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Before Money Mentors, Cheryl spent 22 years of her life in the dark. Her husband at the time controlled everything from their business to their money, leaving Cheryl with nothing to her name and at his mercy. Whether it was buying school supplies for their three children or paying their bills, Cheryl had to justify every penny spent.
“He was very controlling and manipulative. I hated being in the house when he had to sign cheques for these sorts of things because he would go into fits of rage at having to spend ‘his’ money. All of this over the years really gave me a love/hate relationship with money.”
In time, Cheryl was able to break free from their marriage and take their children to Calgary, Alberta to start their lives anew.
Because Cheryl had never handled her own finances before, suddenly becoming a single mother of three became overwhelming. From selling her house to increasing her credit card limit, Cheryl would often resort to last-ditch efforts when she needed financial help. She used credit cards to survive and when she couldn’t manage anymore, she paid off her debts in chunks at a time, hoping to keep afloat once again. But this routine was never sustainable.
“Whenever I got myself into a rut, I found a way to fix it. But it got to the point one day when I just knew I was getting swallowed up in debt. I was never going to be able to pay if off alone.
“One evening while watching TV, an ad for Money Mentors came on. And I thought I might as well give them a try. It was a match! I probably should have talked to Money Mentors a lot sooner because they were exactly what I needed.”
After connecting with her counsellor, Nyamal, Cheryl joined the Orderly Payment of Debts (OPD) program to finally reach financial freedom. While on the program for three years, Cheryl learned a lot about the importance of making a financial plan and sticking to it.
“The program made me pay attention to the important things in life. Through Money Mentors’ financial education and guidance, I’m finally managing my finances effectively and have started saving for retirement. I made a 5-year plan upon completion of the OPD program and because of Money Mentors’ influence in my life, I know I can make my goals happen.”
Before finding Money Mentors, Cheryl admits to turning a blind eye to her financial state.
“For a lot of people in debt, myself included, they don’t want to know how bad it’s gotten. It’s not the fact that they don’t know. It’s that they don’t want to truly see it for what it is. And that’s a really scary place to be! But one day you’ll wake up and feel the weight of the stress that you’re ignoring. You’re carrying that debt on your shoulders and one day you’ll see it for what it is and realize you need help. And it’s important to know you’re not alone.
“Before Money Mentors, I wasn’t ready to admit I had a problem. But educating yourself and finding a strong support system to help you along your debt-free journey is the key. Money Mentors has been a wonderful experience and I’m so thankful for the connections I’ve made through the program. When you start believing in yourself, that’s when things start happening for you. I believe in myself now and I credit a lot of that to Money Mentors. Thank you!”
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