Alberta man enjoys a sunny winter day, debt-free.

How the OPD Program Paved the Way for Sunny Days Ahead

Imagine getting paid each month only to not know where your money goes and have the cycle continue again. This was Sunny’s reality.

“My paycheque would be gone within three days from frivolous spending and then I’d have to wait until the next paycheque arrived,” Sunny reflected. “For the days I was behind on payments, I relied on credit to get by. Within three years, I maxed out all my credit cards and didn’t know what to do.”

With over $15,000 consumer debt piling up and collection calls every week, Sunny started to stress.

“I was depressed and losing sleep,” he recalled. “I couldn’t stop thinking about what was going to happen to me. I was scared of losing everything.”

Alternatives to bankruptcy

Unaware of alternatives, Sunny believed bankruptcy was his only option. It wasn’t until he was having lunch with a co-worker in their office cafeteria when he saw a commercial for Money Mentors. His co-worker suggested giving them a call, and so he did.

At his first appointment with his counsellor, Sunny was given the motivation needed to move forward.

“He told me things wouldn’t change if I wasn’t committed to it. That sentence changed everything.”

After committing to the Orderly Payment of Debts (OPD) program that day, Sunny left the meeting feeling more confident in his financial abilities than ever before.

Learning how to budget with better money habits

From day one, Sunny focused his attention on rebuilding his mindset, habits and routines that would allow him to reach his financial goals. He learned how to budget with better money habits and created a money mantra to help on the difficult days: “Nothing really happens unless you make a plan and stick with it.” This mantra helped him prioritize what was important to him, paving the way for his new financial future.

Over time, Sunny learned how to stop prioritizing wants over needs and spending his hard-earned money on things like clothing, electronics and eating out with friends. He also learned how to build a budget, create affordable meal plans, and start living his life with the sole focus of becoming debt-free.

“My favourite part about being on the OPD program was that instead of making ten different payments to ten different creditors, I only needed to make one to Money Mentors,” Sunny said. “This allowed me to put more money towards my savings account.”

Before Money Mentors, Sunny said he never knew the importance of maintaining a savings account, but thanks to Money Mentors financial education and resources, he learned how to take control of his money.

“I now put 10 per cent of my paycheque into my savings account, which is something I’ve never done before. And I’ve learned how to prepare for holiday expenses, so I don’t go into debt.”

Financial words of wisdom after becoming debt-free

As Sunny reached the end of the OPD program, he couldn’t believe how quickly the time had flown by. That evening, after making his last payment, he and his friends went out to celebrate this huge accomplishment of being debt-free that felt unreachable years before.

When asked what advice he would give to others in the same precarious situation he was once in, Sunny became serious.

“Step back and take a look at yourself, your environment and the people you surround yourself with. You may come to the realization that they are the reason why you spend money the way you do.”

Sunny is now saving for a house down payment and working towards becoming an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).

“Not only do I have financial goals now, but I also have life goals. Money Mentors changed my life in more ways than one. Thank you!”

 

Key strategies you can try:

  • If you’re in a similar situation to Sunny and constantly overspending, the first step is to break that cycle so that you aren’t spending more than you make. Start by taking our free one-hour online course, “Break the Cycle: Spend Less & Save More.”
  • Like many of us, Sunny had trouble budgeting. Creating a budget takes practice, but anyone can do it. Learn the basics by downloading our Budgeting Workbook or fill out this straightforward Spending Plan to help you budget.
  • Once you’re out of debt, start building your emergency savings fund so that if something unforeseen comes up, you have some cash on hand.

 


Money Mentors would like to thank Sunny for sharing his story. Congratulations on becoming debt-free!

If you would like to share your story, please contact our Marketing Manager.

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