"I deserve it.  I work hard every day, so I deserve this."  That's what I would tell myself over and over again when trying to decide whether to buy countless things that we didn't really have the money for.

Out would come a credit card, and a few minutes later, I'd be loading it in the van.  I talked myself into feeling entitled to whatever I was looking at, and that credit card in my wallet gave me the means to make it happen. 

The problem was that I didn't feel very entitled to the bill when it came in the mail a few weeks later.

I always figured that my yearly raise (assuming I would get one) would eventually surpass the amount we were charging each month on credit cards.  It never happened. 

As the monthly payments increased, our monthly budget would get tighter and tighter, and we'd have to charge more just to keep up.  Eventually, salary plan time of year would come around, and the increase in income would make it so that we could make the monthly minimum payments again. 

The cycle would repeat, year after year.

I had to stop putting money into my retirement account.  A savings account was out of the question. But yet, I still felt entitled to purchasing the things I wanted with credit cards. 

A little over a year ago, we found CareOne's Debt Management Plan.  In four more years, we will be rid of credit card debt.  There will be cheering and rejoicing when the day comes that the huge sum withdrawn from my bank account for my debt management payment each month will be ours again.

We are on our way to ridding ourselves of credit card debt, but only recently have I really thought about how credit card debt affects our lives.

I imagine how things would be different if we didn't have that monthly payment;

  • I could save money for retirement to make my golden years more enjoyable. 
  • I could do fun things with my family and not have to worry so much about how much it costs. 
  • I could save money for my kids' college education so that their post-college lives could start out with zero, or minimal, student loan debt. 

My bad choices with credit cards will affect not only me and my wife, but also our children, for the rest of our lives.

These are the things that drive me to stay on course with my Debt Management Plan.  I deserve to be able to save money for retirement, save for my kids' education, and purchase things with cash.

I look at the payment to my Debt Management Plan each month and feel entitled to that money.  I work hard every day.  I earned it.  I deserve it.

Related Posts:

Then Depression Set In

Financial Independence

Running the DMP Marathon

Travis PizelTravis Pizel

Travis is a contributing writer for the My Journey Out of Debt blog and is a very active member of the community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan and in his posts he shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family. Compensated CareOne Debt Relief Services Blogger. Follow Travis Pizel on his personal blog, "Our Journey to Zero" or on Twitter; @DebtChronicles.

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