From July 2022 Mangere Budgeting services trust supported over 2,276 clients to achieve better outcomes for themselves and their tamariki. The trust delivered 3,387 financial mentoring and group sessions; distributed over 200 COVID preparedness packs, provided wraparound support service to 79 whanau and supported 4,386 people with food relief.
Leon & Colleen’s story
Leon & Colleen were one of the whanau supported by Mangere Budgeting Service Trust. Leon and Colleen, Cook Island aiga, accessed Mangere Budgeting Services trust services because they were struggling to pay their rent, faced difficulties supporting extended family, had some heavy debt, and suffered from mental health distress.
Their challenging financial situation meant that Leon and Colleen were able to meet their obligations in term of debt repayments, which bared a very high interest. The couple were able to pay rent and utilities, but they were NOT able to meet every day needs for the family such as putting food on the table for their 3 children, pay school fees or children’s school uniforms or put petrol in their vehicles.
Jacqui Higgins, Mangere Budgeting Services Trust’s financial mentor says “I have a great deal of respect for Leon as asking for help was not an easy thing for a man”.
Jacqui and Leon worked hard, they started with identifying where the couple’s money was going. They developed a budget and the family worked hard end spending only what their budget allowed.
To reduce their debt to a manageable level, the couple used their KiwiSaver to pay off Finance Houses debt with high interest. The manageable level of debt set the family in a positive frame of mind, they were facing one more year of hardship ahead, but the future was looking brighter.
At regular one on-one financial mentoring sessions, Jacqui encouraged couple to move from their cousin’s rental property and to secure a rental property of their own, this happened end of May 2022. The family now have a secure home and are extremely happy as their home is close to the schools the children attend and the rent is affordable.
Jacqui says that she does not encourage clients to use Kiwisaver contributions to pay off debt as they may regret this in retirement, however this was the only way for this family to reduce their debt pressure. Leon and Coleen were able to reduce their debt by 41%. We are very proud of their success, and they were a pleasure to work with.
Lara Dolan, Chief Executive of Mangere Budgeting Services Trust, says that many people feel ashamed because they got themselves into a considerable debt situation. “They should not be as we all understand life events happen. Our Financial Mentors are qualified and experienced and will do their best to help whanau in need in confidential and respectful way”.
We are all about empowering families to create a better future for themselves and their tamariki.
Mangere Budgeting Services Trust is urging people who are struggling to reach out.