Carlos came to Kingdom Resources as a support person for a client who was receiving financial mentoring. As he watched the meeting progress and saw the client begin to make sense of their financial situation, Carlos concluded that he could do with seeing a Financial Mentor himself. He made an appointment to come back and see Financial Mentor Vaughan.
“I’d pushed all my finance stuff under the rug for years, and years, and years,” he explains. Having to face the reality of his financial situation, he says was ‘confronting’.
At age 17 Carlos moved to Australia, leaving behind debt in New Zealand. When he returned in his 20s, he discovered that the debt was no longer counted against his name, so Carlos decided to do it all again, racking up more debt, and leaving quickly for Australia before it all caught up with him. “It was a horrendous way to live, terrible – winging it,” he says. Surprisingly, when he returned in his 30s, the debt had cleared again. After discovering that he was still able to make large purchases on credit, he got a credit card, then got a loan to pay the credit card off.
Carlos knew he was years away from being able to repay his debt, but with Vaughan’s help, he finally took a serious look at his finances. “I just had to face it,” he explains, “I’d got to the point with my loans and my credit cards that I was just throwing money at them in payments and just ignoring it because I knew if I looked at it, with the interest, I would probably have a mental breakdown.”
There were several things Carlos did to get his finances in order; he kept to a budget, acknowledged his debt, he began saving, and got into the habit of putting any spare cash onto his credit card or loan to bring the interest down. When asked how he feels about having available credit now, he replies, “I’m obsessed with paying it off!”
In a few months Carlos will be debt free. He says he feels he now “knows the value of a dollar,” and explains, “There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel, and being financially free is up there as one of the top stresses that I could get rid of… You can’t do anything until you get rid of debt.”
By Janine Millington