MABS increases their services in the run up to Christmas

by Amy Rohu
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Amy Rohu

The Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) have seen a significant increase in the need for their services, particularly in the last year and in the run up to Christmas.

The service offers free, confidential and independent financial advice and budgeting services for those struggling with debt, mortgage issues and other financial worries.

When you first access their services, you will be provided with a Money Adviser who will look first at your income and help you see if there is any way that this can be increased. Next, they will look at your spending and if are you spending too much in some areas or too little in others to see can you get better value out of the money you have available to you.

Once they have looked at these aspects, they then look at your debts, where money is owed, are there any arrears, how can the situation be improved. Your Money Adviser will help you in working out what you can afford, and then will support you in discussing this with your creditors.

Speaking about some of the issues they are seeing at the moment, Elizabeth Kelly spoke to The Dublin Gazette and said: “This year there has been a significant increase, the reason being of course the pandemic but there is also a lot of uncertainty about peoples income. Not only are they struggling with just surviving, but Christmas coming is having a huge impact.

We’re finding people are putting off paying utilities bills in order to come up with some money for Christmas for their children. It’s leading to people receiving notices of disconnection and we are being faced with this most notably in the last month.”

When asked what advice she would give people who feel they are struggling at the moment, Elizabeth said: “Don’t ignore it, engage with your creditors and particularly prioritise the light, the heat, the food on the table and the roof over your head. It’s very hard to do that when we have Christmas coming but that has to be a priority. If you don’t have the basics is very hard to go on from there.”

If people are struggling after Christmas and into the New Year, Elizabeth advises you get in touch as soon as possible: “There are a number of ways you can make contact with MABS, we have a helpline, we have a website, you can also WhatsApp us and send us a message on Facebook. We do offer face-to-face appointments at the moment but they are limited to only those who really require an appointment in person.”

For more information on MABS and to see where you local office is, visit www.mabs.ie 

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