A Straight Talk on Debt

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The Trophy Wall

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I was on the track team when I was in high school. While I did have some talent as a long distance runner, I never fully applied myself, and therefore never realized my full potential. 

I walked by the school's trophy case every day, sometimes wondering if I poured enough effort into my running if I could win a trophy to be proudly displayed in the trophy case.

With our October payment paid to our debt management plan, one of our accounts reached a zero balance. About a week later, we received a letter in the mail from the creditor stating CareOne had contacted them indicating that we were no longer participating in the debt management plan with that account, thus our agreement with the creditor was terminated and the account was closed.

I smiled and nodded my head in victory as I opened up the garbage and prepared to ball up the letter and toss it inside.

I stopped and thought to myself that this letter was a great reminder of what we had accomplished. I envisioned framing the letter and hanging it on a wall so that we could see it each and every day.

So I did exactly that.

Actually, I did more than that. Hanging one frame on the wall seemed incomplete, so I purchased thirteen inexpensive frames. One for each of the accounts we had enrolled in our debt management plan. With the letter signifying the victory neatly hung on the wall, along with the twelve empty frames for the victories yet to come, I stepped back and looked at my creation.

I admired my debt management trophy wall.

Each time we pay off a creditor, we get to fill a frame. If they don't send us a letter, I'll take the last statement that shows the balance of zero. The wall will be a visual reminder not only of how far we've come, but of what still needs to be done. 

When all thirteen frames are full, then our program will be complete, our credit card debt will be gone, and I'll finally have that trophy that I've always wanted.

Related Links:

 3 Years in the Debt Management Plan, Still Learning...

Riding the Debt Relief Roller Coaster

 Celebrating Success With a Reverse Bucket List


Travis Pizel, Debt Management Plan Customer with Leading Provider of Debt Relief, CareOne Services, Inc. Travis Pizel

Travis is a contributing writer for the My Journey out of Debt and A Straight Talk on Debt blogs. He is also a very active member of the CareOne community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Travis candidly shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family. You can also read more from Travis on the Enemy of Debt blog, where he is a featured blogger. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

Follow Travis on Twitter @DebtChronicles

To connect with Travis on Google+ click here:


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  • What a great idea!  I am so excited that  you are getting closer with each payment.  Soon you will have all of those frames filled.  I hope to see a picture of that trophy wall when it is filled.  :-)

  • What a wonderful visual reminder of the HUGE accomplishment you and Vonnie are making.  Better than any trophy that collects dust and represents a long forgotten victory............. these frames filled or empty represent such urgent and life changing victories that will not be forgotten because of their important impact.  Conquering debt, to me, is a victory that transcends age, strength, or talent.......... it is a true conqest over that inner scream that used to guide our lives,  INTO DEBT.  HA HA..........     i LOVE THIS IDEA!

  • I was going to take a picture of the thirteen frames (one filled) for the post, but I completely forgot, Monica - BOOO!  I'll definitely have to post one when they're all filled!

  • Thanks, Julie - I'm a visual kind of guy and having a daily (or even more frequent) reminder of what we're working for keeps me motivated!

  • What a cool idea! Congrats on getting one done! I have never earned a trophy and I have always wanted one. (They don't give trophies for talking a lot) This gives me something to think over. Maybe I will actually have to get myself a big ol' "out of debt" trophy in the end. I do well when I have a picture of my goal. I could spend some time looking at trophies and picking out what I want it to look like. Then I could take a picture of it and things to represent how I think it will feel being out of debt.

  • OMG, Kimmer5000 - "They don't give trophies for talking a lot" - you make me laugh.  :)  Hey, whatever keeps you motivated, right?  The countdown is now on to when the second one falls.......ooh, I just can't wait!!!

  • The trophy idea is a great one.  I especially like the fact that you have already put up the remaining 12 frames.  It's a way of envisioning success - something that great athletes do as well as debt-warriors.  You show confidence that you will fill those frames by putting them up, and I'm sure you will prove yourself to be right.  Another thing those "trophies" will do will be to encourage you through the not-so-stellar times, helping you to ride them out.  My husband and I will have to think of some kind of visual reminder to mark our own debt-reduction victories.

  • I never thought of the empty frames as a show of confidence that I will fill them up....but you're exactly right.  I love looking at my trophy wall - I can't wait to fill the next one!  If you do come up with a visual reminder for you and your husband, stop back and tell us what it is!  Thanks for reading, Prudence!

  • I was very surprised at your decision, but then I understood the meaning that you put into this action and it is quite instructive.

  • And they were now more than I have done to you. It seems to depend on each of the walls unfinished thirteen to buy them alcohol. Give that site soon. One of the reasons for this is due enlisted in the management plan. Press the letter, they hung on the wall of Beth-shan, with the twelve is signified victory, and the tables of the staggering of the future, she looked back, which I am about to create.

  • Good stuff posted here. <a href="https://google.com">site</a>


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