Free budgeting advice - giving people in need skills and resources to manage their money, pay off debt and meet their basic living costs.
Thank you so much for checking out our page! Your donation will help us to train and support our amazing volunteers to help people in need in our community.
Agape volunteers worked with over 400 Wellingtonians last year to help them out of tough financial situations.
Most of Agape's clients are on very low incomes. This means that any unexpected expenses like car, doctor or dentist bills can blow their budgets and send them into spiraling debt. Many clients are unable to meet their basic needs, such as heating in winter, or nutritious food for their families. Simple things that others take for granted, like meeting a friend for coffee, are completely out of reach for our clients.
Our budgeting service is designed to give individuals and whanau tools and training so that they can manage their money on their own in the long term, reducing reliance on financial assistance and high interest loans. We meet our clients in their own homes, which provides a unique opportunity to identify other needs they might have and connect them up to support in their local communities.
Here are some stories about the difference our volunteers are making in our clients' lives:
"Like many of Agape’s clients, Sarah* had no plan of how to juggle her day-to-day household expenses and debt repayments. It was a case of “putting out fires” as they occurred, causing Sarah and her family a lot of stress. I did an initial budget with her, which showed a weekly average deficit of $120. I worked through a few “what-if” scenarios with Sarah, noting some possible extra income, and trimming expenses where possible. This gave us a reasonably workable budget. An initial cash-flow showed that it was possible for her to stay in surplus for the next four weeks, by which time her Cash Converters debt would be paid off. It also showed that her situation would deteriorate soon after with vehicle and insurance expenses due. However, one or two weekly shortfalls were able to be resolved by arranging for her to receive food parcels, reducing her food expenses. Each week we discussed what payments could be made on the cash-flow. Sarah is now monitoring her cash-flow herself, and keeping on top of her finances with very little help required."
"When I first met Donna, she was very distressed as she was unable to cover her bills or provide for her children in the way she wanted, and she had creditors knocking on her door for loan repayments. One of the main barriers to Donna's budgeting was an addiction that was taking up a large portion of her income. In consultation with her social worker, (and with Donna's permission) I was able to arrange for two families from my church to care for her children while she attended alcohol rehabilitation. This has made a huge difference to Donna's life and she is now able to provide a more stable environment for her children. She has also picked up some handy budgeting tips along the way and has paid off all of her debts."
And from a client...
“When I came to you I felt there was no way out, but you showed me the light at the end of the tunnel and encouraged me every week to keep on going. The changes I made with your help went beyond my own household, and my daughter, after seeing the methods and the difference it made, has now started to do her own budgeting. It has given her a new perspective on spending and provision, so thank you from her too”.
* Names changed for privacy
Agape is a Wellington based charity set up by the Community Christian Charitable Trust.
Our budgeting service is a comprehensive service, designed to support clients through difficult financial situations and give them the skills and resources to pay off debt and manage their money more effectively in the long term.
Clients learn how to set up and balance a budget, manage their weekly, monthly and annual expenses using a cash flow, and set up a series of bank accounts to support their budgeting. Our advisors help clients to negotiate with their creditors to agree repayment amounts they can afford, as well as working with Work and Income to ensure clients are receiving their correct benefit entitlements.
We work with our clients as long as they want help. This could be anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 years. Our services are 100% free for our clients and are delivered by comprehensively trained volunteers, mostly in the client’s home.
Meeting our clients in their own homes provides a unique opportunity to identify other needs they might have and connect them up to other services and their local communities.
Agape is a Member of Christian Budgeting NZ. You can find out more about Agape by visiting our website or facebook page, or searching for us on the Charities register. Our charities number is CC21402.