Budget service offers another lifeline
‘‘It's about simplifying their debt’’
Another lifeline is now available for people in dire straights and needing intensive financial help.
The New Plymouth Budget Advisory Service has extended its existing services to provide Intensive Support Services.
‘‘It’s for those clients who need a little bit more help. It could be for people with addictions, mental health, or really complex financial needs,’’ the services manager Jocelyn Merwood said.
‘‘For us it’s something new for New Plymouth Budget Advice which is really exciting.’’
The new total money management service is voluntary and involves a holistic approach whereby a budget mentor will take over all or part of the income of clients who are unable to manage their money themselves.
Together they will come up with a financial plan that looks at at goals and financial education and the help of support agencies they work closely with.
‘‘It’s about reaching people who have really struggled to manage their own money and putting a whole lot of support services around them,’’ Merwood said.
From working on the frontline the team recognised firsthand the demand for the extra service. They found it was the complexity of people’s financial state that was one of the main indicators. ’’It’s about simplifying their debt.’’
One client had lost their home through some financial hiccups and wanted help to deal with other residue debt. What became clear after talks was their desire to own their a home in the future.
Merwood said it was good to give them some hope and something to work towards. ’’It’s about looking at their next steps and how they get there.’’
While their workload will increase the budget team have the right personal to deliver and a lot of trained volunteers are coming through.
‘‘It’s a free service and we have lots of tools in our toolbox,’’ Merwood said.
Team leader and budget mentor Paddy Wilkinson has previous experience from running Total Money Management up the East Coast.
‘‘It’s a good way of setting them back on their feet so that step by step they can learn to look after themselves,’’ Wilkinson said.
Budget Advice will continue to offer Building Financial Capabilities for people struggling with money matters as well as maraebased workshops and Money Mates classes that teach financial literacy.
NP Budget Advisory team, John Rust, Neil Spedding, Paddy Wilkinson and Jocelyn Merwood. Jocelyn Merwood