. I know we're not alone there! We're topping off savings categories, and getting ahead for certain annual expenses. Still budgeting dollars for our snowball, but hanging on to the cash for now.
Paid a total of $755.81 towards debts this month (that's the total amount of all payments to the cards minus any budgeted spending, including interest)
I'm only counting credit cards in this one, not my mortgage or loan. But if I can get these paid off then it will make everything else so much easier.
A bit less than I hoped for, but still mostly on track to meet my goal of no credit card debt by the end of this year.
My hubby has recovered from his knee replacement surgery and went back to work last week - yay! Great that he's an essential employee, not great that they've had numerous cases at his work place (thankfully not in his building). I'm working from home, but for now we will keep making minimum payments while adding to our snowball till we feel comfortable attacking the 2nd mortgage. Hope everyone stays safe and are able to manage financially through this pandemic.
Final numbers for April 2020
Starting balance end of March Ending balance after April pymts
$60,673.95 1st Mortgage $60,145.73
$12,228.17 2nd Mortgage $12,016.16
Total debt paid down in April $740.23, total for 2020 $2,942.07 (15.4% of goal).
Hi! Just joined the new April Debt bootcamp and found a link to this group. Sorry to just jump in as a big fat noob, but I figure it can only help me, so I just added myself to the spreadsheet. I've always just considered my debts (mortgage, med school loans, car payment) to just be monthly bills. Just sort of think of them as a fact of life and can't imagine not having them. Til I did some math and realized they cost me almost half my income every month!!! Imagine the freedom of not having that?! So is this where we post our "starting stats" for accountability? My total debt is (gulp) $416,359.65. Or, was, as of March 1. I don’t know what it was Jan 1. Last month I used my tax refund and another windfall to knock out my remaining 10k of cc debt so now I "just" have the others. I have no idea how to set a debt paydown goal for the year.... I have money budgeted for my regular payments- I was planning to make them as scheduled, even though my student loans are able to be deferred for now. (I'm a doc, thus 'essential', but my income is taking quite a hit.)
I guess joining late is better than not joining.
1. List the amount of total debt that you owe
$208,500 ( Yeah I know. Horrifying)
2. Post in this thread the total amount of debt you would like to pay off during the 2020 calendar year.
Well, $3,783.28 is the current balance of my credit card. The rest is from student loans, and I am not in the position to be paying those down aggressively. The interest alone is about $1k/month, so paying any more than just the minimum would be wasting money. I cannot reasonably afford to pay the interest and make any substantial dent in the principal. I can either wait to come in to some money, or continue along the path of loan forgiveness for now. For that reason, I will focus on my credit card debt. If anyone can wave a magic wand and help me figure out the best way to handle this kind of student debt, feel free to let me know.
My goal, therefore, is to pay off my entire credit card balance this year.
April Update! Thankful to still be getting a paycheck and I can keep progressing through my plan to nuke my car loan. This month also marks paying off a total of $20,000 of my mortgage in just over two years since getting it. 🎉
- Car Loan:$4,912.64/$7,313.03
- Mortgage: $3,170.24/$7,200.00
- Total: $8,082.88/$14,513.03
So far this year, I have paid off $5,504.74! This puts me at 55.05% of my goal. It's amazing what this program and the support from all of you can do!
Waterproofing loan- $1883.45
Home depot- $835.78
UC Health- $988.36
Oral surgeon- $850.74
Just two years ago I owed $16k on the waterproofing. This makes me so happy!
I'm so grateful to still be employed. DH is completely demoralized. He thought this was to be his business's year. With China down, COVID-19 has determined that is a lie. I am still working. We are just trying to stay afloat right now. Our debt paydown goal has decreased to a "don't incur more debt goal," which to be honest, the quarantine is helping. I don't have to go to work so I'm spending $0 on transportation, personal care, and dining out. I gave myself a haircut, which in hindsight probably wasn't the best idea, lol, but our little family is doing okay. No one is sick and we are blessed to have three full floors, two office spaces, and enough to pay what we have to pay. I cannot complain. Debt "paydown" for March was a whopping $13 after interest, but like I said, we are not adding. Prayers and hugs to the ones who have lost jobs or, worse, family members during this pandemic. We are all in this together.