Tackling Financial Hurdles Together

These last few weeks have been interesting if not challenging times for us all and no one has been left unchanged. In one form or another, everyone has been impacted and what was normal life has been tipped upside down.

For the first time in their lives some people have not been able to solve an issue confronting them. The concept of asking for help could be exceedingly difficult and this adds to their burden.

In particular we tend to be very secretive about our finances and to admit that we are having a challenge in this area of our lives can be a big hurdle. However, in these recent times many people have found themselves in unfamiliar territory regarding their finances. At PK our consistent message over the years has been to encourage men to do life with a men’s group. Now is when these support groups prove invaluable as discussions can include talking about finances.

I came across a situation in recent weeks of a solo mother who worked in retail. She had to accept the “new” government sponsored weekly income of $585 before tax or about $490 after tax. With rent of $460 per week it wasn’t too difficult to see these numbers weren’t going to work. This was new territory for her and so I suggested that her first port of call had to be WINZ to see what extra help was available.  Interestingly enough this hadn’t occurred to her. A week later she learnt she would receive an extra $170 a week for the 12-week period of her “new” income. At the same time her landlord offered her a 25% reduction in rent when he heard of her plight.

So, if you are a wage or salary earner who is struggling in this challenging season, here a few things to look at to possibly address your situation; 

  1. Have you been to WINZ to see if you qualify for extra support?
  2. Have you asked your landlord for a rent reduction until normal income is earnt again?
  3. If you have a mortgage or loan- have you been to your banker to get a repayment holiday or other form of relief?
  4. Can you borrow or seek help from a parent or family member?
  5. If you have lost your job, have you considered a temporary relocation to where seasonal work can be obtained?
  6. This may be a season to have several part time jobs until normality returns.
  7. If you have never done a budget do one now. If you have done a budget, revisit all the assumptions and review all priorities.
  8. Seek help from an agency or at least share your situation with a few trusted people to see what collective wisdom can be brought to bear on your situation.

So, what if you are small business owner. Here a few things to look at now to possibly help your situation; 

  1. See if your business qualifies for the 12-week government wage subsidy.
  2. Modern leases expect in such times for there to be a dialogue between Landlord and Tenant on what rent is fair and reasonable. There is no one size that fits all. I know of situations where the landlord has offered a month rent free and others a 30% reduction. Even if your lease is an old lease at least ask the question. It is not unreasonable for everyone to share the pain at this time.
  3. Talk to your bank about repayment relief on current borrowings or look at a loan extension. (If you can, always avoid giving the bank security over the family home).
  4. Is a solution, the taking on of a finance partner or the merging with an opposition business? (If you can pursue one of these options, reflect on the concept of being equally yoked).
  5. In extreme situations, a creditors scheme of arrangement may provide the needed relief where all existing debt is quarantined. You will need specialist help here.
  6. Brainstorm with some business people on the current challenges facing your business. Sometimes new eyes identify opportunities not seen by you the business owner. This is really a form of Business Mentoring or a men’s group.

At PK we want to be able to support you in this season of trial. If you would like to talk about your situation personally or in a brain storming session with others please let us know. We are prepared to have an online forum for individuals and an online forum for small business owners.

Remember wisdom is sometimes found in purely sharing your burden or in the seeking of counsel from a few wise people.

Let’s keep connecting with each other. The Promise Keepers Group on Facebook [here] is available for you to share your views and connect with other men across the country. This is the place where you can reach out for help; tell us how you are doing; or chat with the guys. If you want or need to chat, email me [here].

Peter Goulter

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