‘Convenience kills!’: Focus, lifestyle changes lead to achieving goals

May 10, 2023

Eldiablo, a Wilmington resident, knows firsthand that a low credit score is more than just a number. He can share first-hand experience about how poor credit creates obstacles for someone who wants to finance larger purchases, like a home.

So, thanks to his sister, Eldiablo learned about a free financial counseling program, Stand By Me, a partnership between the State of Delaware and United Way. He reached out to Marilyn, a Stand By Me coach housed out of the Food Bank of Delaware. She is trained to offer free, private, one-on-one counseling – and coaching – on the process of regaining financial stability.

Eldiablo has participated in monthly Zoom meetings since January, and he reports he’s almost ready to buy a home for his family. They have been renting since 2015. Although he receives disability, he is able to work part-time as a driver. Eldiablo says he’s already seeing an improvement in his financial situation. “It’s going well. I’m not eligible for a mortgage yet, but in a couple of months. I think in July I’ll be ready to go. I’m have a Realtor ® helping me decide on the area.”

This father takes responsibility for his financial woes, and he’s learned how to reach acceptable debt settlements while reducing expenses. “We cut back on dining out and take-out and delivery meals. They are unnecessary purchases we didn’t need. We weren’t thinking long-term spending, and all that adds up. It was a bunch of laziness. I needed someone to show what I had to sacrifice,” he said.

Marilyn, his coach, is pleased with his progress. “When he started he had a lot of payments, and then he started sending me proof of the payments he did. His score when up, and he got more motivated,” she said. “He also wants to open his own business, and he’s working toward that. He’s working hard toward it, and I believe he can do it.”

Eldorado believes some of his success is because he committed to lifestyle changes. “It was simple things, like buying food and making it at home. Mind over matter. After all, it takes 21 days to develop a habit. You don’t have to eat out when you’re hungry. You can stock up in your house. Convenience kills. I had to change my mindset,” Eldiablo explained.

While five of his children are grown and live nearby, he’s looking forward to when he has a larger home so that his teen daughter – now living with her mother nearby – will be able to join his family in a home that has more space.

“I have a dream, and I’m determined to achieve it,” Eldiablo said. “I learned my lesson, and I’m ready to enjoy my blessings. My credit score already went up. I haven’t even updated this month. She [Marilyn] gave me the game plan. She planted a seed, and I watered the seed. I want people to know the Food Bank gives people tools, and I hope more people use them.”

Visit www.fbd.org to learn more about the Food Bank of Delaware’s programs.

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