Don’t let debt linger

Don’t let debt linger

Wesley Mission is reminding Australians that managing their money can have enormous benefits not just for their bank balances but for their entire well-being during MoneySmart Week 2012.

MoneySmart Week is being held across the country from September 2 to 8, offering people the opportunity to reassess their spending and saving habits and to provide lasting solutions.

During the week, Wesley Mission will be encouraging people to get a free, confidential Money Health check, receive an assessment and practical financial management strategies for the future.

Wesley Mission will hold free and confidential Money Health checks for members of the public at Stockland Piccadilly, Pitt Street, Sydney, on Monday, September 3 and Tuesday, September 4, 2012, between 11 am and 2 pm.

Money health checks will also be offered at Sutherland Library on Monday, September 3 between 1 pm and 3 pm and Wednesday, September 5, 2012 between 10 am and 12 pm. Sutherland Library is located at 30-36 Belmont Street, Sutherland.

“The service is free, only takes a few minutes, and provides important tips on managing your day to day finances,” said the CEO of Wesley Mission the Rev. Dr Keith Garner. “Living with financial stress hurts more than the hip pocket so it’s important that people seek support sooner rather than later.”

A Wesley Mission report found that four in 10 NSW households don’t have a budget and a third of those with budgets do not adhere to them and overspend. This is despite strong awareness of the availability of financial counselling.

The study of more than 620 households revealed that people had an unhealthy approach to money with eight in ten households not having a savings mentality, and many struggle with the concept of reducing expenses to deal with financial hardship.

Almost half of those under financial stress have suffered ill health, both physical and mental, and a third had experienced relationship issues, including divorce and domestic violence. A quarter used alcohol and drugs to cope, and one in 10 exacerbated their financial problems by gambling.

Seven in ten financially-stressed households never pay off their credit card debt.

Wesley Mission provides free financial counselling to thousands of people each year at centres across Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast.

For links to the MoneySmart program and information about MoneySmart Week go to www.moneysmart.gov.au or to the Wesley Mission website: www.wesleymission.org.au for Counselling Support Services.

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