More ser­vices to help with money woes

South Taranaki Star - - OUT & ABOUT - JANE MATTHEWS

There are peo­ple in Ha¯ wera liv­ing off just bread and noo­dles, says Julie Gaudin.

She is the co-or­di­na­tor for the Ha¯ wera Bud­get Ad­vi­sory Ser­vice and said that for peo­ple with money is­sues the hard­est part of get­ting help could be walk­ing through that door.

The Ha¯ wera Bud­get Ad­vi­sory Ser­vice has been help­ing peo­ple with money is­sues from Mid­hurst to Waver­ley and around the coast for years.

The ser­vice is free and con­fi­den­tial and has re­cently started of­fer­ing two new strate­gies to help peo­ple in need.

Gaudin said they now have a late night ev­ery sec­ond Mon­day and of­fered a pro­gramme they called to­tal money man­age­ment that she de­scribed as a step­ping stone. The late nights are an op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple who work to get to an ap­point­ment af­ter hours.

To­tal money man­age­ment means a fi­nan­cial men­tor will take part, or all of a client’s money and pay their bills and or­gan­ise al­lowances while work­ing with them the whole time.

‘‘It just means they can’t sneak into their ac­count,’’ Gaudin said. ‘‘Then we have a weekly ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme and they come in. Ul­ti­mately they get their money back and do it them­selves.’’

The ser­vice fo­cuses on look­ing at peo­ple’s spend­ing, re­duc­ing dept, ad­vo­cat­ing for them, help­ing ed­u­cate them and work­ing on what needs and wants are.

‘‘We're not here to judge them.’’

Erica Strand

Gaudin said peo­ple of­ten came in and think they’re go­ing to get in trou­ble for the debt they’ve booked up.

‘‘But that’s not what we’re here for,’’ she said. ‘‘We’re a help­ing hand.

‘‘They think we’re go­ing to say ‘you have to’ - but it’s all about what they want. We of­fer sug­ges­tions and it’s their choice.’’

Fi­nan­cial men­tor and com­mu­nity ed­u­ca­tor for the bud­get ser­vice Erica Strand said they were not there to judge them.

‘‘What­ever is done is done we’re not wor­ried about that we’re just there to help them get through what­ever they’ve got them­selves into.’’

She said the ser­vice also had con­nec­tions that meant they could some­times of­fer in­ter­est­free loans and re­fer clients onto other ser­vices if need be.

The ser­vice is open to ab­so­lutely ev­ery­one but book­ings are es­sen­tial. Phone 0800 333 048. If walk­ing through the door is your fear, the men­tors do home vis­its too.

JANE MATTHEWS/STUFF

Julie Gaudin and Erica Strand are there to help any­one get their money $or­ted.

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