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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  • I know I'm late to the game, but we're trying to get started on paying off our mountain of car debt and credit card debt.  I've got a car with 6370 remaining, one with 17450 remaining, and one with 40500 remaining(yikes).  We also have about 3500 in credit card debt between us.  There's student loans as well, but I'll worry about those next year!

    Like 4
    • Beige Saxophone Welcome to the party! Now is always the right time to get started!

      Like
      • Peripherie
      • Tomato_Captain.11
      • 2 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      CeCe Welcome and good luck! You're not late, you're just early for next year. :) Really - when the new year rolls around you will be glad you started now.

      Like 1
  • October checkin: $521.27 paid off on the large CC, and successfully stayed debt free on the small CC! I did end up having to charge a couple things on the large CC, so my actual balance is $5,227.29--I'll update the spreadsheet. Joined the YNAB Debt Bootcamp for this month, hoping that'll be some good motivation to add some extra money and find opportunities for savings! I'm also doing my first monthly checkin this weekend--reviewing my personal/ financial goals, looking at where I am financially, and what my money needs to do for me. I'm hoping that will help me get clear(er) on my priorities (besides "DEBT GONE") and find some extra cash.

    Like 1
  • October 1st Check-In:

    Still plugging away at my family loan. Sent $260 to it this month. My parents have resisted me increasing the amount so as it stands I owe them a littl over 11K which ends up meaning I would be paying them over the next 3 1/2 years. That is with no interest so, much better than the original credit card loans it all started out as.

    My mom hinted a bit ago that they might forgive it as a Christmas gift. I don't think she would have mentioned it if they weren't prepared to do that but we will see. I will continue to budget as if that isn't going to happen (and I certainly always planned to pay them back) but it would be excellent to start off 2021 completely debt free.

    Like 3
    • Peripherie that would be so generous of them! My BF's mom paid off his (very small) student loans for him as a gift, and we appreciated having that off of his plate, too. Family help is very kind, and nothing says that you can't set some money aside and give them a gift, or just repay them at a later time. 11k would take them on a nice vacation or something else fun, too. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that they help you out, and that you're able to take the windfall and make the most of it! In the mean time, just keep plugging away!

      Like 1
      • Peripherie
      • Tomato_Captain.11
      • 2 mths ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual Yes, I was quite surprised when she mentioned forgiving it. (I was quite surprised when they offered the loan in the first place.) I would love to be able to give back to them down the road, as well. They have been very supportive of my budgeting and house-selling journey this year. I know they just want me to have the same financial success and security that they have (which also reduces the need for them to help me out in the future). I am very blessed to have their support and make sure to tell them and show it as often as I can.

      Either way, if they forgive the loan or not, I intend to keep a debt-free life in the forefront of my mind and continue to grow my 'debt prevention' funds.

      Like 3
  • September progress report on my battle against the student loan beast:

    As of August 12, 2020: $202,811.04

    As of September 31, 2020: $200,762.03

    Notes: Regular monthly payment resulted in principal reduction of $1,249.01. Made extra principal payment of $800.00. Total reduction of principal in September: $2,049.01.

    Year-end goal is to get the balance down $44,934.56 (from $224,934.56 starting place on January 1, 2020) to $180,000.00. With a $24,172.53 reduction so far this year, I'm now about 53.79% there.

    Like 4
    • Slate Blue Pilot Though this isn't exactly part of the debt payment challenge, I hit a huge milestone in September, which is a POSITIVE NET WORTH! I haven't had more money/assets than debts since I was barely 18 years old and had taken out my first college loan. Since a lot of my savings are invested and the market goes up and down, it is very possible that my net worth may go negative again, but for now, I am allowing myself to celebrate that it is in firmly positive territory. :)

      Like 4
    • Slate Blue Pilot Congrats! And it looks like after your payment next month your student loan balance will be under $200k!

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    • Hot Pink Admiral  Thanks! Yes, will be falling under $200,000 in just a couple of days!

      Like 1
    • Slate Blue Pilot That's all good stuff!!!

      And positive net worth is a HUGE feeling of success!

      Like 2
  • October check-in:
    Paid minimums on all debts: $1310
    Added to Snowball category: $949
    With my anticipated Snowball of $7517 and November and December's payments, I will reach my goal of $27,600 for the year. 

    I adjusted my debt-payoff expectations a little. I decided I'd rather be a budgeted a little further ahead than pay off our debt 3 months sooner. Undebt.it says Jan. '22, but I'm going to try for Dec. '21. But not Oct. '21.


    October and all but $999 of November is budgeted!  And there are two more Paydays in October. 

    Like 4
    • Pay Me To Draw that's all awesome news!

      Like 1
  • We paid $3467.26 in debt payments for September. We're over 90% to our goal!!! yay :)

    Like 1
  • September Update

    Another good month. Keeping on track with the plan. The taxes were due so we have increased the balance on the one LOC but were able to take advantage of two months of reduced interest expenses for about $140. 

    CC#1 - Consolidated to CC#2 Original $19,937.78/Current Balance $0 (Paid $18,826/Transfer $1,111.78)

    CC#2 - Original Balance $13,861.85/Consolidated Balance $21,069.40/ Current Balance $15,326.35

    CC#3 - Consolidated into CC#3 Original Balance $7500.71/Current Balance $0 (Transfer $7500.71)

    CC#4 - Original Balance $34,944.68/Current Balance $34,944.68

    Like 3
  • September update. I paid off one of my private student loans!! And it was with a lender I really didn’t like, so bonus win there, since I won’t have to deal with that bank anymore. I officially have less than 20K of debt. 🎉🎉🎉

    I also picked up a third job this month, delivering pizzas. My husband isn’t thrilled but I’m actually enjoying it. 🤣

     

    2020 Starting Debt: $30,766.04

    September Debt Paid: $2,812.49

    Current Debt: $18,143.49

    Debt Smackdown: $12,622.43 / $15,000 (84.15%)

    Like 5
    • zoebby That is incredible!! So great to get rid of a debt you hate & get a side hustle to help you achieve your goals!! You've got this girl!! :)

      Like 1
    • zoebby wahoo!!!

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    • zoebby SUPER MEGA AWESOME!!!!!! 

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  • September check-in:   

    HELOC Maxed Payments: $495.08
    Snowball: $345
    NEW!! Tutoring Side-hustle: $375 (actually made an additional $225 which takes a few days to clear off the debt so will show up on the Oct amount)
    Debt Smackdown Totals: $1215.08/$13,936. = 53.32%.   I will now reach my goal this year. :))

    Feels AMAZING to have started a side-hustle that is going 100% towards debt!! I've played with my spreadsheet to see the forecasted payments each month and my debt will be gone in Jan2022, 8 months before the 3 month renewal date. I could actually pay it off sooner but my HELOC only has $7500 pre-payments per year (haha only!!) An extra $900 is a huge difference to my goals and this is an underestimate. Don't count chickens before they hatch... The Moms love me and one told me that I'm not allowed to go anywhere...that her girls are going to need me for years! She was excited to hear that I could come a few times a week in the summer since my time after-school is limited. There are 4 of them in their "covid bubble", which I'm now a part of, and of course since 1 & 2 got me to tutor, they all want me. Feels great to be wanted, be able to work with great kids who I can really see the difference I am making in their lives, and also the cha-ching benefits for my debt-free journey! 

    I'm now in the mindset  to aggressively attack my debt since joining this forum. Thank you everybody for the community of support. I really feel it and I don't get it IRL. :)

    Like 5
    • Purple Foal That's SO fantastic!!!!

      Like
  • October Check-in: $1113.67 paid towards debt. Still waiting for final bills from medical trip in September, so that's looming over us, and there's already been a small amount added to the debt load, but so far we're hanging in there.

    Like 2
  • Blue Sander said:
    Hubs has just got a job offer

     Awesome!!!

    Like 1
  • Corruptress said:
    I have finally stopped living paycheck to paycheck

     That is an awesome achievement in and of itself. How many people wished they could say the same!  Congrats.

    Like
  • Only $344 this month to credit card debt, but we did have $1150 go towards the baby due next month - including an unexpected $450 for a genetic test done months ago we went back and forth with insurance on.  The doctor had assured me it would be covered, but insurance refused to budge on it.  At least I got the company to drop from the original charge of $1100 for it.  But, from my end, I'm going to think positive on this in that we had money available to pay for this bill without hurting any other category.  Plus, we've managed to completely pay for bills along the way with this baby.  We're expecting minimal charges from the hospital next month (barring complications) which we definitely cannot say with our first child.

    Like 3
      • Peripherie
      • Tomato_Captain.11
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Steel Blue Mask Congrats on the upcoming bundle of joy!

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    • Steel Blue Mask Those are all really big accomplishments! Way to go! And congrats on the baby, too!

      Like
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
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      Steel Blue Mask kudos on piling up that money for the baby. I’m in Canada so the idea of paying all that money to have a baby is scary. But I’ve heard Dave Ramsey enough times say to pause the extra debt payments and pile up money until everyone is home 

      Like 1
  • September Monthly Check In

    • Construction Loan:  Balance $0!
    • Medical Loan:  Balance $0!
    • #2 Medical Loan: Paid $300 - Balance $5,200

    Total paid this month $300.  $10,670 / $15,870 - 67% complete for the year!

    Still fighting unexpected medical bills. I have actually already paid for October as well, but I will wait another week before updating. It would appear that the only way I will make my goal of paying all my debt off before the end of the year is if we get another stimulus. So we'll see. I doubt it. But at least I will be able to clear the remaining debt quickly next year. 

    Like 2
    • The Goat Queen yeah, I was irritated when I head they delayed it again. I'd love to have another boost to the income!!!

      Like
  • Another month, another mortgage payment is made. Nothing more to report. Seeya in November! 

    • Car Loan:$7,313.03/$7,313.03 
    • Mortgage: $5,268.45/$7,200.00
    • Total: $12,959.55/$14,513.03
    Like 4
  • October to debt:  $2971.36.  It's looking like I might (?) make my goal!  

    Like 3
      • Cyan Yeti
      • Cyan_Yeti.6
      • 1 mth ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Cyan Yeti  Mistake made.  Actually $3135.69 to Oct. debt!!!  I paid more than planned on one card but forgot to count it.😊

      Like 3
    • Cyan Yeti I love realizing those kinds of things!! Congrats!

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      • Cyan Yeti
      • Cyan_Yeti.6
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual  Thanks!

      Like 1
  • Paid down another $1423 this month; I'm now at ~53% of my 2020 payoff goal. Thanks to massive shift in our income this year, there's no way we could make the original goal. HOWEVER, I'm leaving all goals as they are to see how well we do all things considered. We have - for the first time ever - massively shifted our spending so we're now living within our current means, which means WAY below our 'normal' means. So I'm hoping 2021 will allow us to pay the rest off faster than we would have without the 2020 curveball that it has been. Shockingly pleased with progress this year! And we still have all of Q4 to go. Hubs could find a job + I might get some of my salary reduction back, so I'm still hopeful for a better outcome than we're even on track for today. Regardless, I SLEEP BETTER AT NIGHT thanks to YNAB and this challenge. Woot!

    Like 5
    • Turquoise Drill Awesome!!!

      Like 1
  • Joining this later in the year, but I've been unintentionally (well, intentionally) doing this anyways.

    1)

    At the beginning of the year, I owed: 

    Credit Cards: $27,284.26

    Student Loans: $31,717.25

     

    2) I'd like to pay off $25K in CC debt and $5K in Student Loan Debt. I was hoping to pay off all of the CC this year, but a move in the summer set me back about two months. 

     

    3) As of today, my balances are:

    Credit Card: $11,688.21

    Student Loans: $29,204.94

     

    4) I'll post on the spreadsheet today! 

    Like 4
    • Nucci That's still some really big progress! Welcome to the party! (And yeah, moves are crazy expensive no matter how you dice it!)

      Like
  • As a group, we have now paid off over $3.5 MILLION! 🤩🎉🤑

    Given what 2020 has thrown at us, that is an amazing feat! So proud to be a part of it. 👏

    Like 12
    • Peripherie I'm so glad this challenge exists, I'm this close to paying off my last card - I haven't been free of consumer debt since my 18th birthday so this has been amazing!

      Like 3
    • Peripherie Woohoo! It is truly amazing, and the result of so much hard work! The TOTAL paid off in 2019 was $2.8 million. 💥 Blown away doesn't describe it!

      Like 3
      • Peripherie
      • Tomato_Captain.11
      • 1 mth ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Woah - already so much farther this year! 😱 I can't wait to see what we get to at the end of December.

      So glad to have found YNAB and really stuck with it. It is a game-changer! So proud of all our progress!

      Like 4
    • Peripherie So wild, and so glad I joined this group! I wonder what folks opt for once they pay off their debt? For my part, I have my student loans, and once those are gone, I hope to divert those steady monthly payments to savings/retirement investments. 

      Like 1
    • Peripherie WAHOOOOO!!!!!!! I was waiting for us to cross that mark! Considering we only did 2.8 last year, that's HUGE!

      Like
      • Peripherie
      • Tomato_Captain.11
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Spider Plant I still have a family loan that is a consistent payment. I will have that for another 3 years most likely. So I will still have some 'debt' next year but as the family doesn't really want me to pay them back sooner and it has no interest - I will be doing the same as you. I plan to join the 2021 Savings Challenge and work towards filling up my TE's, Emergency Fund, and an Income Replacement Fund.

      Like 2
    • Peripherie Awesome, love the sound of all that! I have a "wish farm" goal to save up for an e-bike, which is something I've wanted for a while and now I want to make it a reality. It's a nice happy thing to think about, which feels so needed right now. Cheers to moving onward and upward!

      Like 1
  • 🍏🍎 September Check-In  🍎🍏

    I paid off one credit card, then immediately took advantage of a balance transfer offer to roll two smaller balances onto that newly zero balance card. It kind of overshadowed the huge victory of getting that one to zero but I started the year carrying balances on 5 credit cards and am down to 2!

    Debt pay down progress in 2020:

    September: $1959.69 (it was really a but more, but I did some balance transferring and the fee brought my September total payment amount down a little)

    August: $1994.53 

    July:  $2126.43

    June: $2528.02

    May: $2002.09

    April: $1712.68

    March: $1730.05

    February: $1370.62

    January: $1821.11

    Total progress: $17,245.22 paid off

    Current standing

    Student loans: $20,121. 18 (in covid forbearance, so I'm redirecting the payments to cc's)

    Credit Cards (2!): $30,399.37

    Like 5
  • Haven’t done an update for a while. We put the extra payments on hold when the world crashed but luckily we have both continued working and getting paid. We we’re moving the MBNA balance to another low interest offer which took FOREVER to get arranged. And then just when I decided we would/could throw it all at the debt, son #1 needs to sell his truck. To help him make it easier by getting the loan paid off and no lien on the title, I piled up ALL our cash plus took out from line of credit and made a $53,000🤮 loan payoff to his loan. Once he sells the truck that will be paid back to me but I may need to cover the shortfall and let him pay me back over time. So all the stockpiled money may end up not being used to payoff my debt for now. I haven’t updated the spreadsheet or undebt.it because it’s too overwhelming. Debt went down but debt went up. Not even sure where I stand right now.

    Like 2
    • MXMOM Oh man, that's tough!!!! Sometimes it's just easier to keep your head down and keep moving and figure it out when the dust settles a little more. I hope the truck sells quickly and you can get the money back into your account in a hurry, too!

      Like 2
  • September Check-in: I am working this Debt SmackDown.  $13,000 paid on my Student Loan in September.  Almost at $80,000 balance.....In January of 2020, paying off this Student Loan was not even on my radar.  I started YNAB for the 3rd time in February 2020 but I stuck with it. Now, 7 months later....look at my results.  WOW!  Unbelievable.

    Like 13
    • Sky Blue Wizard That is amazing!! So great to colour each benchmark so you can see your progress. Rome wasn't built in a day, but it is fun to watch it being built! Or paid off in your case! :)

      Like
    • Sky Blue Wizard CONGRATS! That's huge!!! There's still the rest of Oct, and Nov and Dec in this year to make even more of an impact.

      Like 1
    • Sky Blue Wizard This is impressive! Great progress.

      Like 1
      • Orange Sun
      • Orange_Sun.8
      • 1 mth ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Sky Blue Wizard 3rd time was the charm for me too!  Sometimes it takes a few cracks at it, which makes it all the sweeter when it sticks :)

      Like 2
  • September Monthly Check In

    • Construction Loan:  Balance $0!
    • Medical Loan:  Balance $0!
    • #2 Medical Loan: Paid $300 - Balance $4,700

    Total paid this month $500.  $11,170 / $15,870 - 70% complete for the year!

    Unfortunately things will be changing again. The design company I have worked for over the last  8 years is dissolving and my clients and I have been transferred to a new owner. I'm pretty sad about it. I think I will continue getting my tiny monthly maintenance payments (like $125) but I doubt I will receive any new clients. I am also losing a lot of the free subscriptions I have been using all these years such as Photoshop. If I were to purchase all the things on my own it would cost over $100 a month, hereby cancelling any income. But not having the subscriptions will affect my personal clients, and also my own projects. Sigh. 

    Now I have to decide if I want to try to branch out and go back to freelancing, find a new employer, or if I am going to take a bit of a hiatus because of Covid and my new baby. 

    Like 4
      • MXMOM
      • MXMOM
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      The Goat Queen that sucks! is there a way that you can subcontract (so freelance but for a specific company or two) and get them to cover the software costs?

      Like
    • The Goat Queen Change isn't always enjoyable, but many times I have found that I've come out for the better when it's all said and done. I hope the silver lining appears soon!

      Like
    • This entry was actually for October. 

      Like
  • October Check-in....kind of boring this month with $100 towards Parent Plus Loan (last debt woo hoo!).  70% towards goal of NO MORE DEBT!  The only way I'm making my goal this year is if I decide to use some of my emergency fund to pay that off (balance on loan is $9725).  Since interest will resume in January, I very well may pay this off ;) 

    Like 5
    • Sweet Tangerine What's awesome is that you HAVE an emergency fund that you COULD use to pay it off! That is really good news!

      Like
    • farfromtheusual  YES!  It's a new thing for me, but sure does make me feel better having it!  

      Like 2
    • Sweet Tangerine as long as you are a month ahead and keep at least $1,000 in emergency funds, I would go ahead and pay down that student loan.  This comes from my previous Dave Ramsey mentality but I think it makes sense.

      Like 1
    • Whiskey Mama I also feel pretty certain I'll pay it off before the interest resumes, I guess I'm just trying to keep a little higher emergency fund for the times we are in.  My work has been doing some shady last minute cuts and has just overall been less dependable lately.  I will know by December if they are paying out our unused PTO (as they've done each year) and that will give me more peace of mind to move forward with making that lump sum payment!  

      Like 1
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