'Don't ignore personal finances'

COLLETTE DEVLIN
Last updated 09:24 29/08/2012
 Simon Tierney
JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ
Jubilee budget advisory services manager Simon Tierney is urging Southerners to take a closer look at their spending and budgeting during money week, which runs from September 2 to 8.

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Personal finances are a subject people don't want to talk about but that does not mean they should be ignored, says a budgeting expert.

Jubilee budget advisory services manager Simon Tierney is urging Southlanders to take part in Money Week from September 2 to 8 to learn more about managing everyday money.

The national awareness week is organised by The Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income and will include financial education events and activities to raise awareness of how people can better manage their money and "spring clean" their finances.

Mr Tierney said people did not want to discuss their financial situation with family or friends, which led to stress and heartache as people tried to keep up with spending and went along with society.

He believed Money Week was a positive way to create awareness about budgeting.

''Budgeting is not just for people on low incomes or benefits, a lot of our clients do have good incomes but live way outside their means,'' Mr Tierney said.

Although people had pulled back on spending, many were still living beyond their means, he said.

''Southlanders are either spending a little under or over what they earn, they're right on the line,'' he said.

People in the region were spending without taking into account unexpected events that they would need money for such as a car breaking down or a family event or emergency.

''People are living week-to-week and if something sneaks in they start borrowing for it and then they end get stuck paying back loans,'' he said.

He advised Southlanders to take a step back next week and assess their situation.

A series of free budgeting workshops will take place on September 5 at the Central Baptist Community Centre in Invercargill.

It was a good time for people to learn about common misunderstandings in personal finance and learn how to budget and make it balance, he said.

The morning session will run from 10.30am to 12pm and the evening session is from 7pm to 8.30pm.

The Southland Times will also publish a series of articles on money matters and top tips throughout Money Week.

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