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 have $327,117.84 in debt right now.
- $304,896.17 in Mortgage @ 4.25% + PMI
- $2,211.75 in Sofi Student Loans @ 5.25% (Down $30k from last year, almost done!)
- $20,009.92 in MyFedLoan @ avg ~4%
I need to finish off the Soft student loans (should be done this month) then I'm hoping to pay at least $35k into the mortgage to try to get rid of the PMI on the mortgage. To get rid of PMI I need $60k, so this will be a multi-year goal. Woo!
- Credit cards - $26,615.63 😭
- Bank loans - $5,289
- Loan from parents - $8,000
- Student loans - $82,504.59
- Mortgage - $101,287.37
- TOTAL DEBT - $223,696.59
That's a staggering amount of money.
To pay off this year:
- Credit cards - $8,000
- Bank loans - $2,500
- Mortgage - $2,500
- TOTAL PAYOFF - $13,000
Parents and student loans can wait.
I wonder if I should be more ambitious. It feels like a drop in the bucket.
Late to the party, but I'm looking to pay off at least $5000 this year. I want to buy a house and I know the first step is paying down debt. Thanks to YNAB, I realized that I'm paying almost $600 in loans and credit cards!! 😮
I am paying off my credit cards using a hybrid method. I divided my debt by interest rates (less than 10%, 10 to 20%, more than 20%) and then paying off the smallest balance from there. I'm concentrating on my credit cards right now and then work on my loans later. As of right now, I have $6,316 in credit card debt.
Hi! I am new to the Smackdown. My husband and I have been using YNAB since around 2012 (one of the truly best decisions we ever made), but we did a Fresh Start late last year and have been refocusing our priorities and rethinking some things. We just finished off our credit card debt as of January 1 this year.
For years, though, I've been avoiding thinking about really paying down our student loans...they just seemed insurmountable. So I'm trying to shift my perspective about that and am truly inspired by y'all. Right now, we have student loans, a car loan, and a bit of medical debt to work on with a grand total around $47,500. We're attacking the lowest interest-bearing debt aggressively and paying our regular payments on the rest, with the plan to rollover each amount as debts are paid off (ye olde snowball method). So we're looking at paying $10,500 this year.
Line 180: this is my first time participating (or knowing about it). We have the following debt, totalling $133,353.52. The Malibu will be paid off by default at the end of the year, so we're not putting anything extra to it, but the HELOC and the Venture card are what we're tackling. The 401k has to be paid off in total, so we'll have to save for that one (and it's paying myself interest...so it's low priority). We missed our goal of $25k last year (only $20.5k) because of starting a new business and vet bills, which are now budgeting for. The other goal is to take on no new debt this year, unless the debt is paying for itself (investments). I'm excited and motivated!
Malibu $6,942.25 401k $30,413.76 HELOC $68,709.51 Venture $27,288.00
Line 181 claimed! First time participating. I've got a car loan that I want paid off this year, student loans to work on and a mortgage to pay. We're also putting a couple windows in the house this year (thank you tax return)! Goal of $17,000.
Car - $9279
SL - $36,206
Mortgage - $48,820
Total = $94,305
We paid $1,190.56 on three different student loans, $600 towards the highest priority loan with the largest interest rate. We should have that one paid off by August. It has an 11% interest rate, so we're pretty eager to have that one finished.
Husband's loans are $2397.85
My private loan is $3408.48 (11% interest)
My federal loans are $118,644.47 (I am enrolled in Public Service Forgiveness Program, we'll see what happens with that program in the future)
Wow. It seems like, for so much time, I have been trying to pay this down but to no avail. No excuses - it's time to get honest with myself. I earn plenty enough to pay it down, but life happens and I get off track.
The thing that bites, when I consider it, is that I'm paying money each month in interest. If I think about where else that alone could go it seems insane that a well-educated, professional, independent woman is choosing to spend money on paying interest.
No more. I'm joining the 2020 smackdown and I am going to come out smiling.
January progress report on my battle against the student loan beast.
As ofJanuary 1, 2020: $224,934.56.
As ofJanuary 22, 2020: $216,970.75.
Notes: Regular monthly payment resulted in principal reduction of $1,163.81. Made extra principal payment of $6,800.00. Total reduction of principal in November: $7,963.81.
Year-end goal is to get the balance down $44,934.56 to $180,000.00. With a $7,963.81 reduction so far this year, I'm now about 17.72% there.
Currently, I want to focus on Credit Card debt, so I can free up cash flow to eventually tackle my much larger Student Loan Debts. I owe $10,608.31 in credit card debt across 6 cards. I have an app that adds up the balances for me, so I'll just be using that app to monitor my progress. I think I can successfully cut that number in half over this year, so my goal by 2021 is to have $5, 304 or less in credit card debt. It's setting the bar high for myself, but even if I get close to that number it'll be better than I've been doing over the last 10 years where I was racking that number up every month little by little. #letsgetit
Hi all...I am officially joining to keep me accountable. Last month, the husband and I decided on a plan to pay down ALL of our debt by Oct2025. That's 70 months, including this month's payments. However, yesterday, we got news that he will be unemployed within 36 months. We have a total debt of $197,842.73 before I make January payments...YIKES!! So I guess the plan is to pay down massive debt, and as fast as possible. Our goal is to pay a minimum of $40,000.00 in payments. There will be some interest involved, so actual results may vary. I'm going to need all the luck I can get my hands on!! Best of luck everyone...Let's do this.
I'm excited to join the Smackdown for 2020!
My debt that I would like to pay down is a personal loan of $15387.44. I have included the expected interest at 13.54% in this total.
In addition to this I have two private student loans with a balance of $22,279.89. I am paying the minimum on these until I pay off the personal loan. I am not including this in my payoff goal for the year but I do have a schedule for it.
2. I would like to pay off my personal loan in 2020. My income is variable but at a projected income of 50k this would be around 30%. I plan to put a big chunk towards it in February with my tax return and income from a freelance project, around $4k. Following that payment I will adjust my payback amount to complete by the end of the year. Any windfall will go towards this debt.
I'm nervous because this is a lot for me to pay down in one year but I really want it gone. And, I know that any amount of progress is good progress / one step closer to a positive net worth.
Posted this in the off-site forum (abudgetthatworks.org), and reposting here.
The 2019 Debt Smackdown was extremely helpful for us, and we are back at it this year. Last year, I only paid off 63% of my goal, but instead of berating myself about it, I am celebrating it. In years past, we were just treading water, but now we can actually see our progress. Our total debt, not including the mortgage, is $124,943.50. The bulk of that is federal student loans that I have from undergrad and grad school. Woof.
I claimed line 187 and am setting a goal of paying off our credit card consolidation loan ($6,927.58 at 6.82%) and paying down the used auto loan we picked up in October ($18,625.42 at 4.29%), for a total principal payoff goal of $12,500. My parents are in a position to help me pay off my student loans, and have been contributing $5200 a year to that end, so that is a huge help. We’ll tackle that nightmare in earnest next year.
Good luck to everyone, I’m looking forward to celebrating our collective progress!
I started YNAB just before the first of November 2019. I had been trying for several years to find a system that worked for my family (wife and two kids off at college). The turnaround in our finances in this short period of time has been nothing short of remarkable. My wife has seen it work in this short term and she is on board 100%, which is what will push us forward at a much faster rate. We have a long way to go, but I absolutely have no doubt we are headed in the right direction.
We currently have a credit card with a balance just under $20K. My goal for 2020 is to pay $15K of that balance by the end of the year. YNAB has given me the confidence to even be able to set this goal.
Good luck to everyone!
I would like to pay off a debt of 493€ (that's a minimum !). It's the two most little debts I have (120 & 373). I begin with the little because I feel happier this way and want to continue to the next !
So far I have the money to cover the 120€ debt, and part of the other one (thanks to christmas presents !) ! I feel I will finish easily, but I prefer to congratulate myself rather than be sad if I didn't finish. I took an other job on the wednesday, and it's a very hard day for me now, I work a lot and I would really like to stop already. But I decided that until I have debts, I will continue (and let myself stop and breathe when I paid them off !)
The total of my debts is around 3500€, and is mostly the money of the school I had, that I continue to pay back to my mother since years. But since I don't have a big salary, and have still trouble to keep my budget very well, it might take a long time to pay it off. But I'm on YNAB since the beginning of January only, and things are already getting better !
January Check In
Credit Card: $4,851.56 - $1250 = $3,601.56 (0% interest)
Auto Loan: $3,916 - $100 = $3,837.08 (adjusted w/ interest)
The one thing I said I would not compromise on this year were my debt payments. They have to be consistently paid every month at relatively the same rate. I had set monthly targets to pay off my credit card (April) and my auto loan (July) and my husband comes with a beautiful wrench to my plans with a work-related trip that we've extended into a vacation. I'm keeping to the plan tho and setting aside money from each paycheck for the vaca while still paying my debts. To say it's been tight is an understatement but it's made me flex my creative financial muscles when it comes to the budget.
I'm getting SERIOUS about clearing my non mortgage debt this year! Here goes:
Total non-mortgage debt €10,642.64
Aiming to pay off at least €6k in 2020!
It's made up of a personal loan €5194.01, credit card €3848.63, and my overdraft €1600.
Knuckling down and finally getting some of this off my back this year!
I plan on tackling debt this year and building back our emergency fund. We had aggressively paid down debt and contributed to retirement accounts in 2017-2018, but slowed down in 2019 for home improvements, repairs, hospital bills, and baby #2. In 2020, we're jumping back in but it will be tougher with two kids in daycare.
Credit cards: Pay off all of $2,936 left at 0%
Student loans: Pay off $9,190 of $24,312
Car loan: Pay off $5,772 of $7,237
Mortgage: Pay off $21,124 of $197,316
Started YNAB in December 2019 and it's been a huge boost to our family budgeting. We've been trying to get serious about paying off our huge mountain of debt, and YNAB has become more of a shared place for my wife and I rather than a me-vs-you thing that our previous budgeting spreadsheet had become. YNAB has helped get her on board a lot more as she now feels a lot more empowered and responsible for our budget. For me, it's refreshing to not have to be the "budget cop" all the time and to be able to "roll with the punches" a lot easier.
We've got quite a pile of debt to pay off, but I'm feeling optimistic that we're going to be successful this time around.
Total Non-Mortgage Debt: $84,450 (Credit Card, Medical Bill, Credit Line, HELOC)
Goal for 2020: Pay off $25,000