Are You Ready to do What it Takes to Get Out of Debt?

A Straight Talk on Debt

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Are You Ready to do What it Takes to Get Out of Debt?

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On the first Sunday in October, I ran the Twin Cities 10 mile race. 

I finished the race in 1:27:09, and while it felt awesome, I wasn't fully content with my results because I knew I could do better. Over the last year I have gained 20 unwanted pounds making me wonder just how much better I could have done had I been in peak physical condition

Even as I was crossing the finish line my mind was racing forward a year to the first weekend in October of 2014.  I made up my mind at that instant that next year I will run my 4th marathon and it will be my best ever.  It has been a life goal of mine for my entire adult life to qualify and run in the Boston Marathon and I am devoting the next twelve months of my life to making that happen.

As I walked through the finisher's area collecting my medal and t-shirt I wondered whether I had it in me to put for the the effort to make it happen. 

I couldn't help but thing about my get out of debt journey and the things my family and I have had to do to successfully make it this far in our debt consolidation plan

Lifestyle adjustment:

Gone is the hot tub on our back patio, making our utility meter spin like a ceiling fan. The frequent grips out of town staying in hotels slashed.  No more dinner parties in which we supply the entire food and drink menu.   Even as I write these things I cringe at how obviously unnecessary they are. 

Slashing Costs:

My wife and I are in a constant state of questioning every monthly expense.  We evaluate whether an item is really bringing value to our lives, for example whether we really need a second vehicle. If the answer is no, it's gone.

We're constantly looking for ways to reduce the cost of the necessities of life by learning to use coupons for grocery shopping ,or turning the thermostat down as far as we can stand it to save on energy costs.

Increasing income:

I've taken on a second career as a freelance writer which has grown to a point where it provides a significant amount of income each month.  I also do mystery shopping which pays an average of $15 per shop.  I often question whether the time I spend doing these shops are worth it, but that check for $45 or $60 each month always seems to come in handy.


My wife and I have worked tirelessly on our communication and budgeting skills over the last four and a half years.  There have been mistakes, arguments, successes, and even more arguments.  We are not perfect, but we have continuously improved.

All of this hard work, dedication, and sacrifice has pushed us to the point where we only have four more payments and we will have completed our debt consolidation plan.  It gives me the confidence that I will qualify for the Boston Marathon next October because I'm ready to do whatever it takes to achieve my goal.  It reminds me of one of my favorite sayings:

I didn't say it was going to be easy, I said it was going to be worth it.

Are you ready to do whatever it takes to get out of debt?

Related Links:

Sacrificing to Become Debt Free

Do we Really Need a Second Car?

Me vs. Coupons: Round 1

Let's do the Thermostat Limbo

I am Obsessed With Mystery Shopping!

Travis Pizel, debt management plan customer with leading provider of debt relief, CareOne Services, Inc.Travis Pizel

Travis is a contributing writer for the A Straight Talk on Debt blog. 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 in Minnesota. 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.

To connect with Travis on Google+ click the

You can follow Travis on Twitter @DebtChronicles


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  • What a great thing to accomplish one huge goal and to celebrate by taking on another! I believe you will run that Boston marathon - with those 20 pounds gone. You know what it is to give a day-in-day-out effort, so you'll just keep on keeping on with a different focus (- though you are still planning to attack the mortgage, right?) Good luck!

  • "I didn't say it was going to be easy; I said it was going to be worth it.".  LOVE that, Travis.  Like you, we now constantly question our expenditures to see where we can do better and accelerate our debt payoff plan.  It's not always easy, but the peace we've gained this year as we've watched our debt numbers drop is definitely worth every sacrifice.

  • @Prudence - Thanks for the encouragement, Prudence......every day as I'm doing my pre-workout stretch I envision crossing that finish line, looking up and seeing the timing clock say 3:14 (I need to come in at less than 3 hours and 15 minutes).  It's definitely a challenge, but I'm up for it!  Oh, and yes we are definitely attacking that mortgage as soon as that last payment is made!

  • @Laurie -  Glad you like the's one of my favorites.  I'm so happy to hear that you're finding success in your journey to get out of debt, I know how hard you and your family are working at it, and look forward to cheering you on to the finish line!

  • Great site and interesting may i ask experts view and please answer me  on or how do u break a cycle of debt coz i can describe

    myself as a 'serial Loanee' .if there is a word like that anyway; HELP

  • That trend is seemingly reversing now, and we want to get rid of the interest-only second mortgage and get everything locked into a fixed-rate loan. As my wife and I pulled into the bank parking lot, she asked me a very valid question: Can we even refinance

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