"What would you have done differently?" I get this question a lot. 

The answer should be really easy right? I mean I should know what I would have done differently to prevent myself from going into debt?  The obvious answer, "Uh, not spend money." 

Of course this is true, but not really. It's more important to understand HOW I spent that money.

1. Did it happen quickly or was it a gradual overspending?

2. Is there something someone could have told me to better prepare me?

3. Would understanding the way interest rates really work have helped me make better choices?

These are questions that I try to answer. I encourage you to as well! As you (and me) get closer to reaching our financial goals we need to be aware of the true reasons why we got into debt so we can avoid it in the future. These are what I refer to as "triggers."

* My parents constantly told me growing up to not open credit cards, period. Yet, I did....several of them. So instead of just telling me not to open up a credit card account, would it have been more effective to explain why I shouldn't and go into the details of interest and what happens when you don't pay them off each month? Would it been more effective to hear it in a class in High School and understand it as early as possible?

* I chose to buy things that I didn't need and even when I could pay them off, I didn't. Was this because I continued to have a good credit score and get additional credit so to me it seemed harmless to continue accrue debt? Is it a lack of self-control that I have to be aware of constantly now? Was I just young and stupid?

These two examples are real scenarios from my past. I consider and evaluate these experiences as I get closer to being debt free. It is now that I need to really put in the hard work and understand bad habits lay waiting for me. Thinking through this helps me to mentally prepare for the days I do not have the monthly CareOne Debt Management Plan payment, when creditors notice that I am "back on the market."

What are you thinking about that you would have done differently if you could?

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Have I learned anything?

Katie Lupo, CareOne Debt Management Plan CustomerKatie (Simmons) Lupo

Katie is currently enrolled in the CareOne Debt Relief Services 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 Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

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