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.

What Are You Thankful For?

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It's that time of the year when many will go through an exercise of reflection, think about all the positives in their life, the blessings they have, and give thanks for them.  I'm a big fan of Thanksgiving. 

Being thankful for what you have should never be taken for granted, and the holiday of Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to really put it into focus, if for but one day.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would like to share with you some amazing things that have happened to me this year.

I have countless things to be thankful for, however for the purposes of this blog, I want to focus on events and blessings as they relate to the financial aspect of my life. 

Family:  Last December, in the midst of the season for purchasing presents, our washing machine broke down.  It was an unexpected expense that threatened our ability to provide presents for our children.  After some discussion, my wife called her mom, who knows our situation, to see if she could loan us some money to fix the washing machine.  She said that she had planned on giving us a gift of money for the holidays anyway, and that she would be glad to just give it to us early. 

Friends:  Last April we went on a family vacation to Florida.  If you're familiar with my blog, and have read about some of my financial challenges, you may have asked yourself how in the world could we afford a trip to Florida.  We've gone with some friends of ours the last couple of years, courtesy of credit cards.  When they asked last year if we would go again, we indicated we could not afford it. 

They have a large time share that amounts to the size of two separate, but connecting suites.  In the past we had paid them to use one of the suites for the weeklong vacation.  Knowing our situation, they offered to let us use the extra room free of charge because they really wanted us to come with.  Removing that expense, along with exploring other money-saving techniques, made the trip affordable.

CareOne: There was a time in the first half of 2009 when I would be up late at night, shuffling debt around and trying to figure out how to pay the bills for that month and I would ask myself how much longer would it be before I'd have to tell my family that we would have to give up our home and move because we could no longer afford it. 

Enrolling in the Debt Management Plan has put us on a road of financial recovery.  I will not say that I never worry about money, but at least I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, as distant as it may be.

CareOne (again):  As my wife and I navigated the first 6 months of being on the Debt Management Plan, we were making it, but barely.  There were many arguments about what we could afford, and what we couldn't.  If only we could find a way to add just a little additional income.  I applied for a part-time job at a local BBQ restaurant.  I was qualified, I am a hard worker, and I knew the General Manager so I was surprised they never called. 

Then I saw a post on the CareOne forum requesting bloggers to write about their debt management journey.  Eight months into my blogging career, I find it very therapeutic to write about my experiences, and it provides us with an additional source of income.  I have flexibility in when I write the material, and it doesn't take me away from my family during nights and weekends.

My Wife's Summer Opportunities:  My wife is a preschool teacher, so she has the summers off.  That's great for being able to be off for the summer with the kids, but not so good from an income perspective.  We were just making it as it was during the school year, how would we be able to make ends meet when her income disappeared for 3 months? 

After some discussion, we came up with the idea of putting a note on the bulletin board of her classroom offering summer childcare.  She got some responses, as well as a request from a neighbor.  All things added up; she made just as much during the summer per month as she did during the school year. 

My Wife's Career Opportunities:  My wife worked about half time last year, and was looking for more hours to increase our income.  She asked for additional hours, and she got them.

My Career:  In today's job environment, no one should be taking their job for granted.  My job is incredibly stressful; I don't even know how many hours I put in each week, and I love it.  Well, most of the time.  All kidding aside, I'm thankful for being able to hold on to my job in a less than stellar economic time.

As these things have happened to me over the last twelve to sixteen months, I have thought at every turn that there is a higher power looking out for me and my family.  Life is hard, and mistakes are made every single day.  But with some effort, and creativity, a solution always seems to present itself.  This just simply cannot be a coincidence.

For that reason, each and every night as I lay my head down on my pillow, I close my eyes and say, "Thank You" for all the things I have, all the people in my life, and all the experiences I have the joy of taking part in.

 Related Posts:

 Planning a Budget Friendly Family Vacation


 A Change in Financial Seasons

Travis 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 Blogger.

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  • It got me out of a jam! I am so thankful for careone! Thank you!

  • Thanks for your comment, pamdaly43. I assume from your comment that things are going well with your program, and I wish you continued success!

  • After we enrolled in a debt management plan, our priorities and perspectives changed. That resulted in some significant life changes, including the way we interact with our children.

  • To be thankful for my own financial habits may seem silly and self-centered, but I've had much financial difficulty due to lack of will power and bad financial decisions.

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