Managing your finances
There will be times during your life when you're worried about your finances. This can happen when you're faced with extra demands, such as starting a new or long distance relationship, starting a family, buying a first house, posting or going away.
NZDF is committed to ensuring you and your whānau have reliable information and tools to help you navigate your financial security during your lifetime.
Financial worries – when are they an issue?
If you're worried about meeting all your financial commitments and paying the bills, if you don’t have enough money to last until your next payday, and if your family are unable to do the things that are important to them (such as sports, family gatherings, school activities), these concerns will likely flow into all areas of your life.
Financial worries can impact your relationships, your family wellbeing, your focus at work - and the high stress they create could impact your health.
What are the outcomes of financial worries?
If these worries are significant it may mean:
- You feel unsafe or destabilised all the time because of this lack of financial security
- You may have relationship issues at home or at work - arguments, anger, withdrawal
- You may not be able to participate in work social activities or trips away for sports
- Your money worries could turn into mental distress or you could develop anxiety, depression or other mental health issues that flow into other areas of your life
- You may start new unhealthy behaviours to try and cope with money worries (drinking, gambling, taking risks, acting out)
- You may take ‘bad loans’ (high interest, high penalty) from disreputable agencies to meet short term commitments, or max out your credit card
- You may request deployments that you or your family are not ready for, as a way to make ends meet
- Your children may not understand why they have to ‘go without’ and this causes problems in your parenting
Causes of financial concern
If you have financial worries, you may feel some embarrassment or shame/whakamā. But all of us can relate to having less money or income than we need, at one time or other through our lives. Sometimes this is caused by circumstances outside our control, such as loss of a job, a sick family member, a relationship breakdown, or other unexpected event. It may be because there is a cultural expectation for you to provide for your whānau, either in New Zealand or offshore.
At other times you may end up in a financial hole because of out-of-control spending or gambling. This may be because of pressures in other areas of your life – you may be taking part in these activities as a way to help you feel better. The message here is get help as soon as possible, before things become unmanageable for you and your family. There are many NZDF and external resources, which can provide non-judgemental support and advice.
What can you do to create long-term financial security?
NZDF is committed to enabling strong and financially-independent, thriving military communities, and has developed a number of financial support tools and services – including life insurance (MIBP scheme), first home buyers seminars, Force 4 Families discount scheme, independent financial advice and investment consultation, and proactive budget planning support.
Tap into all the resources that are available free of charge via the NZDF Force Financial Hub.
If you are stuck or in a financial hole talk to someone as soon as possible.
Getting help now
Don’t put your head in the sand and avoid having a talk with someone. You can talk confidentially with a number of support people in NZDF.
- NZDF Social Workers
- NZDF Chaplains
- Force Financial Hub staff
- Milestone Direct Ltd- NZDF's preferred financial advice and mortgage broker service
Some things you can do
- Keep active and exercising
- Keep connected with others
- Try to keep your routine going – don’t withdraw
- Talk with someone you trust for advice
- Avoid using alcohol or other unhelpful activities (gambling, retail therapy) which can make things worse
- Make a plan with your financial goals
Make a will
You don't know when the worst could happen. What you do know is that by putting a Will in place you are protecting and helping those you care about during a time when they may need it most.
There are 5 main reasons why getting a Will is a good decision.
- You decide who gets your money and valuable items (i.e. Life insurance, KiwiSaver, your home etc.)
- Processing your Will instructions will cost less which means more money in the hands of people you care about instead of paying expensive bills.
- The people you leave money to will get it much quicker.
- You can let your family know your funeral wishes.
- You can state who you would like to have guardianship of your children.
Useful resources on Force Financial Hub
Check out the following tools from our NZDF Force Financial Hub web page. Here you can find a heap of self-help information and resources.
- ‘Get your money fighting fit’ is a programme available through NZDF at all camps and bases, and is supported by the Commission for Financial Capability (sorted.org.nz). This will help with planning your budget at any stage of life. Find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- https://check.msd.govt.nz for information about benefits
- Money talks for free and confidential budgeting advice
- www.connected.govt.nz for advice and support for anyone who has lost employment due to the Covid-19 environment