Sam Farquhar is the Service Coordinator for Henderson Budget Service. She says that many Kiwis are not confident in managing their finances and don't have financial stability. They can be vulnerable to high-interest money lenders, mobile shops and buy-now-pay-later deals. And borrowing money or credit card spending often adds up very quickly.
Financial problems have increased for many families since the extended Auckland lockdown.
According to Sam, Henderson Budget Service has been busier than ever in the last year, supporting many local people affected by Covid.
‘Our focus is to walk alongside clients,’ Sam says. ‘We work to improve their financial situation. And we can link them with other services to help their overall position such as employment, housing or legal support,’ she reports.
All staff are fully trained financial mentors who can help clients get back on their financial feet. Among the many services available is advice on applying for KiwiSaver hardship withdrawals, debt consolidation and insolvency procedures. The service also provides help in setting budgets for social housing, personal goals or home start loans.
Clients often feel embarrassed about their situation, making them reluctant to seek help. ‘Our staff are non-judgemental,’ says Sam. ‘Our focus is on supporting people to clear their debts and better manage their finances.’
Henderson Budget Service received $25,000 from the latest round of the Your West Support Fund. The money has part-funded the salary of the Service Coordinator.
‘The money we received from Your West Support Fund enables us to continue assisting our community to become debt-free,’ says Sam. ‘It means we can help more clients develop the knowledge and skills to manage their money well and achieve financial stability,’ she concludes.
Many Kiwis experience a post-Christmas financial hangover. And Sam says now is the perfect time to think about seeing a financial mentor to clear that Christmas debt and achieve your goals.
Henderson Budget Service is located at level 1, 20 Alderman Drive (above the Zeal Youth Facility). Check out the website for more information or get in touch on 09 8364141.