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A Straight Talk on Debt A Straight Talk on Debt gives you the real deal on debt, straight from our employees and personal finance experts. Learn more about debt relief plans and how to be financially fit. 5524
CareOne Debt Discussions The employees of CareOne Services, Inc. understand debt, many have experienced their own personal debt challenges. Learn more about why the employees of CareOne understand what it is like to struggle financially. 863
Entrepreneurial Money Management Marci talks about the financial issues & concerns business owners’ face when running their own company. 99
Life Balance Nora and Tim help you find balance when dealing with a stressful debt situation. Learn how to manage stress and enjoy travel without breaking the bank. 919
Major Life Challenges Blog Series We are taking a closer look at some of the big issues we all can face in our lifetime. Each topic will be featured as a blog series. 1386
My Journey out of Debt Featured customers currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Relief Plan, share journey to become debt-free; hear how they juggle family, finances, and more. 3124
Savvy Spending Savvy Spender knows how to pinch a penny and about being on a budget. She has learned great ways to save money on everyday expenses. 223
  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    What Happens to my Credit Cards When I Put them on a Debt Management Plan?

    • 15 Comments

    If you are considering enrolling in a Debt Management Plan or have just enrolled you may be wondering what will happen with your credit cards.

    ...
  • Savvy Spending

    Avoid the Scary Cost of Halloween Costumes

    • 1 Comments
    Don't want to pay scary prices for Halloween costumes? When Halloween time rolls around each year, it seems like all the fun is taken out of this "holiday" for Max and I when our mailbox is full of catalogs and ads for costumes. The kids go through these catalogs and get all excited about what they want to be, but have you seen the prices of costumes these days -- $30 to $50 each??? Multiply those numbers by 4 kids and we are playing major "tricks" on our budget --- and it's NOT a treat! Too scccaaarrryyy for me -- this year will be different. In fact, I have already laid the ground work. ...
  • Life Balance

    Clean up the Clutter

    • 1 Comments
    I don’t have to tell you how being in debt can make you feel like things in your life are out of whack. It’s really scary to not know what each new day will bring—and to feel like you have no control over things. Now, how do you make things even worse? Add a cluttered, messy, disorganized living area. When my husband and I were deep in debt, we obviously had a lot to worry about. In addition to focusing on our jobs (once my husband was back in work), our main priority was our daughter. So with our hectic weekly schedule and caring for Abby, that left little time for anything else, including housework. Before long, papers started to pile up, as did laundry, dishes, and many random pieces of the day. And the more cluttered things became, the more anxious and out of control I felt. ...
  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    Beware of the Boom in “Debt Help” Companies

    • 30 Comments

    With an increasing number of people falling on hard times comes an increasing number of “debt help” companies who promise they have the best solution.

    ...
  • Retired and Loving It

    Affordable Healthcare and Prescriptions

    • 1 Comments
    Well, it finally happened, I turned 65 this month and what a glorious celebration. I no longer have to worry about COBRA since I am happily on Medicare, both Parts A and B. I had to purchase a Medicare Supplemental Plan since Medicare does not cover all medical expenses. So after checking the rates with the various insurance carriers, I decided to go with an AARP Supplemental Plan costing about $130 a month that will pick up all my co-pays, deductibles under Medicare and offer additional benefits. When I need medical care, I will have wrap-around protection between both plans....
  • CareOne Debt Discussions

    Fall Shopping! Put money aside before hitting the stores!

    • 0 Comments
    Ahhhhh! I love this time of year. The air is getting crisper. Pumpkins are popping out on peoples’ porches. And those lovely, snuggly sweaters and fabulous boots are back in stores. Fall shopping is the Achilles heel of my budget! I have such a hard time fighting the temptation not to overspend on the gorgeous clothes, shoes and accessories. Some how I always seem to be able to justify making unnecessary purchases because I’m just so sure I’ll need a fabulous cocktail dress on hand when the holidays roll around. ...
  • Savvy Spending

    Online Shopping Can Be a Mom's Best Friend

    • 1 Comments
    If you are at all like me, you have kids, a husband and need to work -- but live with guilt for not spending enough time with your kids. Then this is for you. As moms, we sacrifice -- in fact for many of us, the decision to work is a sacrifice. So when we need to shop for certain items, it's nice to have the world of technology at your "fingertips"! In fact, with technology, we can shop from home, office, even the pool at anytime of day (without having to hire a babysittter). The great thing is that it can actually save you gas, energy and time. Let's not forget about saving you money too -- as long as you are savvy. ...
  • Balancing Family

    How to Get Bargains at Yard Sales

    • 3 Comments
    “Mom, pull over, this looks like a good one!” yelled my son from the backseat. We were out on a Saturday morning, driving in our neighborhood looking for good yard sales. I first started going to yard sales when I was setting up my first apartment as a young adult. I found dishes, glasses, silverware, furniture, pots and pans, and even a few wall hangings. As a new teacher, I hunted for used books for my classroom library, as well as games for indoor recess. Then I had enough “stuff” and I stopped going to yard sales. That changed once I had children and no second income. I have found most of my kids’ plastic toys at yard sales. ...
  • In College and Starting Out

    The Cheap College Diet

    • 1 Comments
    A college diet isn’t exactly a desired one. You may have heard horrors about the bland, mass produced food provided by the famed “meal plan”. I was required to survive such a diet as a first year student, but I nixed the meal plan as soon as I was able to move off campus. My reasons for getting rid of my “meal plan” go further than the lack in food quality....
  • Balancing Family

    Teaching Kids About Money with an Allowance

    • 2 Comments
    I am hearing less of “Mommy, can I buy that?” when I take my kids shopping. A few months ago I almost made a T-shirt just for shopping that had “NO” written on the front and back. Instead of sounding like a broken record, saying “No” for the thousandth time and feeling like the meanest Mommy alive, I started giving my older two children an allowance. I am not saying, “NO,” very often, instead I say, “Sure, you can use your own money.” Then we discuss how much it costs, if it seems like a good deal, and how much they REALLY want it. Almost all the time they decide against the purchase, preferring to keep their money for something else. If they decide to buy it, they pay me when we return home and the item usually gets more use. And, if it is a dud, they learn an important life lesson. WOW! I wish I had started this a long time ago. Kids will spend unlimited amounts of money as long as it is yours! ...
  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    Are you Ready to Dig Out of your Financial Mess?

    • 4 Comments

    Most people say they are but few are willing to do what it takes to complete the task! Joining a debt management plan is a great way to start, but it is not the only thing you can do.

    ...
  • Life Balance

    What Are You Grateful For?

    • 2 Comments
    The grass is always greener on the other side, and when I was deep in debt, that’s certainly how it was for me. Everyone around me seemed to have less financial stress, more free time, and a generally worry-free existence. And here my husband and I were trying desperately to balance our hectic life, holding down our jobs while carting our little girl to and from daycare. When was it going to get any easier? When was my life going to start being like everyone else’s?...
  • Retired and Loving It

    Preparing for that Final Journey

    • 0 Comments
    Maybe it’s because we live in a retirement community where only retired folks over the age of 55 can live, that there seems to be frequent deaths. I never used to read the obituaries but it has become a daily routine here. Well, it happened again this week, another man from our church passed away and this was a shock as he was only 62 years old and had gone into the hospital on Wednesday with a collapsed lung. He died on Sunday. So we will need to assist his widow with all of the arrangements for the Celebration of Life Service. Since I work in the church office as the Pastor’s Assistant, I am called upon to handle flowers, arrange luncheons and prepare a service bulletin for this service. ...
  • CareOne Debt Discussions

    Labor Day Family Fun at a Low Cost

    • 0 Comments
    Sniff…Sniff…For someone who loves holidays, I always find myself a little depressed around Labor Day. I enjoy summer so much, and Labor Day always signals the end of long hot days, trips to the pool, white sandals and summer vacations... ...
  • Savvy Spending

    Don't Break the Bank at Amusement Parks

    • 1 Comments
    I just spent two days entertaining my family at an amusement park and was appalled at the high prices they charge, not just to get in, but for food, games and even an extra charge on some rides. Talk about “nickel and diming” people! Well, I just won’t have it. There are ways to have fun at a park without spending your life savings. ...
  • Balancing Family

    Grocery Shopping with Kids on a Budget

    • 1 Comments
    I carry lollipops in my bag. They are not a treat for me, but I have found them to be a lifesaver when I am grocery shopping with my kids. They help to keep my kids strapped into the cart or push car so I can concentrate on my list and prices. By the time the lollipop is finished we have made it to the bakery and the free cookie or the deli for the free cheese slice. Some people leave their kids at home, but I usually shop during the week when the stores are less crowded, the lines are shorter (I hate self-check out machines) and no one is tired. Shopping for groceries on a budget with children in tow is getting harder and harder. I am a price watcher, and in the past nine months I have watched the prices of many of our staples rise, some more than a third. Milk used to be less than $3 a gallon, now it almost $4. Eggs were 99 cents, now they are over $2 a dozen. I am also the kind of person who can go to a grocery store with a list of seven needed items and push out a cart full and a $100 less in my checking account. So, I have been making some changes to lower my grocery bill while feeding the different tastes of my family of five. ...
  • In College and Starting Out

    Credit Cards in College... How to Use Them Responsibly

    • 0 Comments
    I was walking through the grocery store the other day with some roommates when I mentioned that I needed to watch what I spent. In response, one of them turned to me and sarcastically remarked, “Just put it on your credit card, it’s like free money!” ...
  • Savvy Spending

    Ways to Make Landscaping Affordable

    • 0 Comments
    It’s the time of year that my husband Max and I get energized about all the neat things we can do to improve our landscaping. I have the tendency to dream big, but Max seems to dream even bigger! When I wake up from my dream, I realize that landscaping costs can be extreme if I’m not savvy in my purchases....
  • CareOne Debt Discussions

    Healthy Habits That Benefit Your Wallet!

    • 0 Comments
    No matter what your lifestyle is, you can find ways to trim your spending in just about every area of your budget. I just found a fantastic article today on ABC News’ website Five Ways to Spend Less and Stay Well. I’m always looking for new, creative ways to save money. As consumers, health care is one our biggest expenses. This article outlines some great strategies to help us reduce our health and wellness spending! ...
  • A Straight Talk on Debt

    We Have Gotten Lazy

    • 0 Comments

    As America has transitioned into a full service economy as opposed to a production economy, we have gotten lazy and being lazy costs money!

    ...
  • Retired and Loving It

    Entertaining on a Shoestring

    • 3 Comments
    I just attended my exciting “Hors D’Oeuvres For Dummies” class through our local college and was it ever fun. You talk about entertaining friends on a shoestring, this was it. There were 11 other retired ladies who took the class with me at Joyce’s absolutely beautiful home. We sat around her horseshoe-shaped counter on 12 stools and watched as she gathered all of the ingredients for the class. Then each one of the students had to prepare one of the appetizers. These appetizers were terrific because they were not only very filling but each one only required 2-3 ingredients. You talk about simple and fun! ...
  • CareOne Debt Discussions

    How about – Save Money When You Start School!

    • 1 Comments
    AHHHHH! How I love the smell of freshly sharpened pencils, brand new notebooks and those yummy scented magic markers! Before the first day of school, I always excitedly packed my book bag with all the essentials I might need to be a fantastic student. It was a fresh start on a whole new year, and I wanted to dazzle my teacher with my preparedness, great organizational skills and neatness. Within three days of the school year, my backpack looked like a garbage can and I couldn’t find my homework, but hey, I started each year with the best of intentions. ...
  • CareOne Debt Discussions

    Job Losses Become More Common – Secrets to Surviving

    • 2 Comments
    It’s no secret that all American consumers are having a tough time managing their money as inflation drags down our buying power. But I can tell you from personal experience, coping with higher prices at the grocery store and the gas pump is a cake walk compared to experiencing a job loss. This is a trying challenge that more of us will unfortunately face in the coming months. The Washington Post reported that planned lay offs rose 26 percent in July in comparison to June. ...
  • Savvy Spending

    Savvy Dining Out

    • 2 Comments
    Dining out with a family of six might sound like fun, but can “eat up” your budget in just one or two big gulps per month! However, being such a busy mom, it is nice when I don’t have to cook at the end of a tiring day, so I’ve worked at finding ways to have “my cake and eat it too”. I first pay close attention to restaurant advertisements that say “Kids Eat Free”. They sometimes are only good for one night of the week, most commonly a slow night like a Tuesday. Many restaurants (usually fast food) will advertise specials, like buy one get one free or similar. We recently fed 9 kids and ourselves (it was during our “family camp” with relatives) for 28¢ (the bill would’ve been over $61.00) all because we tuned into a promotion that they were having where we would get free meals if we dressed like cows! Sounds crazy, but a few black spots on a white tee-shirt and a paper cow hat fed 11 people for dinner!!!! Not to mention how much fun we had doing it! ...
  • CareOne Debt Discussions

    Take Advantage of Tax Free Holiday!

    • 10 Comments
    Savvy Shoppers, get ready! The 2008 Tax Free Holiday is on its way! Many states are helping their residents get prepared for “back to school” by skipping out on the usual sales tax charge for items like clothing, shoes, and school supplies under $100. You can even purchase recreational and sporting equipment for under $50. Each state has its own tax free holiday dates and promotions, so make sure you find out what’s going on in your hometown! ...
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