Managing finances in challenging times

Our free Budget and Financial Counselling service is provided by specially trained volunteers to people to better gain understanding and confidence about managing their personal finances.

This service provides vital support, tools and knowledge for managing a variety of difficult financial situations such as difficulty with utility payments, rental arrears, mortgage, secured and unsecured loan defaults, repossessions and bankruptcy. Our volunteers also teach people how to become financially competent, liberating them from the fear of creditors.

Some of the assistance provided to those using the budget and financial counselling service include:

  • Obtaining credit card debt waivers

  • Applying for grants to assist with payments of power bills, water rates, council rates and employment training

  • Negotiating moratoriums on property defaults

  • Organising pro-rata payment plans and credit card 0% rollovers.

  • Providing advice regarding savings plans

Budget counselling has quickly become an essential service which empowers families and individuals with the knowledge to manage their tight budgets and avoid some of the effects of poverty.

Susan's Story

Susan is a mother of two, struggling on Newstart after coming off Sole Parenting Payment which represents a reduction in income of over $200. Susan was unprepared for the change, and in fact bought a TV, beds for children and a washer on rental agreements when she moved into a new house.

Susan came to Vinnies with three weeks arrears of rent, two Centrelink Advances, three rental agreements, $5,000 in fines and a $1,500 power account. After meeting with one of our Financial Counsellors Dianne understood that her main priority was to pay rent and her second target is to keep up payments on her rental agreements.

Vinnies applied for grant assistance on Susan’s behalf for her rent arrears and approached the land lord to inform him of intentions and requested additional time to pay the rent. Vinnies applied for additional grants to reduce the amounts owed on other outstanding bills and Dianne was provided options on how to access food for her family while she was paying off her bills.

In the near future Susan will have money for normal household expenses and have a money plan in place. It is anticipated that she won’t need further assistance but has been advised to consult the Financial Counsellor should there be a need for any larger purchases, so that best options might be explored.