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.

It's Easier with a Roadmap

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It's Easier with a RoadmapKnowing where you want or need to go is a lot easier with a roadmap/GPS/Google map print out, or whatever you use; these tools make it a lot easier to get there.

It is the same with getting out of debt. 
We had to go to a funeral down around Harrisburg, PA so we borrowed my daughter's GPS. It took us right to the funeral home. When we left there we wanted to stop and see some old friends close by. So, I entered the new address into the GPS and it took us a short distance into the countryside and said, "You have arrived at your destination." We looked around and we were out in the middle of nowhere, not a street or house, just fields and woods. I took a closer look at the GPS and realized I didn't change the city we wanted to go to. Then it took us right to where we needed to go.
Just like the roadmap though, you need to know where you're starting from. I wanted to cut expenses but wasn't really sure where to start, so I made a chart to keep track of my expenses each month.
Across the top I put each day of the month and down the left side I listed the expenses. On the right side I would total all the columns. Of course you have all the usual ones like electric, TV, rent or mortgage, heat, water, etc. Then you get into more detailed ones like gas, eating out, gifts, etc.
Now when I got to groceries, I had to break it down a little more, which does make it a little more difficult, but I felt it was necessary because that was a good place to cut back. I broke it down into pet food, junk food, makeup (my wife's not mine), etc. You get the idea.
In order to do this, I kept every receipt and put it in my wallet; as soon as I got a chance I entered the information in my chart. When I didn't get a receipt, for things like vending machines, or giving money to the kids, church, or someone else, I would write down the details on paper and keep that in my wallet.
I did this for two months. I know it sounds like it may be a big pain but it is a very useful tool and well worth the effort.

I then was able to look at all my expenses and see where I could save money.
I was able to cut back on eating out; that was easy, a no-brainer. I found other things to save money on. I was paying $145 a month on TV/Internet/house phone. I am now paying around $65 a month. We had to make a couple of sacrifices but it was well worth it. We still have our cell phones. We also cut down on junk food, home owner's insurance, and life insurance.
Now you have to take a look at your chart and see what is best for you. CareOne has a budget tool that you can check out.  Any kind of roadmap is better than no roadmap at all!

Dennis Bauman, Debt Management Plan Graduate with leading provider of debt relief, CareOne Services, Inc. Dennis Bauman

Dennis Bauman has been on a Debt Management Plan (DMP) customer with CareOne Debt Relief Services since October of 2007 and recently graduated to become debt-free!! Dennis Bauman works in the manufacturing industry, creating floor tile. Having officially completed the Debt Management Plan, Dennis Bauman is excited to share what his experience on the DMP was like as well as what made his experience a successful one. Look for more posts under the My Journey Out of Debt blog. Compensated CareOne Debt Relief Services Blogger.

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