Looking Back on our Journey to Debt Consolidation

A Straight Talk on Debt

A Straight Talk on Debt gives you the real deal on debt, straight from our employees and personal finance experts. Learn more about debt relief plans and how to be financially fit.

Looking Back on our Journey to Debt Consolidation

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Our 1 year anniversary of being enrolled in the CareOne debt consolidation program has made me really stop and look back at how we got here.

I know that when we finish our debt consolidation program that I want to stay out of debt.

I don't think that will happen if we treat this like a diet. We cannot be really good while on the program and then go back to our old spending ways afterwards. I want to learn from our past so we are not doomed to repeat it!

So how did we get here? Simple: Credit Cards!

Credit cards remind me of drugs. At first, it felt soooo good to go out and buy what I wanted.

I saw them as a tool for managing our cash flow.

I was paying them off every month so I did not see the problem. Then things happened and I could not pay them off completely. I thought I would just catch up in a month or two. I did not. I kept paying off less and less of the principal and kept rationalizing new charges.

Then I started to worry that they were becoming a problem, but I was pretty sure I could handle it.

We agreed we were going to have to cut expenses and deal with the debt and then Daryl lost his job.

I had payment protection on the cards so I did not have to make payments on them the year he was out of work.

I could still use them though, and that was the final nail in our debt coffin.

I was then just using them to function and I felt physically sick about it all the time. I tried desperately to handle the problem myself and kept making things worse. Finally, I admitted we needed help and looked for a helping hand.

It is true, we had some unusual circumstances. My husband was out of work for a year. My mother had multiple types of cancer. We also had to manage a move when Daryl finally did find work. I went from being a substitute teacher to being a full-time, stay-at-home mom.  If we did not have all the credit card debt, things would have been so much easier.

We worked for three years after the move to pay down our debt and made no progress.

Those three years we lived on a tight budget. We tried everything we could think of to pay down our debt. I kept thinking if we could just get a little bit ahead we could fix it. Each month we honestly thought that the next month would be the turning point.

At the end of those three years we were deeper in debt than ever because we tried to take out a loan to pay off higher interest cards and we opened cards with promotional gimmicks for the same reason. 

I could not see things changing for the better. I could only see them getting worse.

I honestly felt like we were drowning in debt. It was like I literally could not take in a full breath. I thought about our debt all the time.

It kept me up at night. It invaded any quiet moments I had. I was not just worried about the debt we had, but worried about the expenses coming up.

  • How could I help my kids with college?
  • How could we ever retire?
  • How were we getting our daughter braces that we KNEW she was going to need?

CareOne threw me a lifeline.

They helped me stop getting deeper in debt and gave me a plan for getting out.

Things are so much better now.

Sure, we are still broke. We still live on a tight budget.

On the other hand, we now have money in savings. We now have a plan for those braces. We now have a plan on how to help with college expenses.

We won't always be broke. We won't always have debt. I do hope we will always have the lessons we are learning about debt.

Kimberly Davis, Debt Management Plan customer with leading provider of debt relief, CareOne Services, Inc. Kimberly Davis

I have been married for 15 years and we have two kids. We have had a rough few years; between my Mom's having to come and live with us to my husband's lay off.  We are very eager to get our finances under control with the CareOne Debt Management Plan because our kids have BIG college plans. We have plans too and they include traveling with our trailer and being able to retire at some point, so this debt just has to go!  I live in California with my family and am  focused on making real changes so that we can get started on a fun debt-free future.You many know me in the Community Forums as Kimmer5000 and I am now a compensated blogger for CareOne!  Check out my blogs under A Straight Talk and My Journey out of Debt!

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  • It feels great to have a goal, AND a workable plan to achieve those goals, doesn't it Kimberly??  Five months from the end, and it's all excitement here at the Pizel house to make that final atonement for our financial indiscretions. :)

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