This morning I made a quick phone call, and just like that it was over. With our 55th payment, plus a partial payment scheduled to be automatically withdrawn on Tuesday, the last of the $109,000 of credit card debt that we had enrolled in our debt management plan is gone.
Free from the shackles of debt that have have held us down for our entire seventeen year marriage. Free to finally have the decision of what to do with our money fully within our own control instead of having to hand it over to credit card companies. No more atonement for the sins of years of over spending. I honestly cannot articulate with words what I’m feeling right now. Joy, relief, anger, victorious all rolled into one.
What a journey this has been.
I am not the same person today as I was 55 months ago. If I could have one wish, I would go back in time to assure the Travis of 2009 that everything was going to be OK. Because in the beginning it was so hard, and I felt so alone. I would let him know that great things were coming his way, to show him how strong he would become, the father and husband he could be.
This journey has not been without it’s surprises.
I became a customer blogger for CareOne, my debt relief provider. As time went by, friendships formed. When I was a speaker at The Financial Blogger Conference in 2012 (Fincon12), three of my friends from CareOne were sitting in the front row. Two of them flew across the country for a single day to support me. Which is mindblowingly symbolic, because that’s exactly where they’ve been for the last 4 years.
In the front row, supporting us and cheering us on.
To my friends at CareOne, it is with all the admiration, respect, and love in my heart that I give to you an infinite and eternal, “Thank You.”
You have changed our lives forever.
The most important thing I’ve learned during this process is that being a provider for my family doesn’t just mean buying everything they want. The root of our financial problems was the simple error in judgement of equating saying “No” with failing as a husband, and as a provider. A true provider does what is best for the long term success. I’ve also learned that I cannot, and do not have to shoulder this responsibility alone.
Vonnie and I stand here today individually strong, but together invincible.
We are not out of debt. We had some amount of debt that could not be enrolled in our program, and some that we opted not to enroll. But we are way past the point of needing a debt relief program to guide us in the right direction.
We are now in full control of our finances, and our future.
In July of 2009 we started this journey out of desperation. Today that journey ends, and a new chapter of our lives begins.