When Kelly had to stop work to get treatment for breast cancer, her whole life was tipped upside down. The plan she had for her finances no longer worked and her debts slipped out of her control.
“The money problems were from credit cards and Harvey Norman credit line and family expenses. Having all those debts, and suddenly not being able to work, going down to one income and COVID. I was chasing my tail and not capable of organising anything at that point, because I had no money coming in.
Kelly said she was able to unpack her financial issues when she was undertaking treatment for cancer and found a contact who was an oncology social worker. This person gave her the time to take and provided direction for addressing her debt issues.
It is through this person that she was referred to Way Forward.
“Something I’ve learned from being so sick, is that you when people present you with options, you need to do something, act on it and take the help when it’s offered to you.”
“People are willing to help, and they want to help you.”
Kelly also found doing a budget with Way Forward most helpful.
“I put together a detailed budget with Bill. This is the first time I’ve done a proper, comprehensive budget, which is probably why I’ve lived well beyond my means.
“It made me realise where I was spending money that I hadn’t really thought about previously. It was good but also a bit confronting because you see where your money is going and how much you’re truly spending on things like interest repayments.”
Kelly describes being much more cautious with her spending.
“I will never have another credit card again. I do use Afterpay but it’s easier to pay that off.
“I definitely watch my spending and think much more about where it is going. I also make plans in a way I didn’t previously.”
Kelly describes having Way Forward provide an “objective point of view” provides accountability.
“Way Forward’s objectivity makes you face up to what you are actually doing. And then guides you to take control over your situation. It is invaluable.
Kelly describes learning about managing money, as a life skill that “everyone should learn”.
“Getting independent financial advice, before deciding, might give you some direction and at least provide the warnings if you’re unable to make repayments.”
“Learning financial life skills like budgets and saving should be taught at schools. It’s unfortunate that we’re sent into the world without any kind of course on managing money and budgeting because it’s so important to learn it.”