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Real Stories: What a single mum of 3 did when she couldn’t pay the bills

A single mum, separated from her ex-partner due to family violence, now has 100% care of their three children.

She is facing various difficulties. One of her children has a disability. The mum is also experiencing medical issues and has an upcoming operation. As a result, she is experiencing high out of pocket medical costs. To add to that, her operation means she will not be able to work in her casual job for 6 weeks.

Her ex-partner is not working, and she's only receiving $34 per month in Child Support.

The mum reached out to the Better Place Australia free financial counselling service, because she resides in one of the many funded areas across Melbourne and Geelong.

She presented with utility debts (gas and electricity) from her previous place of residence which she shared with her ex-partner. All the bills from the household were in her name only, and she was not working at the time, as she was parenting young children. Her ex-partner allegedly did not contribute to household expenses and was not working.

Our financial counsellor, Tammy, went into mediation with the energy provider and requested a waiver of debts on her behalf, under family violence and financial hardship grounds. The energy provider agreed on a total debt waiver, which amounted to $2,086, under family violence and financial hardship grounds. This is not all Tammy did.

Listen to this short podcast where a BPA and Financial First Aid senior financial counsellor,Tammy, shares how she assisted the woman and prepared her for managing her finances in the future. is an initiative of Better Place Australia.

Financial First Aid free financial counselling

Financial First Aid free financial counselling and mediation services are available to people who have money troubles and live in one of the many government funded areas across Victoria. First step is to enquire online or request an appointment.

For more real stories about people with financial troubles and how Financial First Aid financial counsellors mediated for them, go to the Financial First Aid website home pageand scroll down to Real Stories.