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Margaretta Slaney joined the team in September, 2020, as the newest financial mentor and is the co-ordinator of the Thames Budget Service. Photo: KELLEY TANTAU

Money advice on offer at Thames Budget Service


The Thames Budget Service has been in existence for more than 25 years.
Originally, the service was started by members of the Dovell family to help those known to them with their financial management.
A need was recognised in the community and the service was formally founded as an Incorporated Society.
Since 2001, it has been a self-contained stand-alone service, which offers an efficient service to the people of Thames and the Hauraki Plains.
Located at 415 Pollen St, Thames, the service provides people with financial mentoring and has a team of highly experienced mentors, Denise Lyon and Peggy Barriball, who have been there for many years and Jenny Yeun who has 20 plus years of experience. Margaretta Slaney joined the team in September, 2020, as the newest financial mentor and is the co-ordinator of the service. There are also two more mentors currently in training.
Most people have a love-hate relationship with money.
Those wanting to learn how to overcome it, can ask for help at Thames Budget Service.
The Service can help by creating weekly budgets, working out long-term cash flows, and negotiating with creditors.
Margaretta, who was born in the Netherlands and was a former primary school teacher, became the Budget Service’s co-ordinator last year.
“I wasn’t raised in a wealthy home, so I get what it means to not have a lot of money. Missing out on school camps, not having the trendiest clothes… I didn’t have the hand-up to move forward, I have had the opportunity to learn how to manage my money and worked hard to get where I am now,” she said.
“So what a perfect job to have now to be able to pass on that knowledge and help others make money work for them.
“We have a lot of people coming in to get budgets for their Kiwisaver Hardship applications, and we also get self-referrals because nowadays, both mum and dad could be working, but are still not able to make ends meet.
“Covid has affected a lot of people, some people have lost their job or needed to change their job resulting in a lower income. Having to change the way we usually spend money isn’t easy.
“We want to know your story, and how you got to where you are so that our team can help you in your situation and not just give generic advice.”
The service can also provide Skinny Jump modems, for anyone struggling to pay for internet or who doesn’t have internet at home. People can come in and get one, this gives 30GB a month for $5.
“We’re all in the same boat, we all struggle with money from time to time, and it’s okay to struggle, it’s okay to ask for help.” Margaretta said the team at Thames Budget Service is a welcoming, inclusive, judgement-free zone. It is also confidential and free.
For more information, visit, or for an appointment to chat with one of our friendly financial mentors phone/text 027 870 7076, phone 07 868 5964, email: or call into 415 Pollen St, Thames.