In Times of Need – February 2008

Only last week a friend of mine quoted her mother as saying many years ago “when poverty flies through the window, love walks out the door”.
In my job as a budgeter this is brought home to me on a daily basis. There are so many days when I see families who have coped for years with no financial problems, and suddenly there is a crisis of some sort which completely alters their way of life. It might be loss of work through illness or redundancy, it might be caused by marital problems, but it is safe to say, that whatever the reason, the reality of money worries eats away at a person’s life and relationships very quickly.
There is a familiar pattern to the stress. It usually manifests itself by the sheer fear of going to the letter box each day, to the continual creation of lists of debts versus income, arguments about money, increased use of credit cards and finance companies to keep afloat, acts of extravagance in an effort to feel good, and finally comes an acceptance of the financial problem.
In my experience most people do not want to broadcast their financial woes, sometimes there is guilt or shame attached. I believe that both of these emotions come from the negative connotations associated with the word ‘Budget’.
Having experienced most of the emotions and actions described above, I can now see that most people with problems are also blinkered. Trying to negotiate for ones self is difficult and stressful. If you or a friend is experiencing any problems of a financial nature, it is probably 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.
Pearl Pavitt
Public Relations Officer
Rotorua Budget Advisory Service

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