Money Matters – Sept 2009

Just about every day we read or hear about recession, redundancy, inflation, cost of living and now a proposed increase to GST. How much gloomier can things get?  And almost every day I meet people who have become victim of one or more of the above.
I wish I had a magic wand. However, this is about as likely to happen as winning Lotto. At the risk of being ‘boring, boring, boring’ I can stand on my familiar soap box and offer some tried and true advice. Share the worry. However big or small the problem it is unlikely to go away, and more likely to cause stress, and the inability to think clearly. The reality is that creditors are able to use modern technology to seek out and harass the hapless debtor. Telephone numbers, cell phone numbers and addresses are easy to find, and frequently people flounder around trying to cope with this type of new experience. Every day I meet people who have agreed to meet the demands of debt collectors and creditors. Often these arrangements are way beyond the average person’s ability to keep, particularly on reduced incomes.
Trying to negotiate for ones self is difficult and stressful. If you or a friend is experiencing problems of a financial nature, it is best to seek help. One of the simplest ways is to make contact with your local budget service, where trained advisors are able to liaise and negotiate with a range of creditors in an effort to formulate a money management plan suited to each individual. What’s more, all of the advice is free and confidential. Concerns are usually in the area of rent, mortgage, power, hire purchase or loans. The problem might not be solved overnight, but careful planning stands more chance of success than burying ones head in the sand.
by Pearl Pavitt

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