Bud­get ser­vice of­fers an­other life­line

North Taranaki Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - CHRIS­TINE WALSH

‘‘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.

CHRIS­TINE WALSH/ STUFF

NP Bud­get Ad­vi­sory team, John Rust, Neil Sped­ding, Paddy Wilkinson and Jo­ce­lyn Mer­wood. Jo­ce­lyn Mer­wood

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