CareOne Community Member Spotlight - Monica

My Journey out of Debt

Featured customers currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Relief Plan, share journey to become debt-free; hear how they juggle family, finances, and more.

CareOne Community Member Spotlight - Monica

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Monica Davis, CareOne Debt Relief Services Customer Spotlight We are continuing our featured segment for the My Journey out of Debt blog; CareOne Community Member Spotlight!

We are placing the spotlight on some of the familiar members you see engaging in the Community.

This week we are talking with Monica Davis, very well known in our community as Mdavis1964.

Last time we caught up with Monica was back in September of 2010. Monica had been active on the Debt Management Plan (DMP) for just under a year for our first spotlight and shared her tips for newbies.

This time we are talking to Monica who is coming down the home stretch of her Debt Management Plan. 

The question we all want to know much longer do you have on your DMP?    

According to my budget I will be debt free with my November payment.  Although I hope to be debt free sooner.  Either way I have been able to cut over 2 years off my estimated time to be debt free from when I first started this journey.

How does it feel to be closer to the end of your plan than the beginning?

The 5 years 1month estimate I was given when I first started seemed so far away.  I had a hard time even thinking the day would ever come.  Now I am counting down months and know it is really going to happen.  I am getting very excited and can't wait each month for my debit date, so I can mark another month done.

You gave us 5 tips for people just joining the Debt Management Plan, what 5 tips would you offer to people like yourself who are in the middle and need a shot of motivation?

During the program you may feel it will never come or it is taking so long.  I think most of us go through those times.  I know I did.  Here are some of my motivation tips.

*Don't hesitate to use the community members, friends, or family to express your feelings.  Let others bring some positive light during those difficult times.  I found it really helped me to know that others were feeling the same way as I was at times.  It also helped me to stay on tack.  Believe me during those times I have to admit I wanted to throw up my hands and give in to my wants!!  So try (as hard as it can be at times) to stay positive.  I am still a firm believer that positive things happen to positive people as they set themselves up for success!!  I also believe that anything negative that comes my way there is something positive to find or learn.  Look at what I have learned from this program.  I may be in debt, but I now have a lot more knowledge and have met some awesome people on this program that I consider friends.

*I started keeping track of the interest I was paying each month on my debt.  It helped me stay motivated watching the amount I was paying towards interest go down.  I celebrated once the total amount of interest I was paying towards my creditors was less than the fee I am paying CareOne.  What a great feeling it is to know I am paying less than $50 a month in interest!!

*I also started figuring out what an extra few dollars a month would do to my estimated time to be debt free.  Seeing how many months I could take away from the estimate was a huge motivator for me to stay on track and pay any extra I could every month.

*I have started a "say no" jar.  Every time I want a diet coke, or any other item or activity I say no to, I put into this jar.  It isn't a lot of money as my budget doesn't allow a lot of extra spending but it is adding up.  I have decided the money I have in this jar will be my celebrating money when I am debt free.  So the more I can say no to myself now, the more I will have to do what I want later.  This has motivated me to stay on track and continue using the tools CareOne has taught me.

*If you find yourself falling off the budget wagon, pick yourself back up and find whatever it is that motivates you.  All of us have different motivating ideas....get creative and use what works for you!!

*Set reachable goals.  I started setting goals that were not realistic as "life does happen" and when something unexpected comes up you may feel like a failure.  It is OK; it just means you need to reset the goal to something more reachable with the changes that have occurred.  DON'T GIVE UP!!!  I had something come up that has me paying out almost $200 a month that was unexpected at the time.  After I sat down and thought about it, I realized it didn't make me a failure, in reality it makes me successful.  Before I joined this program I wouldn't have had the extra $200 a month to pay out to help a loved one (my mother).  But I have learned so much from this program that not only was I able to pay that extra bill I am still able to keep paying extra each month against my debt. 

Yes, it meant that I wasn't able to reach a goal I set for myself, but does it mean I won't reach my ultimate goal?  Not at all.  It meant I learned so much that I can handle the unexpected coming at me and still reach my goal to be debt free.  Keep the faith no matter what comes your way.  Find the positive and build from there.  I can't tell you how great of a feeling it is to watch my mother enjoy her remaining years without financial worries.  She is finally able to spend freely and enjoy the remainder of her life.  That is another great motivator for me.  Knowing that soon I will have that as well.  

*I know you have probably heard to never look back.  My suggestion is to look back and see where you were before joining and where you are now.  I think you will actually be amazed at how far you have come. 

You are always so helpful and positive when posting the Community, what motivates you to help other people find the answer and support that they need?

Thank you for the kind words.  I love people.  I love to see people excited and successful.  If I can be a stepping stone in helping someone reach their goal, or help relieve their worries, then I get the pleasure in sharing in their excitement, or experience.  Knowing you are not alone is a relief right from the start.  I know that it makes it easier to go through difficult times if you have someone to talk to, share ideas, thoughts, struggles, and successes.  As I stated above, I believe a positive attitude brings positive results. 

What will be the first thing you do when you graduate from the DMP?

I know this one; I am waiting for this debt free day!!!  The first thing I am going to do is get this ratty hair of mine cut, dyed and styled.  I expect to have enough money in my "say no" jar to afford this.  It is what I set in the beginning as my reward, so no matter how many times I was tempted to get it cut, dyed or anything else I have not.  Even when others offered.  So, I apologize to all that I don't have it in me to have a recent picture taken of me to include with this post.  I don't like my hair right now and I certainly don't want to share my ratty hair with all of you ha ha ha.  If CareOne wants one after I am debt free and frizz free I may consider it.  :-)

How will you save or use the money that you currently pay each month to your plan? Will you invest? Save, buy a home or vehicle?

Awww I love CareOne!!  Even through the interview you want to show me you Care!!  By asking this question you want to make sure I am planning for my future.  Don't worry I have learned some good tools on this subject as well.  The first thing I am doing is setting up to have more money put into my retirement fund at work.  What I plan next may not sound responsible to some, but something I feel I want and need to do......I have set up a family cruise for December of 2013.  It is something my mother has always wanted to do, is go on a cruise and I have a feeling it may be her last real vacation.  So I will be saving up for that.  Once that is accomplished my goal is to put as much money away into a three different groups, my emergency fund will increase, saving for a home, and an additional savings account that is used for any wants, vacations etc...  The other accounts will not be touched unless there is a true emergency.  

What is new and exciting in your world that you can share with the Community?

Wow, I don't think I was ready for this question. :-)  Well there is something kind of new and exciting awaiting me at the end of my debt journey.  I have a gentleman that has been interested in dating me for quite some time.  I have known him for about 5 years now.  Although we did lose contact for a little over 2 years.  He found me on FaceBook and since that time he has let me know that he wants to date me.  When he let me know this, I told him I was not ready.  I wanted time between my divorce and him and me dating as more then friends.  I let him know that if we continued our friendship as it was and after I get debt free we could revisit the possibility.  Well it is getting close now and he is still around.  We will see what happens in 7-9 more payments.

Keep up the great work everyone!!  When I am debt free I do plan on coming back and seeing a lot of you complete your program as well.  I want to do the happy dance for each and every one of you!! 

Thank you CareOne for giving me this opportunity to share where I am now.  This is just another motivator for me.  I cannot thank all of you enough for all you have done for me.  This includes all the people behind the scenes as well as those that have direct contact with me.  Every single person I have had any contact with has been so positive and supportive.  Keep up the great work.  I truly appreciate all of you!!!

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  • I really enjoyed getting an update on how you are doing, Monica!  We correspond fairly frequently through blog comments, and our paths cross frequently in community threads as well but this is "getting to know you" at a much deeper level.  Holding off on dating until you're done with your DMP? Wow, you are HARD CORE! are certainly committed to eliminating your debt, making it a priority not letting anything distract you from accomplishing your goal.  We could all learn something and benefit from you as a role model.  I hope CareOne does another update on you when you complete your program!

  • Thank you Travis!!  It has been awesome getting to know you and your family through this process as well.  It almost feels like I know you personally :-).  I guess you could say that I am HARD CORE!  My family says that I am STUBBORN, I think I like  your wording better LOL.  

    Travis, I am looking forward to coming back to see you through your debt!!  I know that you will do it as you are as committed as I am.  I love hearing how much  you have learned through the process.  Not only about paying off your debt, but about communications and life challenges.  You my friend will be someone I will always remember.  :-)

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