“Huck”-ing Away $30,000 of Debt
February 1st, 2016
In 2011, Crystal Huck and her husband decided it was time to face the facts and reach out for help with their financial situation. The couple carried $31,411.00 in consumer debt, consisting of 4 credit cards and one line of credit.
Crystal admitted she was close to being unable to make minimum payments on their bills.
“He (my husband) didn’t realize we were dealing with that much of a struggle,” said Crystal. “I told him, if we don’t do this now it’s only going to get worse, and we’re never going to get better.”
After meeting with financial counsellor, Paula Sangster, it was decided that the best course of action for the husband and wife was Money Mentors Orderly Payment of Debts (OPD) program.
The two came in and cut up their credit cards before beginning their repayment journey and living on a strict cash-based diet.
One month after starting the program, the small family grew a bit bigger, as their first child was born.
“It was a tough time,” said Crystal when referring to the cash-based diet. “We went to having some spending money and some cushioning, to having a baby, going on maternity leave and starting the program.”
“It was a big marital struggle,” said Crystal. She explained to her husband the sacrifices were worth the challenge. “I told him the next four years are going to be a bumpy road, but if we can get on the other end we’re going to be so much better in so many ways.”
Throughout the 4 years that the Huck’s were on the program, they had another 2 children. One of their daughters had a severe allergy – causing the couple financial woes. They soon-after learned they would have to buy very expensive formula and deal with severe health complications that held Crystal back from working.
Although making payments was hard and sometimes impossible, Money Mentors was very understanding of their situation and helped them find a way around the financial difficulties.
“I never let anybody put a stop sign up and say you can’t do this yet,” said Crystal. “We went through so many different things and so many different changes in our lives.”
Crystal wanted to take care of their debt load before the kids were old enough to realize what they were going through. “I’m definitely going to share this story with them,” said Crystal when speaking about her children.
“It was different to have all of that happen at once but a lot has changed, a lot of good and positive things have happened.”
SHORT TERM SACRIFICE, LONG TERM GAIN
Growing up, Crystal and her husband were raised with different financial values. “I’ve never been a person to spend, spend, spend, I’ve always been kind of frugal,” she said.
“It’s different when you put a partner into your situation; my husband was spend, spend, spend because that’s how his mom was.” She explained how easy it can be to fall into the same habits.
“It’s crazy how simple it is for you to rack up a credit card, a piece of plastic. It’s just swipe, swipe, swipe,” said Crystal.
In May 2015, the family officially became debt free. They not only paid off their consumer debt, but also their vehicle. The Huck`s are expecting a 4th child and looking forward to purchasing a dream home to suit all of their family needs.
“I stick to the budget that we have and that we originally got through Money Mentors,” said Crystal. “Throughout the program, I figured out how I could save money and adjust because everyday expenses go up, inflation happens.”
Crystal discussed her initial feelings about personal finance, and why she wanted to share her story. “There is a very negative stigma behind it,” she said. “It’s a lot of keeping up with the Joneses these days.”
SUCK IT UP
Crystal shares some great advice with her friends and family about why financial fears are something we should overcome. “Long run, think about how many years it took you to get into debt, and how many years it will take you to pay it off,” she said.
Crystal compared the time it took her to pay off this debt load, to how quickly her children were growing up. “If you think about it, your child turned from a 1 year old into a 5 year old in the blink of an eye, and you could have paid your debt off in that time.”
She agrees that a lot more people are starting to come forward and deal with their debt. “I have a lot of friends in similar situations,” said Crystal. Her advice to them? “Suck it up.”
Money Mentors services will help you improve your money management skills, become debt free, build a bright financial future and live a more stress-free life.
Money Mentors would like to congratulate the Huck family on being debt free and having the courage to share their story with us.
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