A Straight Talk on Debt

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Paying Cash Only Rocks!

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Once upon a time, long, long ago . . . sounds like the beginning of a fairytale, doesn't it?  Sadly enough, this is a true story about me and my spending habits. 

Actually, I really only had one spending habit and that was "swiping." 

Swiping was just so easy and convenient.  I mean, really, I'd just pull out a little plastic card and one swipe gave me just about anything I wanted.  Swipe now, and swipe often was my mantra.  I could take a friend out to lunch and pick up the check with just one swipe.  Swiping was very handy shopping at the mall or while on vacation.  No questions asked and no proof of identity needed-just swipe! 

Fairytales most often end with "and she lived happily ever after,"  don't they?  Hopefully, this story will have the same happy ending because my days of swiping are over, done, and finished! 

It was a lesson learned the hard way with tough consequences. 

I maxed out most of my credit cards, and I had only enough money to make minimum payments. My debt grew and grew-just like Jack's beanstalk.  I was living paycheck-to-paycheck and ending the month with more month than money.  I was in a never-ending cycle and there didn't seem to be any way out. 

But wait, just like in the fairytales, the princess was saved from an evil end, and just in the nick of time.  I found CareOne and enrolled in their Debt Consolidation Program.  At this point in time, nearly half of my debt is paid off and, more importantly, I'm living a cash only life.  The switch was tough because it is hard to let go of any addiction.  Is there a Credit Card Users Anonymous? 

Slowly, over time, I came to realize that paying cash for ANY purchase was really good for me. 

It allowed me to take control of my money and learn how to not overspend.  I was forced to make a budget and live by it.  I learned how to talk myself out of impulse spending and to buy only those things I actually needed-not needed just a little bit, but, really needed for a good reason. 

 . . . Which brings me to my new glasses that I just bought with CASH. 

It had been five years since I had an eye exam and my old glasses were just not doing the job anymore.  Five years ago, I bought designer frames with some bling on each side and spent over $500.  How could I afford that purchase?  Simple: I just swiped.  Today, I had an eye exam at the same place, picked out my new frames (not designer), and the total was a little over $300, which included the exam as well. 

How could I afford this purchase?  I had saved bits and pieces of money by squeezing my budget, which meant not spending as much as allotted for certain things. 

I picked up a few odd jobs which increased my budget.  I was asked to play the piano at a wedding and was paid $50.  I presented a couple of programs at ladies' luncheons and I sold some of my antiques and collectibles.  In about nine months, I had saved $500 to be used exclusively for my eye exam and new glasses.

I can't tell you how great I felt when I was asked, "How would you like to pay for this?" and I answered "I'll pay cash!"  

I am so happy to no longer be a slave to the credit card industry and the high interest rates that are overwhelming so many people around the nation.  It wasn't easy to give up swiping and convert to a cash-only existence but it was certainly very beneficial for me in the long run. 

I love the feeling paying by cash gives me and I'm never going back to swiping!

At CareOne, we talk about our "Journey Out Of Debt." I firmly believe that my journey is becoming easier and easier as I continue to pay with cash.

 

Kimberly Johns, Debt Management Plan Customer with Leading Provider of Debt Relief, CareOne Services, Inc. Kimberly Johns

Kimberly is enrolled on the CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Kimberly is very active in the Community Forums, some of you may recognize her Community user name; Tiquie. Recently retired, Kim shares how she and her husband manage the financial challenges of living on a fixed income in their home state of Illinois. The John's have found some really creative and fun ways to offset the limitations of a retirement income. Kimberly generously shares smart and tested tips in her A Straight Talk on Debt blogs! Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

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