How Lyndon & His Wife Paid Off $16,000 of Debt While Raising Three Kids
Since making their first payment to the Orderly Payment of Debts (OPD) program Lyndon’s family have come a long way.
“It’s fantastic,” said Lyndon.
It’s been almost 3 years, and they have now officially paid off not only $16,120.44 to creditors, but also made their final car payment, and cleared off all their other debts.
Lyndon and his wife realised they had to make an adjustment in their financial lives when they were unable to make their monthly payments on their credit cards and other loans.
“At the beginning you felt so emotional, choked, you felt like the world was ending and crashing all around you because you couldn’t even afford to put food on the table,” said Lyndon.
The couple received a recommendation to visit Money Mentors from a friend through church. Lyndon then made a phone call, and came in to see a counsellor a short while later. After reviewing their options, the OPD program was the best decision for the family, and things started to change.
“I think the first 6 months to a year were the hardest, but after that we found ways to work with our budget,” said Lyndon.
His favourite aspect of the OPD program is knowing that the creditor will be paid back 100%. “You feel a lot of value in that as a person, where you’re really honouring the debt that you have created,” said Lyndon.
Like all clients on this program, living on a cash-only budget is important and necessary. Lyndon and his wife were very upfront with close friends and family when it came to telling them they were paying with cash and this is the amount that was within their budget at the time.
“Living by cash has changed our whole lifestyle and how we approached spending, along with habits.”
The Importance of Financial Literacy
While on the OPD program, clients at Money Mentors are required to take financial literacy courses which teach budgeting basics, the wise use of credit, and other personal financial management. Lyndon not only put the time into teaching himself, but also into teaching his family.
“It was a really good investment to make,” said Lyndon. “It’s almost a reflective time, it’s a tough pill to swallow sometimes.”
Lyndon and his wife now educate and put time into shedding light on these personal experiences with their children. “We tell them to look at all of their options,” said Lyndon.
Lyndon also taught his kids about saving, and told them to imagine where their savings could be by the time they were 40-years-old if they started now.
“We walked them through some of our budgeting challenges,” said Lyndon. “You might think Mom and Dad make a lot of money, but we told them what rent costs, what utility costs and more.”
Looking Ahead at a Life Debt-Free
Moving into the near and far future, Lyndon and his wife have many financial goals they are excited to tackle. As they finish paying off their debts, the couple look to re-establish credit, and potentially own their own home after renting for 10 years.
“If I could give advice to anybody who just finished this program, it would be – don’t rush,” said Lyndon. “Don’t get into big financial commitments again. Just enjoy it and let it go for 1 or 2 years.”
Lyndon said that, for him and his wife, it doesn’t matter if they own a home within the next 6 months or the next 2 years. What matters most to them, is that they are ready.
“I need to move into healing and a journey where I’m not going to get myself into that position again,” said Lyndon.
Changing Your Money Mindset
Lyndon spoke about changing his money mindset and ensuring that the financial struggle ends with his generation of the family. He expressed his passion about stopping the “addiction” that spending truly is, for many Canadians.
Lyndon feels that we should be able to talk about money more openly with our friends and family to avoid the outcomes that sometimes consist of broken relationships, depression, and other mental health issues. He often thinks about what would have happened if he spent differently, or saved differently, 30 years ago.
“Why did I have to make some of these decisions?” said Lyndon.“It’s not that hard. I made it more complicated than it needed to be.”
For many, the patterns that come along with impulse spending become habitual, making these behaviours harder and harder to break. Lyndon wanted to share his one piece of advice for those going through a similar situation, and that was asking for help sooner.
“From desperation to joy is a pretty amazing journey,” said Lyndon.
Money Mentors would like to congratulate Lyndon and his wife on being debt free and having the courage to share their story with us!