Building Financial Capability is a new contract from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) running from November 2016 to June 2019. 

Life is tough on a benefit or low working income. Rents are high and the cost of living in NZ is expensive. When a crisis hits like needing new tyres to get a Warrant of Fitness, families on low incomes sometimes can't spread too little any further.

CMM's Community Budget Advisors are creative and resourceful. They are able to help clients change their behaviour with money, educate them about the danger of credit card or loan interest and show them how saving a couple of dollars a week can give them a buffer for the next crisis. They also advocate with WINZ on behalf of clients to ensure they are getting all their entitled benefits as well as assisting them to think about work or study as a stepping stone to meeting their life goals.

The new contract from MSD means that CMM has been able to employ new part time staff member Linda Smith (below on the left) to work alongside existing Community Budget Advisor Bernie Gibbs. LindaSmith.BernieGibbs.Budgeting

The focus of their work is much wider than just looking at a client's income and expenditure and drawing up a budget. Linda and Bernie look at their wider needs and goals and show how they spend their money is either helping or hindering them achieving what they want in life.

CMM Social Services Manager Sue van Deurs explains that CMM is "delighted we were successful in gaining the contract as this is a very important part of the work we do with individuals and families who are struggling to make ends meet."

The new contract means CMM is able to increase its work with people individually and run workshops and groups to increase financial literacy in a wider strength-based way.

"In the future we hope to set up self-help community groups of people who have used our services to build their financial capability and can then go on to support and educate others to do the same" Sue adds.

To find out more ring 375 1470 or email intake@mmsi.org.nz