Sometimes life can get a little stressful â€“ especially in relation to our finances!
If you find yourself anxious, worried or confused about your financial situation and you need help or advice, but are worried you canâ€™t afford it; then take heart – there is Free Financial Assistance out there â€“ you just need to know where to go.
As a starting point, there is a brilliant free website available to you called www.sorted.org.nz. Sorted is New Zealandâ€™s free (government funded) independent online money management guide, and itâ€™s full of different calculator software and information to help you manage your personal finances throughout life. With loads of information on debt, budgeting, financial goal setting, mortgages, different types of fees, savings, investments, KiwiSaver, and planning retirement — it is absolutely jam-packed with useful tips.
If you feel as though you need more individual, personalized help, then check the national directory at the New Zealand Federation of Family Budgeting Services at www.familybudgeting.org.nz to find a free local budget service. The Federation has 136 budgeting service centres nationwide, with more than 1,480 staff ready to help families throughout NZ.
The Federation fields over 280,000 enquiries each year, well over a call a minute; and supports people through debt crisis every 5 minutes. The 28,000 clients seen last year by Federation budget advisers have overdue debts of well over $50 million! Despite its name, the Federation helps both individuals and families and is free of charge and non-judgmental.
If by chance you donâ€™t find a budget adviser available to help you through the Federation, then I would suggest that you contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau for some more contact names in your area. You can find your local CAB via either your local phone book, freephone 0800 367 222 , or their national online directory at www.cab.org.nz
Always remember that if you are in debt, then your bank, finance company, or credit card company will be happy to help you. In fact, if you are worried or struggling with your financial situation, they would much rather that you approach them early rather than late, so that they can help you develop a plan of action.