Facing your money fears (and who can help)

Facing your money fears (and who can help)

Vanessa Stoykov

Someone recently asked me, “What’s keeping you up at night?”

I have to say, there has been plenty to keep me burning the midnight oil while coping with the outcomes of COVID-19. But the one that I keep coming back to is the thought of hundreds of thousands of people here in Australia really suffering financially. Many finding themselves unemployed for the first time, and having to negotiate payments and debts that they never thought would be an issue.

Of course everyone knows I am a massive advocate for financial advice. It is an absolute game changer. More than ever, Australians need it.

Many people are turning to their super funds, who are working hard to communicate and deliver to members in the toughest of circumstances, particularly around early release of super. Their care and ethics will be a huge advantage for Australians navigating this climate.

It’s also good to know where else you can turn if you need help. Sometimes problems keep rolling around in your head, and you can’t find a solution. Which is why you need to talk to a third party, who can give you sound counsel, particularly if you are struggling with managing debt. I talk a lot about debt being  a great evil – it can literally steal years off your life to stress and worry about.

I was recently contacted by the National Debt Helpline, asking me to get the world out about their service. They are a free not-for-profit service, funded by the Federal and State Governments of NSW and Vic, to help people tackle their debt problems.

To be honest, I didn’t know about this service myself. The more I looked into it, the more assured I became that it is a great first step for people who just don’t know what to do with their current debt situation.

As financial counsellors they can assess your whole financial world, advise you of your rights, and help you work out how to negotiate with people you owe money to. Valuable help at a time where often another voice of reason is needed. Like super funds, they aren’t selling you anything – it’s there to help put you on the right path if you are struggling with debt and how to manage money.

There’s also a whole bunch of excellent information  and calculators on ASIC’s MoneySmart website, which has tools that help lead you to the solution you are looking for.

While it can be a very scary place to be, it is important to remember there are people who can help you get your financial affairs into a plan, so you can move forward in the best possible position. You are not alone.

Keep searching for answers and asking the right people to help, so you can ease the stress around money from your mind – once you have a plan attack, everything starts to look better.

I hope this helps.

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