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Christmas Giving Opens Doors For Budgeters

22 December 2004

Christmas Giving Opens Doors For Budgeters

In the next few months budget advisers around the country can expect a huge upsurge in people looking for help after over-extending themselves with giving and celebrating at Christmas. But Christmas has come early for the New Zealand Federation of Family Budgeting Services, the national body which most budgeting services rely on for support, training and resources.

The Federation was this year chosen as the joint recipient of donations from Westpac Bank. It was also selected by the MARIA Governance Board to receive a portion of the proceeds of fines imposed by the MARIA Conduct Committee on electricity wholesalers and retailers. These grants will enable the Federation to extend the type of help that it has been able to give to the member budgeting services to enable them to cope with the influx of clients who have trouble managing their finances. Community budgeting services provide free advisory services but they and the Federation are reliant on a whole range of sources – Government, Lottery, Philanthropic Trusts and Corporates - to pay for their operating costs.

The challenge is to put two hundred extra budget advisers on the ground around the country by June 2005.

The Federation is distributing these donations from Westpac Bank and the MARIA Governance Board to its member budgeting organisations in packages to pay for recruitment drives, to run more governance and community educator workshops and to increase the number of trained supervisors.

Shirley Woodrow, President of the Federation says “These measures will complement trials that the Federation has been running in both Auckland and Wellington to increase the availability of budgeting assistance. Debt is becoming an increasing problem for many people and budget advisory services exist to offer impartial, non-directive advice to people trying to cope with the financial pressures they face.”

Mrs. Woodrow adds “These donations were totally unexpected but let the Federation give direct help to our members to do more than pay the basic costs, says. “Our services need to find more volunteers to be able to give the service the clients need. These grants will help pay for recruitment costs and costs of properly supervising new budget advisers after their extensive training.”

Budgeting services affiliated to the New Zealand Federation of Family Budgeting Services offer different types of help depending on the clients’ needs and wishes. This could be simply helping to negotiate with one creditor, ongoing support and education to individual families or budgeting education to groups. To contact a Federation budget service look in the White Pages under Budget Advice Services or the Federation’s web page www.familybudgeting.org.nz

ENDS


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