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.

Year in Review…Here I Come 2011

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Well, it is that time of year.  Time to look back at what you have done right and what you have done wrong and to try to figure out what you want to accomplish next year. 

For me, I am going to give myself a pat on the back.  As of December 2010, I have completed 2 years and 7 months of my Debt Management Plan.  In that time I paid off close to $25,000 in debt and saved a huge amount in interest; I shudder to think about what kind of mess I would be in if I hadn't taken charge of my financial situation and contacted CareOne in the first place. 

In addition, I have a retirement plan, I had in essence 3 weddings that are all paid for in full, and almost everything that I have purchased in the last 2 years has been with cash, including things for the holidays, which was a previous weakness for me! 

Year in Review…Here I Come 2011 Yes, I did some things that I am not proud of this year, as well.  I did not do as well with my monthly budgeting as I have in the past and found I got a little weak and spent more on unnecessary items than I would have liked.  I also opened a credit card for the first time in over 3 years....not that I am justifying it, but I did need it to start to improve my credit score a bit more.

The bottom line is that I feel I did well and that the weight of debt that is on my shoulders is slowly starting to feel less and less.  That is a good feeling.  I encourage each of you to spend some time looking back before you move forward. 

Clean out those 2010 files and think about what you spent and what you could have changed and start your plan for 2011.  Where do you want to be next year at this time?  Think about how fast this year went; you don't want to have regrets when next year I am asking what you did right and wrong, do you?

The following article is from a couple of years ago, but is still quite relevant:  www.bankrate.com/brm/news/bank/20050110a1.asp. Maybe a good way to look at your personal finances is to consider the way you are managing your life from an expense/revenue standpoint, like a business.  It makes sense - you can't figure out your cash flow until you know where it is going.  If you manage your finances like a business would, you may be more effective in taking it to the next level. 

Most of the other articles I found pretty much said the same thing...if you didn't do it for this year; make sure you do it for next year....make a list!  Put pen to paper and list out what you need to accomplish next year...What can you live without? What can't you live without?  What happened this year that you weren't prepared for that you can be ready for if it happens again?  Interview yourself and be honest with your answers. 

I don't normally watch reality shows but there is one on now called "Downsizing"-- it is about a family that lived very well for quite a long time and now both parents have lost their jobs and they have had to totally reconstruct their life and their budget.  It has some valuable lessons in it that we should appreciate. 

Don't let 2011 go by without checking off some of your financial goals, you will be thanking yourself next year at this time! 
 

Related Posts:

Why an Accurate Budget Is Important

How the Budget Is Going

Take a Look at Your Budget before the Holidays

Katie SimmonsKatie Simmons

Katie is currently enrolled in the CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). You can read more about Katie's experiences in the My Journey out of Debt blog. In her blog, Katie explores living life without credit cards and how things are going on the DMP. A newlywed, Katie candidly addresses how debt has influenced her choices in love and life. Look for other posts from Katie under the Single and Settling In blog or tag. Compensated CareOne Blogger.

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  • There's so much plastic around us (credit cards people, not the alternative to paper at the grocery store) making it that much more difficult to refrain from making big ticket purchases. I've been able to stay in the war and fight the financial battle

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