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.

Finding the Blessing in the Curse

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On a bad day if you asked me about the subject of gratefulness as it relates to debt management, I'd hit you up with a sarcastic answer like, "Seeing my credit score tank has really taught me a lesson in humility" or, "I'm grateful to have reached expert status in the art of coupon clipping."

As time rolls on (I'm two and a half years into my plan), I'm happy to report there are more good days than bad. So, while I'm not thrilled that I'm in this position, I am very glad and exceptionally grateful for the peace of mind that participation in CareOne's Debt Management Plan has afforded me.

Thanksgiving is approaching so it's time to count your blessings, right? As I reflect on the past and look forward to the future, here are my grateful thoughts about the status of my financial life...

  • This program is finite. That is to say, sometime within the next two years, all of these debts will be paid in full! If not for my enrollment with CareOne, the Mobius strip of debt may have continued throughout most of my adult life. It's a hard lesson now, but I'll be living so much smarter when this is all done. And that is really a gift.
  • I've identified the lifestyle that is within my means. Make no mistake; it was a tremendous adjustment transitioning to a "cash only" lifestyle. But part of that process was a valuable learning curve in which I became a smarter consumer, better negotiator, and conscientious budgeter. When I had access to credit, "maybes" usually became "yeses" (i.e., "I'll just put it on my card"). Having lived cash-only for a couple years has trained me to make instant decisions about what is possible (dinner with friends) and what must remain a dream deferred (vacationing with friends). That island getaway is definitely in my future though, just not right now!
  • This situation is stable and normal. My debt is not fluctuating anymore. I'm not afraid to open mail from a creditor - before they were raising my interest rate (again) and listing my various purchases (always more than what I anticipated), now it's just a statement showing my CareOne payment and my balance going down. No one bugs me, no one calls me; I can breathe easy and answer the phone unafraid. It's all automatic. And I'm actually able to live a normal life. All of this and the promise that one day I will be making my last payment!  It's hard to imagine how fantastic it will be to have that extra money each month.
  • I am now experiencing the snowball effect. If you are new to the plan, please know that although it takes a substantial amount of time, it does happen. Out of eleven initial creditors, I have paid off two and am on the verge of paying off a third. That will free up another hundred-odd dollars to apply to another creditor. Now that the snowball has gained momentum, I can really see the results ramping up. What a motivator and all you have to do is watch it happen!

How are you folks feeling out there? Care to share any success stories or "wow" moments? Fellow CareOne members, I salute you! We all are so lucky to have found such a great resource that will undoubtedly change our lives for the better...

Related links:

Thanksgiving Celebrations

What are you Grateful for?

Holiday Traditions on a Budget

Stacey Pavlick

Stacey is a participant in the CareOne Debt Management Plan, soon to complete her second year on the plan. She is also a contributing writer for the My Journey Out of Debt blog and Single & Settling In blog. She is currently an operations manager for a title insurance company and moonlights as a music reviewer for . She combines her passion for writing with her passion for getting out of debt to share her struggles and successes along the way. Compensated CareOne Blogger

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  • Congratulations on your success, Stacey!  I'm looking forward to seeing that "Snowball effect" in the near future....

  • Yep, I am lovin' the snowball! Good luck with yours, it'll be rolling down the hill before you know it!

  • While it may seem lucky, I think most of you will agree that getting out of debt has very little to do with luck, and more to do with sacrifice, struggle, and wanting to sometimes pull your hair out of your head.

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