“I’ve managed to save for Christmas for the first time ever,” said Belinda, one of our budget clients last year.
Belinda was so excited, that she texted Cath, her Financial Mentor, with the good news!
It’s the first time she hasn’t had to get a loan out to pay for presents and food at Christmas time. For the last few years, to pay for everything over Christmas, she got a ‘top up loan’, and then spent the rest of the year paying it back, which she found was heartbreaking.
Her journey to stopping the debt cycle wasn’t easy, and as she was nervous to get budgeting help in the first place. Belinda says …
“There’s an apprehension about budgeting, because you feel that you are going to hand control of money to someone else, when it’s actually the opposite. Cath, my financial mentor, gave me options. The first thing was to get rid of my debt. I had this loan which I would top up for birthdays and Christmas. There’s so much pressure to spend so much on your children, or you feel like a failure as a parent. My budget was literally worked out to the cent. We still have take-aways once a week, but we keep to the budget.
The turning point was getting through one Christmas without the top up on the loan. It was an amazing feeling. Then with the money I didn’t have to pay any more on the loan, I started to save instead. I learned if I saved just $3 or $4 a week, I could save to pay for my car registration next year. You can see the money building up from the beginning, you just have to resist the temptation to spend it! The feeling that you’ve paid the first bill you’ve saved for – that’s pretty awesome! I never thought I’d get excited about my budget.
If my kids need shoes, I now have money to buy them, rather than having to spend less on groceries or miss a power bill.
I have bipolar disorder, stressing about money affects me. Having a measure of control over my financial situation takes away a lot of the stress, and has improved my health a lot. I’m so grateful to Cath. She’s changed my erspective about money.
My eldest daughter too has seen the benefit of working to a budget. She’s started to save for car registration and warrant of fitness.”