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.

How I Began My Journey Out of Debt

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We hear "experts" clamor daily about the importance of communication.  Communication with your children, employer, and spouse are all very important for various reasons.  I had always viewed myself as a great communicator.  I tell my family I love them every day, I call my parents several times a week, and I'm not afraid to talk about my feelings. 

However, the day my wife asked me to add up our credit card debt, because she wanted to know the total, I realized that there was a major hole in my communication resume.  That day I realized that our monthly payments on credit cards exceeded our mortgage payment - and I knew that I was not communicating very well at all. 

My wife and I have been married for close to 14 years.  As any husband, I hate to see her sad, or disappointed.  So, when she wanted to get her nails done, or go out to eat, or stay in a hotel for a weekend, I just couldn't say "Sorry, honey, we don't have the money."  I have two children, currently ages 11 and 7.  When they walk through the store, and see a new Webkin, or a new Nerf gun, I just couldn't say "Sorry, kids, we don't have the money."  I just couldn't stand the disappointed look in their eyes.  

At night, after everyone else went to bed, I would transfer balances to credit cards with promotional balances to bring down monthly payments, and figure out how to pay the bills by supplementing our income with credit cards.  I would sit at the computer desk late at night with bills strewn around the keyboard feeling nauseous as I secretly dealt with the stress of debt alone. 

It was better this way, so I thought. Everyone else in the family was happy, getting the things they wanted.  I can handle the bills, the money, the stress, nobody else has to know. 

Then, that fateful day came.  The day when we received a handful of letters from credit card companies indicating that while our interest rates were not changing, they were changing our minimum payment from 1% of the balance to 2.5%.  I quickly added up the payments, and did the math.  That feeling in the pit of my stomach just about made me fall to the ground. 

There was no way we could make those payments.  What could we do?  Sell our home?  Declare bankruptcy? 

My wife and I sat down and totaled up our credit card debt, and our monthly payments.  She asked me what we were going to do.  I didn't have an answer for her. The next day I visited our bank and explained our situation.  They didn't offer any answers or help.  That evening, I spent a few hours searching the internet for debt relief programs, and found CareOne. 

I still take care of the majority of the finances of our household, but with a very significant difference.  My wife and I are now very in sync with our budget, and how much money we have for entertainment.  When we talk about doing something special, we discuss whether that is what we really want to spend our funds on for that week. 

I come to the realization that it is OK that we cannot afford everything. 

I no longer sit at the computer desk late at night trying to figure out how to pay the bills. My wife will not leave me if we cannot go out to eat this weekend.  My kids will not run away if they don't get a new toy.  For the first time in 14 years, my wife and I are finally communicating about finances. 

We are exploring and learning about each other in a way that we have never have before in our relationship.  It is exciting, and comforting that I have a partner to lean on for help and support through these tough times.   

She was there the whole time; I just didn't realize it.

Travis Pizel

Travis writes under My Journey Out of Debt. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan. He is a father and husband sharing his family's story as they journey through paying off their debt.

 

Related Posts:

How Can I Pay off my Debt?

Questions You Should Ask Before Signing Up for a Debt Relief Plan

What is a Debt Management Plan?

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  • Good job !

  • Thanks, riana221, and good luck on your journey out of debt!

  • What action did you take to fix you dedt?

  • Hi haddy64 - I enrolled in CareOne's Debt Management Program (DMP).  For more information on CareOne's products check out this link:

    www.careonecredit.com/.../debt-relief-plans.aspx

    I am currently two years into a five year program after which all my credit card debt will be paid off.

  • Travis...it is amazing that you and I share very similar stories.  The only difference that I can see is that I (the wife) was doing all the bills myself while everyone else was blissfully unaware of the trouble we were in.  Only when I looked into Care One did my husband get involved.  Now that we are 4 DAYS away from being done with Care One, I can say that my husband is MUCH more involved in our finances and that we as a couple are much more financially aware of what goes in and out of our house each month.  It is a liberating feeling and daunting at the same time that we are done with the dmp but it is now up to us to finish what we started and not get into this mess again.  Good luck to you Travis...you ROCK!!!

  • Hi Melissa1996, congratulations on being so close to being done with your program!  It is indeed amazing how similar our stories are...and my wife and I are working on budgeting our money better as a TEAM.  I look forward to standing where you are right now in about 3 years.  Thank you for being an inspiration for others working to get out of debt!

  • It's hard to sacrifice. We're a full year into our projected five-year Debt Management Plan to get out of debt, and after all the budget cutting, downsizing, and life-simplification projects, I'm finding that I'm not yet done cutting the excess fat out

  • My nine-year-old daughter looked me square in the eyes and asked, "Daddy, why don't you just ask for help?"I couldn't answer her. What a simple question.

  • I consider this program but does anyone know how they calculate your monthly payments i am a single mother of 2 and cant afford much...Travis im like you it breaks my heart to have to tell my kids im sorry but i dont have the money and for my son to tell me you never have money just kills my pride...HELP

  • Hi mrvinson, I am not sure how the monthly payments are calculated, but I suggest you call someone (Whether it's CareOne, or someone else) looking for help.  There are several kinds of debt relief options available based upon what you can afford.  

    Your last word - HELP - is huge.  Admitting you need and are willing to accept help is a big first step.  I actually just had a post published here on just that subject:

    community.careonecredit.com/.../need-help-just-ask.aspx

    The best advice I can give you (based upon my experience) is to continue to seek the help until you find it.  It's out there somewhere....I wish you all the success in the world in finding it.

  • They've been coming in the mail for a couple of weeks, but I've been ignoring them. I just quietly and quickly dispose of them with the other junk mail that shows up in my mailbox on a daily basis. My kids have seen them.

  • so true journey of debt is killing me i cant even think straight anymore i have 3 children husband got sick in 2006 and boy have i been through hell trying to handle all this by myself thank god he is in remissiom but i beleive our marraige is done and of course the finanal issues are a big part the sad part is i work every day for just to keep getting knocked down i am so lost now i feel i will never get out of this hole thanks for the story so true

  • You sound like you're going through a very rough time, mboo31.   Have you sought out financial help?  Are you enrolled in any kind of plant to help eliminate debt?  I can speak from experience that even after that it's not a bowl of cherries.....my family has been enrolled in a debt management plan for over two years now, and while our balances are coming down, my wife and I still have times (as does every family) where we disagree about how to use our funds, and how to prioritize purchases.  I really do hope that you find a way to save your finances and your marriage!

  • hope it can do the same for me

  • I know it can, dbarrysr66!  come back to the community often for support and let us all know how you're doing!

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