When Nepote Hingano began the personal finances self-reliance course, he hoped, simply, to improve his family’s ability to budget and save. He did not expect his body to lose more than 20kg and to improve his relationship with his wife.
“It’s not just another program,” he said, “it’s a way of life. It’s the way the Lord would like us to live and it will affect more than just your budget.”
After a lot of talk as the stake high counsellor overseeing self-reliance, Nepote finally attended a personal finances class and was immediately hooked.
“I knew our family needed it,” he said, “we were just getting by as it was.”
Driven by the desire to set an example in his calling and in his home, Nepote and his wife Masina implemented the principles of the course, starting with ‘Tracking Expenses.’ The effects went well beyond what they expected.
“A lot of our overspending was on junk food and takeaways,” Masina said. “Fifteen dollars for a pizza doesn’t seem like much, but it all adds up through the week. Having to see it on paper was a big eye opener.”
Nepote was 160kg when he started the course. In just a short time he lost over 20kg, just by cutting down on unnecessary junk food spending.
As well as physical and financial improvements, the Hingano family felt an increase in spiritual strength as they discovered the journey to temporal self-reliance is, above all, a spiritual one.
“The ‘My Foundation’ lessons helped me to know spiritually, that this [course] will work if we have faith and put our trust in it.”
As the couple exercised the faith required to put into practise the things they learned during classes, they felt their relationship with the Lord strengthen, as well as their relationship with each other.
“As part of the program we learned to be ‘Action Partners,’” Nepote said. “We would keep track of each other and ‘check-in’ spending and financial things. Now I feel like we are Eternal Action Partners. We check in not just for financial things but for everything in life. It’s helped us grow closer as a couple because we are communicating a lot more.”
By applying the principles of the personal finance course, the Hingano’s and their five children have managed to put aside a months’ worth of savings as well as enough money for a family holiday with no need to take out a loan.
“This is new to us,” Nepote said. “We’ve never had this much money saved before and it wasn’t because of a pay rise or a second job, it was just by applying the principles from the course.”
The course seemed to come just in time too because Nepote’s father passed away not long after Nepote completed it. Being from a Pacific Island family, the pressure to have a big funeral and all the expenses that go with that were a challenge. Using the principles learnt in the course, they were able to manage family expectations and keep the funeral costs within their budget.
The Hingano’s encourage anyone looking for help to take the course. “You both need to be on board for it to work,” Masina said, “but it’s so worth it. This course is not just for those who need help with their personal finances; it is for everyone.'