Getting help with your budget
In retirement, most people live on a fixed income and need to manage their money carefully. There are government-funded community services that can help you manage your finances.
Getting government-funded help
There are 2 free services in your community you can use to get help with money problems.
- You can get individual help with your household and personal finances through Building Financial Capability Services.
- You can take part in a group and learn from others who are in a situation like yours through the MoneyMates programme.
From November 2016, Building Financial Capability services replace the government's budgeting services.
Who can get help
Anyone in financial hardship can ask for help — even if you only have a short-term money problem, such as an unexpected expense or a problem paying for healthcare. You don't need to be referred to the service by Work and Income.
Getting personal help with your money problems
There are Building Financial Capability services in most areas of NZ to help you to:
- deal with your immediate money problems then help you work out your financial goals
- work out a Financial Plan of Action, which may include a budget
- make sure you get all the income you can, including benefits or allowances from Work and Income, and
- connect with a range of other services to make sure you're getting the right support, for example housing or legal services.
How you get help
A financial mentor (sometimes called a budget advisor) works with you to look at all aspects of your finances. They'll support you, your family and whānau with what you need right now and in the future.
Learn from others — Moneymates
MoneyMates are group sessions where people can talk openly about money and finances. They're an opportunity to:
- meet and learn from others
- talk about money problems — you don't need to share personal information
- learn how to make changes that can make it easier for you to manage your finances.
Sessions can include information on all sorts of topics about finances including spending, ways to improve your income or managing your debt. They're run by organisations in your community like a budget advisory service or a marae.
Make an appointment
To get help through Building Financial Capability services or MoneyMates, you can make an appointment to see a financial mentor or budget advisor who works for the organisation that delivers these free services in your area.
You can also phone Budgetline which is run by the NZ Federation of Family Budgeting Services.
Freephone: 0508 283 438
Working it out for yourself
Online help with your budget
Financial courses in your community
The Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC) runs courses in partnership with community groups such as churches or marae. The courses cover topics such as budgeting, managing debt, protecting your assets and investing.
If you can't find a course in your area, contact CFFC for more information.
Before you borrow money
If you're trying to decide if borrowing money is the best option for you, the Sorted website helps you work out the costs.
You can also phone Budgetline for advice.
Freephone: 0508 283 438
Rather than borrowing, you may be able to get income from other sources.