Fam­i­lies strug­gle to bud­get

Central Leader - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

DE­MAND for bud­get­ing help and food parcels is soar­ing as the cost of liv­ing con­tin­ues to rise.

Bud­get­ing agen­cies in cen­tral Auck­land say need is at an all-time high.

Auck­land Bud­get­ing and Fam­ily Sup­port Ser­vices chair­man Dar­ryl Evans says he has seen a 40 per­cent rise in clients and a huge hike in num­bers need­ing food parcels.

He says the ris­ing price of food and petrol is mak­ing it harder for fam­i­lies with debt to make ends meet.

Mr Evans says there is a three to four week wait­ing list for ap­point­ments at his of­fice in Man­gere.

“This time last year you could al­most guar­an­tee an ap­point­ment on the same day.”

Some fam­i­lies are pay­ing an ex­tra $80 to $100 in their weekly gro­cery bill.

He says food is of­ten the first thing fam­i­lies try to cut down, which means chil­dren go to school hun­gry.

“We have fam­i­lies where chil­dren haven’t been go­ing to school be­cause the par­ents are too em­bar­rassed they’ve got no food for them.” Kid­sCan Char­i­ta­ble Trust, which pro­vides food and rain­coats for low decile schools, also says de­mand has sky­rock­eted.

Gen­eral man­ager Julie Hel­son says the num­ber of chil­dren us­ing their na­tion­wide food ser­vice has risen from 4000 last year to 7000 this year, with an­other 12,000 on the wait­ing list.

Teach­ers iden­tify the most needy chil­dren.

“They’re the ones com­ing to school con­sis­tently hun­gry. Most of the chil­dren we deal with can never be sure of get­ting three meals a day,” she says.

Auck­land Cen­tral Bud­get­ing ad­viser Glenys Michael says she has had cus­tomers from as far away as Ma­nurewa com­ing to her of­fice in Bal­moral be­cause south Auck­land agen­cies are booked up.

She says there has been a huge rise in peo­ple aged 20 to 30, in­clud­ing young par­ents and in­di­vid­u­als, who didn’t learn about bud­get­ing at school and now can’t man­age their debt.

“They’re the ‘I want this right now’ gen­er­a­tion.”

But Miss Michael says re­cent me­dia cov­er­age about bud­get­ing is mak­ing it eas­ier for fam­i­lies who need help to come for­ward.

“Peo­ple are be­com­ing more will­ing to talk about it,” Miss Michael says.

She says fam­i­lies who, in the past, would have sim­ply tried to man­age by them­selves, are no longer ashamed to ask for help.

“The lit­tle in­creases have hit them hard.”

For bud­get­ing ad­vice phone Auck­land Cen­tral Bud­get­ing on 631-5572.

What are some of the things you’re do­ing to cut back and save money? Share your tips with us by email­ing edcl@snl.co.nz.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.