How do you know when enough is enough?
For Robert, it was when he realized he and his family could barely afford to live.
With debts spread out amongst credit cards, multiple loans and Alberta Health Services bills, Robert struggled to make his monthly payments. And as a single parent, he made the decision to work a night job, allowing him to stay home with his daughter during the day until she was in school full-time. While this cut down childcare costs for his family, it also significantly cut down his family’s income.
“Things got out of control,” Robert admitted. “I wasn’t able to look after my finances anymore. I wasn’t able to pay my creditors back.
“What’s worse is that my money wasn’t going towards unnecessary expenses like new TVs or recreational vehicles―I was relying on my credit cards to simply pay for bills and put food on the table.”
It was time for a change.
Luckily, that’s when Robert discovered Money Mentors and booked a free credit counselling appointment. Although it might have been easier to declare bankruptcy, Robert knew he needed to pay every cent back through the Orderly Payment of Debts (OPD) program.
“I owed my creditors money, and it wasn’t their fault that I was in the financial mess that I was in,” he explained.
Before joining the OPD program, Robert said he used to receive at least ten calls a day from his creditors, which only stressed him out further. But once on the OPD program, Money Mentors handled all of his creditor phone calls directly, leaving Robert out of it.
“The best part about Money Mentors was that my phone stopped ringing.”
Within five years, Robert paid off his over $42,000 in debts and found a better paying job in the process. As well, he learned how to start saving money, contribute to an RRSP, and limit his credit cards down to one that he can afford to pay off each month. He now understands credit better and how to use it responsibly.
These new financial habits are something he hopes to pass on to his children.
“I want my children to build their financial literacy now, which is something I didn’t have when I was their age,” Robert said. “Small things like putting ten per cent away into savings each paycheque or understanding needs versus wants…I want them to develop these habits while they’re still young, so it won’t be so difficult to manage when they’re older.”
At the end of the day, Robert is proud of how far he has come since finding Money Mentors.
“I’ve learned the importance of living within my means and have Money Mentors to thank for this newfound financial literacy. Because of this organization, my family and I are finally able to live comfortably, stress- and debt-free.”
Money Mentors would like to thank Robert for sharing his story. Congratulations on becoming debt-free!
If you would like to share your story, please contact our Marketing Manager.