Three Years in; Life on a Debt Management Plan

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.

Three Years in; Life on a Debt Management Plan

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For those of you who are reading this because you doubt the Debt Management Plan (DMP)...read on. 

Three years ago I made the decision to become a part of CareOne and to enroll in a DMP. 

Two years ago, I decided I had to write about it.

The result? 

  • $30,000 of debt paid off
  • 100 Blogs written
  •  Life lessons learned

Yep, it works. 

  • It works if you stick to your plan 
  • It works if you are disciplined
  • It works if you set realistic expectations

When I signed on, I had A LOT of debt.  When I learned I would not be debt free for five years, I was discouraged and thought about not doing it...then I figured out how long it would take me if I tried to do it on my own.  Yikes.  Now, in a blink of an eye, I am about two years away from being completely debt free. 

What have I learned? Read my blogs!  I have learned more than I ever bargained for. Through blogging, researching, and using the resources CareOne has to offer, my attitude shifted from, wanting to give up every day for the first six months and doubting I had the ability to actually become debt free-- to wanting to share my experience with as many people as possible. 

So, the biggest difference between me now and me three years ago? I hate to spend money.  Really, I do.  I have a constant monthly reminder (my CareOne payment) of why I never want to overspend again. 

The other big difference: I'm patient. 

I am from a generation that is all about instant gratification. Had I not started with CareOne three years ago, I would still be struggling to make some of my "dreams" come true: 

  • Owning a house with property
  • having a significant savings account
  • Being able to travel more 

Three Years in; Life on a Debt Management PlanNow these dreams are getting closer and closer, with only two years to go. Now that is exciting! And it is not like I have had to put my life on hold the past three years! I have done a lot beingwhile paying off my debt!

  • I have planned my  wedding(s)
  • Started a new job
  • Leased a horse! 

All because I have learned how to prepare and be patient.  Life is good and in two years, it will be even better.  And this article gets down to the cold hard truth...

So, take it from me....I can't tell you enough how happy I am that I made the decision to join CareOne three years ago.  The light at the end of the tunnel just keeps getting closer - it's all downhill from here! 

Related Posts:

Month Three on DMP

Running the DMP Marathon

You Are Debt-Free, Now What 

Katie Simmons LupoKatie (Simmons) Lupo

Katie is currently enrolled in the CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). You can read more about Katie's experience in the My Journey out of Debt blog. In her blog, Katie explores life without credit cards, living on a 'real' budget and making that adjustment from spender to saver. A newlywed, Katie candidly addresses how debt has influenced her choices in love and life. Look for older posts by Katie under the Single and Settling In blog. Compensated CareOne Blogger.

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  • Congratulations on completing year three on the DMP, Katie!  I'm coming up on the end of my second year, and I can also testify that the DMP works.  Not only have I paid off a huge chunk of my debt, but my wife and I are communicating better about our finances, and are learning (still learning!) how to budget effectively to live within our means.  By the time we reach the end of the program not only will be be credit card debt free, but we will have the tools to stay out of debt.  Stories like yours give others in the program (including myself) the inspiration to believe that with the help of the DMP and a change of spending habits, being debt free can be a dream come true.

  • For me, changing my habits and learning my lesson is probably the biggest thing I took from Care One.  Before that, I had tried a consilidation loan, but my credit cards weren't closed so it was easy to just use them again.  Being debt free for almost three years now was almost unconceivable to me.  Debt can truly feel like a huge weight that pins you down and keeps you from really living your life.  There is always something to learn and I know that without Care One's help, I'd probably still be paying down my debt.

    Congratualtion on your three years and $30,000!  That's a huge accomplishment.  And you know what else?  The next two years will go by faster than you think.  Best wishes to you as you complete the program!

  • Thanks for the comments and support!  The time sure does fly and I am very grateful that I FINALLY made the decision to cut the cards and get my financial life on track!  I can only imagine where I would be now if I didn't start when I did!  I think we all deserve a pat on the back!

  • Congrats I have 3 months to go!

  • Just think: if you didn't lease the horse or pay for all those weddings, your debt would be paid off by now!

  • Having worked in marketing for 10 years I wonder how much of this is true and how much is hype.  I too need help with debt management but am hesitant to invest my time and money in a program like this.  It will take more than a few comments on a blog compensated by the product company to convince me this is a viable program.

  • Congratulations!  I did my debt management about 10 years ago with another entity.  I got lucky and found a reputable one, before I learned there are some scams out there.  I got out of debt and was able to buy a house.  

    Now, of course, I'm divorced and deep in debt again.  I think I'll be reading your blog and doing it again.

    The difference now is, I'm older, I'm more patient, more realistic, and I'm also being treated for my ADD.  I have the ability to focus now that I didn't before.

    Can I just say one thing?  I swear I want someone to try to refute me on this.  I counsel every young person I work work with (as a restaurant manager that is my employee base) that the damage a credit card can do to your credit and your life and your soul is not worth the paltry gain in "credit history."  Find another way.  Good God, stay away from credit cards.  Take it from someone who knows.  Maybe 1% or less of the population is mature and disciplined enough to manage one correctly.  Chances are excellent that you aren't one of them.  I will never have another credit card again for the rest of my life.  I mean it.  Don't do it.

    Oh, my debit?  Oh, it's just the house I'm stuck with from the divorce, a mortgage and taxes I can't pay, and child support.  Other than my house, I have no credit debt.  But I hustle to pay it every month, even at the risk of getting a utility shut off for a day or two.  Times are tough, brothers and sisters.  Good luck out there.  Like I said, I'll be reading to see if I can gleam any ideas to help out my situation.

  • I have been with Care One for several years, and will be finished paying off my debts next summer.  Care One is an excellent organization, and I am please to have watched my balances drop on 4 credit crads from 30,000+ to just under 10,000.  I agree that credit cards are dangerous, because they give consumers a false sense of security. Short of a workout with the lender, or bankruptcy, I prefer the approach of paying monthly and splitting one payment between several credit cards. Once completed, I plan to direct the $777 I pay monthly towards retirement savings. That may be next summer, but the Care One plan works.

  • For those of you with me, those who are getting closer and closer to the goal of wiping out this debt, please take a moment with me and enjoy the feeling of knowing that this day is coming.

  • It took me a long time to get to a point where I could be on a budget and doing things like pay for a wedding and lease a horse, but the bottom line is I am close to debt free and still living life!  Just keep the focus!  Julie, although I may be a compensated blogger for CareOne, it was my success on the program that got me that opportunity!  Oldestgenexer....I feel like I have been through it all!  You have lots of resources and blogs to support you through your hard times.  Good Luck!

  • read Dave Ramsey , his advice is spot on , getting out of debt is only half the solution , you need to STAY out of debt or all your hard work is for nothing , learn to live on less then you make , PERIOD , save money from every paycheck , PERIOD , pay cash for everything , no credit cards , PERIOD , it takes hard work and disipline but you can do it , after all , you got yourself into the debt in the 1st place

  • I never needed to utilize an outside company. I set up an excel spreadsheet of my income, firm/unchanging expenses, variable expenses. Then I had my tax rates changed so that my tax refund to Uncle Sam was minimalized which freed up $300 per month. I took my tax check from last year and directly paid off 5 of my smaller credit card accounts - zip - gone. Then the $300 per month toward paying down one-by-one the other 3 larger accounts with debt which equals payoff my April 2013 and car payment 10 mts early because of all funds that were "freed" up by the other credit cards gone. Its a matter of looking at the hard numbers; determining which are flexible, which are firm, and cutting down the higher % rate cards first, lower balanced ones first; then apply those funds that are freed up to knock down the remaining debts.

  • Part II: Here are the numbers: $13,215 in Credit Card Debts - 8 credit cards in all. Auto $14,350. Together = $27,565 paid off in full by estimated date of May 2014. Because it has a "snowball" effect by having fewer and fewer credit card debts per month, that makes those freed up funds available to help assist in paying down other debts, so it goes beyond the extra $300 per month, as the $300 becomes $400, then $500 as time goes by. Thanks for listening & good luck with whatever product you use.  Just be consistent and disciplined or no matter what system you use, you won't succeed.  Must really REALLY want this cleared up more than anything.

  • COngratulations!  It doesn't matter how you get yourself on track, whether it's your own due diligence or help from a program.  The most important thing is, you are managing your money in the way that best suits you.

    To the naysayers who criticize you about the horse and the wedding, everyone in life needs to have an outlet.   And why should someone be denied a wedding?  The whole point of being debt free IS to be able to do some other things.  For some, it may be home ownership.  Others travel.  For you, it's a horse and a dream wedding.   I've known people who saved every penny they made, went nowehre, did nothing except work.  (They owned a house).  They acted and looked like paupers.  They died, and got no enjoyment out of life at all and their money went to kids -- usually ungrateful ones.  It's fine to save for retirement but along the way, you should enjoy life while you can because we never know when, or even if, retirement will happen.

    I am debt free, not because of a program, but because I went through a bankruptcy.  I keep one credit card with a small credit line, in case of an emergency.  It says in my jewelry box.  I pay cash as I go.  I opt for public transportation whenever possible.  I bought and paid cash for a used Toyota that is still going strong, because I do need a car for some activities and my public transport doesn't much on the weekend.  I work 2 jobs so when I want to go out, I shop Groupon and similar sites for deals.  

    There are so many ways to cut spending.  But sometimes we need help getting going.

  • This chick obviously works for the company.

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