Sally Champion continues her weekly blog about the process of setting up a part-time business as a writer. She had polio as a child and after years of working nine to five, she is now having to think differently about how to earn her living. Sally invites your comment and advice.
Episode 4: “Finances and finery”
Tomorrow I fly to a family wedding in Auckland. The costs of my excursion have been paid for by a cousin with my solemn assurance that he will be reimbursed as I embrace a more affluent future.
At the wedding canapés and champagne will served, followed by dinner. Guests have been extolled to dress in their finest.
Luckily I do have some finery.
For financial reasons, however, it would have been easier for me not to go.
But that would have involved an excuse and because no excuse would really have covered a no show at such a grand gathering of the clan, a subtext would probably be suspected: Did I not approve of the marriage?
I do, though, and because I want to stay part of my family I have accepted my cousin’s loan gratefully. In terms of other matters coming to fruition – well they haven’t. I still haven’t had any news abou twhether any of my Kiwi Saver funds will be released back to me, nor any decision regarding my Invalid’s Benefit review. I did go to my local Community Link office to find out more about the assistance offered for people wanting to become self-employed.
While I was waiting for my appointment I was approached by an elderly woman wanting help to fill out an application for Temporary Assistance. She could hardly speak English so our mutual endeavor was problematic.
I managed to glean the following information. Her husband has dropped dead. She now gets $300 a week, down from the $330 she got before her temporary assistance stopped. She pays $210 for the flat she rents from the Wellington City Council. “Three – 0 – 0,” she told me, isn’t enough, because she has to go to the doctor, take four pills and put glue on her teeth every day.
Suspecting we might be on a hiding to nowhere with the Temporary Assistance form I suggested we might be better off with a Disability Allowance form. These seemed to be medical matters. “No.” Apparently she’d filled out that form at Christmas and nothing had happened.
Then I was called away to my appointment.
Good news for me at least! The case manager enrolled me in a seminar next week that will explain Flexi Wage, otherwise called the Enterprise Allowance.
Walking back to the waiting area I fully expected to see the lady still holding her form, but she had gone, hopefully sorted out by the woman at reception.
So, this week I’ve been thinking about the lady I met and my family wedding. I’ve been thinking about the different ways New Zealanders live andhoping I am indeed able to embrace a more affluent future, because I know members of my family, quite rightly, expect loans to be repaid.
Sally would be interested to hear suggestions from readers about how to elegantly manage instances when financial disparity comes to the fore.
Be sure to catch up with Sally’s quest next Wednesday.