When I asked if you wanted to continue the Debt Smashathon in 2020, I got a resounding YES, so we’ll keep it going this year as well! This is our first debt smashing report of 2020. If you don’t already get the link to report your progress at the end of each month, sign up here!
I get so excited when I read each of your reports (yes, I read them ALL)! I love reading your successes like lowering your grocery spending, sticking to your budget, being consistent, and making progress toward your goals!
I wish I could respond to each of you individually and tell you how awesome you’re doing and how happy I am for you, or at least give a virtual high five! You are doing great! You are creating habits that will make future financial success come easier.
For those who are new here, in 2020 we’re smashing debt together! Everyone is invited to participate by reporting how much you paid in debt each month. To get the a fuller picture of our financial progress as a group, we’re also keeping track of how much you invested for retiremement and how much you saved for big goals. If you want to learn more and join this debt smashing movement, you can join the fun here.
Let’s start with the numbers, though the best part is all of your personal thoughts and accomplishments. You can find those after the numbers.
January 2020 Debt Smash-athon Totals
During January, we collectively put $43,696 toward debt!
Way to go friends!!
Of the 26 of you who completed the Debt Smash-athon report for January, 92% reported putting money toward debt in January. That averages out to $1,821 per Debt Smasher, with a median of $1,596 paid in debt. January is often a low month for debt reduction as people recover from spending more during the holidays, so this is great!
As a group, we invested $12,078 toward retirement! 65% of respondents reported retirement savings.
We also put a total of $10,775 toward big savings goals other than debt and retirement. 54% of respondents saved money for a big goal in January.
When you put that all together, the 26 total reporters made $66,550 of financial improvement in January! That is a great start to the year! Way to go friends!
Each month I have a special prize for a randomly selected Debt Smasher who reported his or her progress.
This month’s winner will get their own copy of the Debt Snowball Calculator. I shared what it does and why I think it’s great for anyone who is working to payoff student loans or credit cards (or any other non-mortgage debt). It’s definitely worth checking out!
The winner will also get the print version of Frugal Fresh Start, the book behind January’s Frugal Fresh Start Challenge!
January’s randomly chosen winner is Jen whose big milestone was “Less that 9K in debt!” I’ll be in touch, Jen!
Beyond the numbers
We all know that numbers aren’t the only indication of progress. Even with small numbers, we still make important progress as we change our course and build better money habits.
I was blown away by all of your accomplishments this month. I picked a variety of the wonderful responses to share with you below.
Milestones & Big Wins
“Down under $49K in my student loans” ~Danielle
“I am paid fortnightly so it was 3 pays and 3 additional mortgage payment amounts during the month which makes the figures look awesome. A great way to start off the new year.” ~Anne
“Paid off another loan group saving us about $90 in interest per month.” ~Jen
“Stayed on budget despite a second month in a row of having major expenses and less work than expected.” ~Austin
“I was excited to start the year off strong! I’m so happy to get back on track after the holidays. My mortgage principal amount was huge for me this month!” ~Emily
“Despite having to do a home maintenance project much earlier than expected which also cost more than expected, we did still save toward our goal, thanks to a three paycheck month.” ~Sheila
“We came in $12.19 under our grocery/dining out/household budget!” ~Amy
“I paid off my Bar Exam prep course in CASH that I had SAVED from June – January. I start studying next month! And this month, I will be submitting my application, and paying for that in CASH that I have SAVED, as well! It feels SO GREAT to not have to charge things and figure out how to pay it back, later.” ~Becky
“No Christmas debt hangover!” ~Linda
“Lowered our grocery spending” ~Jess
What was the key to your success?
“Staying out of stores and off online sites. Remembering to be grateful for what we have and stuck to our goals.” ~Linda
“Good budgeting and sticking to our debt repayment goals.” ~Jen
“Buying second hand, cooking cheaper food, writing down every shekel we spent.” ~Orit
“I tried not to spend too much this month. I ate out of my pantry and didn’t eat out. I really worked my side hustle and it shows!” ~Emily
“Consistency! Gave myself some fun money but the majority of my paycheck and side hustle income money goes to savings goals or debt payoff” ~Danielle
“Making a plan. Having a visual way to track progress, super encouraging and an easy way to communicate where we are.” ~Shannon
“Your website and motivating videos kept me hanging on. Reduced unneeded spending.” ~Sherrie
“Sticking to the budget” ~Whitney
“It was a 3-paycheck month for husband (and we saved the whole 3rd paycheck), and I started a new part-time job.” ~Brooke
“I’d over-saved for something, so I was able to put the extra toward debt.” ~Bethany
“Tracking expenses with YNAB. We’ve had a few false starts, but we’ve been able to stick with YNAB since the start of November.” ~Jess
Join Us in the Debt Smash-athon!
It’s not just me who’s excited about this. This is what fellow Debt Smashers are saying:
“Very much enjoying the accountability of knowing that I have to report each month.” ~Austin
“I love this motivating challenge!” ~Danielle
“I didn’t join this until a few months into last year, so I’m very excited to be in from the beginning for 2020!” ~Becky
“Excited to be doing this again in 2020!!” ~Brooke
Well, $66,550 of financial improvement among us is fabulous! I can’t wait to see what you do in February!