What's been great in your life lately?

What has happened in your financial turnaround that has made you think, "Yes? YES! I am headed in the right direction here!"?

My 'High-Five' Moment in 2011Whether you've been in CareOne's debt management program (DMP) for a couple of months or a couple of years, there have most assuredly been moments of pride along the way.

As the holidays approach and we run our mental highlights of the past year, let's all take the time to recognize what a brave change we are making in our lives.

Speaking for the old pros here - I am in my fourth and last year of the program - the feelings of reward and excitement and, some days, happy exhaustion have been racking up with more frequency. My proudest moment of 2011 is a pretty simple one. Never in a thousand years would I guess that I'd be squealing over an Excel spreadsheet, but such is the basis of my badge of honor.

All along I've been keeping a master list on my own of my creditors, logging in account balances according to their monthly statements. Having started out with eleven creditors, my spreadsheet looked crowded and impossible. Yes, there was a small satisfaction in seeing the balances decrease each month, but I still felt like I was trying to chop down a tree with a butter knife.

But then, slowly but surely, some of these bills were getting paid off! By compounding payments, the ball really starts to roll and once you get to the tail end of your program, you feel like you are steamrolling through the remaining debts.

Today I built a new spreadsheet, this one with only the four remaining creditors.

This spreadsheet feels streamlined, manageable, lightweight and laser-focused.  

I can't stress enough the importance of keeping your own records. While it may be tempting to just sit back and let the lump disbursement take care of itself, it is crucial to keep up the practice of watching your money. Not only is the discipline good for the mind, but archiving your progress in a way is like writing your own story, keeping a journal of sorts throughout your journey out of debt. This sense of awareness is, I think, going to be a tremendous tool as I transition out of the program and into a debt-free life. 

My slimmed-down spreadsheet symbolizes all of the progress I've made in 2011. What was your high-five moment of the year? 

Related links:

Do Spreadsheets Simplify Savings?

Make all of Your Debt Disappear Faster

Find the Power in Tracking Your Expenses


Stacey Pavlick My Journey Out of Debt  Stacey 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.

To follow CareOne click here!