New announcement. Learn more

PH: 0800 650 017


The Art of Money 

Empowering YOU with YOUR Numbers!


Leah Donaldson, Story to financial freedom

My Family

My Family

Tena Koutou Katoa

Financial freedom can mean many things to us individually. I speak from my journey today and in the hope to encourage others.

As I watched the budget 2020 being delivered by Grant Robertson the Finance minister, to partake in my responsibility within my home, as I believe it all starts there. The decisions made yesterday are going to affect the future of my children and their children and the generations to come. 

In my view, DEBT is not always the answer, but is always the answer. Wisdom must apply to good and bad debt.

I thought I would share how we came out of financial hardship from 2012 to 2016, so here is a little of our story and actions we took that helped us become financially FREE. Hope it helps YOU.

The dynamics of our family we had 2 children living with us and 3 with their mum, visiting every 2nd weekend. My mum had shares in our family home at the time and her business was being run from home creating $800 monthly power bills.

We had no income, a failed business and financial pressure from the bank daily, creditors ringing, no food, power cut off, phone cut off, trouble feeding our family and unsure who to turn to and who to trust. Relationships were breaking down around us, with fear, pride and depression controlling us in an extremely emotional and vulnerable state. 

I was on antidepressants for months which helped ease the pressure but was not ideal.


This is how we managed to come out of this season to where we are now.

  1. Scotty and I unified, supported and encouraged one another.
  2. We Revised our business and personal budget weekly, together. 
    • We started cutting back cutting out and cutting costs.
    • We had a priority list.
    • Keep family warm,
    • Feed the family
    • Slowly work out what is the priority debt and chip away at it slowly if we can.
    • Communicate with our creditors and make no promises, just share your plan.

3. We applied for accommodation supplement at winz so we could feed the kids.

4. We spoke to the bank, by then was 2 months behind reaching 8 months

5. Scotty applied for 21 jobs, to finally get a breakthrough with state Insurance. $49k Yahoo.

6. We had support from our family and church members who helped with giving money that was able to pay arrears of priority debt and feed the kids with descent food.

7. We had family move into our home that helped clear the mortgage arrears and get us ahead so we had a roof over our head.

8. After 2015 when I was discharged, we sold the family home that was in a trust and cleared all our debt.

9. We found a rental with 30 other family members applying. (That is when rental market went crazy). I had to explain to the agent that I was not a liability as my credit was NOW CRAP.

10. We had a church member help by lending us the bond of $2500 to get into the rental and friends helped move us for free

11. We started our new beginning debt free and built new dreams.

We did not borrow any money or get into any debt, we cleared and down sized, until 2018 when we started building our new home and purchased another investment property in 2019. This all came with a sacrifice.

With 20 years as an entrepreneur, I wanted to understand the role as an accountant! So in 2017, I set off to University, invested in my education, achieving a postgraduate diploma in professional accounting. I also learnt more about myself, having dyslexic and dysgraphia. This helped me to understand why certain things did not make sense to me.

We really encourage you to not react from fear and emotion and get the help you need if you are having trouble sleeping at night. My journey will not be yours. We are here to guide and encourage you.

Set up a budget FREE Course OR

Pay a small fee and have a money trainer support your journey OR

Mental health OR 

If you are a small business owner and your family are your WHY, we would love to get to know you, to see if we fit to partner with each other. Book a FREE discovery call 


This product has been added to your cart