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.

Full Steam Ahead

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So, here we are in 2011.

Wow. There's always that same feeling at the start of a new year: a deep exhale, a big reaching stretch, a hopeful smile for that pristine blank slate in front of us.

What will be written on that slate this year, I wonder?

Full Steam AheadI do know one thing - and this is for sure - 2011 will be the Year of the Debt Management Snowball. And I am so, so excited to watch the acceleration!

If you're like me, you've been in the plan for a good clip (I personally began my journey in August 2008 with about $33,000 worth of debt).

I've been very watchful over the years; like a good student I have Excel spreadsheets recording my account balances month-to-month. And of course I watch CareOne's website projections change as I hack away at my debt load.

From time to time (not often, but every little bit helps) I'm able to pad my payments, especially when I've been at the cusp of paying off a creditor in full.

All of these things have given me: a sense of hope, a sense of purpose, a sense of PROGRESS.

What a difference-maker that is in life. Remember when you were just scraping by to pay the minimums and nothing was changing?

So, as I reflect back at the start of this New Year, I could not be happier with the distance I've traveled with the help of CareOne.

Looking ahead at 2011, I am simply ecstatic. As I've paid off a few of my "smaller" debts, I've rolled that money into payments towards other accounts.

This month, for example, I'll be crossing another creditor off my list which will free up another $91 to put towards my next target. My pre-snowball payments would have had me paying this particular account off in about twenty months, whereas my new payment has me paid in full within six.

At that point I'll have $115 to allocate elsewhere. Rinse and repeat!

Once you get to the snowball portion of your plan, things really ramp up quickly. Just like your debt at one point seemed to have a life all its own, the snowball effect similarly cruises along - but in the very best of ways!

Success is such a powerful motivator. My plan for the year is to dump as much extra money into my payments as possible so that I can sharp shoot these creditors off of my list!

I know many of you are at the same place I am-- let's please take an internet moment to celebrate together!

As you begin the new year, what are your goals and strategies? Any happy thoughts you're willing to share?

Related links:

Living Without Debt and Credit Cards

Positives to a Debt Management Plan

The Debt Diva's Top 10 Financial Resolutions for 2010

Stacey PavlickStacey Pavlick

Stacey is a participant in the CareOne Debt Management Plan; soon to complete her second year on the plan. She is a contributing writer for the My Journey out of Debt blog. Stacey works as 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 and shares her struggles and success along the way. Compensated CareOne Blogger. Read some of Stacey's previous posts in the blog Single and Settling In blog.

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  • Let's celebrate :-).  What a great blog!!  I too plan on having a creditor or two paid off in 2011.  I also use personal spreadsheets to keep track of my debt.  I play with the figures to help me decide where I want to reallocate funds.  My goal is to have my last payment be in November of 2012 or sooner.  So I still have to try to figure out how to cut a bit more off my debt to reach my goal.  I am looking forward to my disappear even more this year.  I agree once you can start getting creditors paid off it seems like it starts happening rather quickly.

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