Help at hand after budgets are blown

FINANCIAL counsellors are bracing for a busy January with an influx of people expected to need help after overspending during the Christmas period.

Salvation Army Bundaberg spokeswoman Janette Young said over the next month, the charity was expecting to see more people who had been struggling to pay mounting bills.

"I think January is always going to be a time people find they have overspent," she said.

Ms Young said the Salvation Army operated a financial counselling service, Money Care, from the Tom Quinn Community Centre to help people budget.

"We are expecting the need for Money Care will increase this month," she said.

Uniting Care Communities regional manager of client services John Maybanks said January was traditionally a busy month for financial counselling.

"We find that people look to deal with the aftermath of the Christmas spending and also the lead-in to the school year is worrying some people," he said.

Mr Maybanks said as people were recovering from the festive season, buying school books added extra pressure.

He said it was important for people not to be ashamed of asking for help.

"We probably all spend a bit excessively during the festive period," he said.

"Don't leave it right to the end to get help."

Mr Maybanks said knowing about problems as early as possible meant their counsellors would be able to call debtors and arrange things such as payment plans.

"It's better than waiting until the bill is due and you can't pay it," he said.



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