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.

We ALL Fall Behind

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One of the best consequences of being on a debt management program (DMP) with CareOne Debt Relief Services is the way I've noticed my behaviors changing over time.

At first of course, I had to consciously think my way through situations having to do with budgeting, spending, planning, splurging We ALL Fall Behindand the like.

With those monthly DMP payments being debited automatically, I had little choice but to make some serious, thoughtful adjustments to the way I was living and my established patterns of spending for needs as well as wants.

But over the months - then seasons - then years - smart financial tips, modifications and strategies have become almost automatic. Almost.

So yes, even though I know better, even though as its happening I know I'm not making the wisest choice, I still slip up from time to time and fall off of the fiscally responsible wagon.

If you find yourself in a scrape, here are some ways to get back on track:

  • Reverse it. If you're having buyer's remorse about something, are you still in a position where you're able to reverse the transaction? It may be inconvenient to make the trip back to the store (and I always feel sheepish somehow making a return) but the hassle of it reinforces the lesson.
  • Anticipate consequences. Winter is a tough time for me in terms of keeping up with my heating bill. Try as I might, I'm never actually able to "keep up." Instead of burying my head in the sand ("I can't pay it in full so what's the point?"), I throw as much money towards the bill as I can and call in to the provider on a monthly basis, if for no other reason than they have a record of my efforts and acknowledgment.
  • Find the flexibility in your budget. Your budget should leave some room for unplanned expenditures. Maybe that pricey night out with friends means you'll have to pack your lunch next week. Many times you can find trade-offs within your budgeting plan.
  • Take an emotional inventory. Were you feeling stressed? Defeated? Giddy? Frustrated? If you can identify what you were thinking and feeling at the time, this will help to pinpoint why you went ahead with the choice. Being aware of emotional triggers helps to break the cycle of that sort of spending.
  • Don't panic. Unless you just bought a boat or signed into a time share or something, any single mistake will not outweigh the aggregate of daily good decisions you've made.

I soothe my nerves by looking at my profile on the Care One page. That graph showing the downward debt trend, the calculation of interest that I'm saving, the list of creditors, half of which are paid off - look at what you've accomplished so far!

Set your sights on the big picture and forgive yourself the little goofs along the way.

What do you do when you find yourself stumbling? How are you able to make the necessary course corrections?  

Related links:

We all Make Mistakes

Debt Decisions

Have I Learned my Lesson With Credit Cards

Stacey Pavlick My Journey Out of DebtStacey Pavlick

Stacey is a participant in the CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP); 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 www.spectrumculture.com. She combines her passion for writing with her passion for getting out of debt! Read along as Stacey shares her struggles and success along the way. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services. Read some of Stacey's previous posts in the blog Single and Settling In.

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  • I am bipolar so i have mood swing just found today. I have servere bipolar I love shopping but since I am on dmp it help lot. I do spend moeny that I dont have but I spend lil and stay away from store. But when I have extra I get all excited and spend that to and then I get mad becuz I dont have money and with me not working for 2 months and just went back work last week. I am trying so hard to not to spend so when I go to store I go get what I want like food or household supply then I get out. I always take my mom to store to when she need to. I will take her but she will have to pay gas or something I need becuz my dad can drive to. But she is always help me out as much as she can. I just got on new meds which help my servere bipolar I complain to my dr everything I dont feel normal and I am struggling but I am working hard at it. But I think I am doing a good job though I am behind on 2 of my bills that I am going to catch up with my taxes becuz I havent work 4 month this year becuz I had 2 surgery done on my hand carp tunnel relaese one in beginning this year and one last months. Plus the dr made me cut my hrs to 10 or less but I get ssid and one child support I found out my daughter father is working call child support for info which I am surprise so I will have extra money to pay my bills but  dont know how long it going to last which I am going to start saving. In jan of this year I sign up on dmp which I pay all the time. I want something I can show and i have truck payment which I am proud of having a bank loan first time and excite on that but I want to build my credit becuz I want to buy a mobile home but decide I rather be debt free so In 2 yrs and 3 months I will have my dmp and my truck pay in full so I am really excite. I can't wait till next year hope I get saving money for something I want and build up my saving and buy my kids something special becuz they been helping me out this year and they understand what i am going through so they take their lil money from babysitting give it for me for gas and i pay them back when I get my taxes but this year I wouldnt able to do that but I am save moeny to buy what they want for their birthday.

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