Helping you make the most of your finances
Budgets are boring. Everyday life gets in the way of us taking the time to manage our money. However, taking a look at your finances can be interesting. It helps highlight where your money is going and it is the first step to managing your money and taking control of your finances. We at Credit Union Plus have prepared a Household Budget Plan, which is available at our office or to download here. It assists you by prompting you to really think about your finances by itemising all your income and outgoings. It should allow you to recognise areas where you are incurring excessive expense, prompting you to shop around for a better deal and/or possibly cut back on certain items. This is a really useful exercise which you can do very easily. We hope you find it helpful. Contact our office for a copy of our Household Budget Plan.
Here are some possible Money Management Issues and Suggested Solutions:
I don’t know where my money goes every month…Sometimes it seems like my money just disappears!
Solution: Give our Household Budget Plan a look. Document every payment you make. If you have your bills from the previous 12 months you can add them up and see how much you spend annually on your utility bills.
I dread my credit card bill…
Credit cards may be useful for purchasing cheap flights on the internet, paying bills online, purchasing goods etc. But the mounting bill is a headache we could all do without.
Solution: Put money aside by lodging regularly to your Credit Union savings account. When the bill comes in a month later, at least you have accumulated some savings which can go towards paying the bill. Better still, if the bill can be paid in full each month thereby avoiding very high credit card interest charges. Since January 2012, you can now pay your bills in the Credit Union, please speak to any of our staff for further details.
My monthly outgoings are very high… Nobody likes paying bills but we cannot avoid them.
Solution: While some bills cannot be reduced, others can. Shop around for utility services like electricity and telephone packages to see where you can save. Cut back on the luxury items and before we buy something ask yourself a question, “Do I need this”?
My grocery bill is high…
Everybody needs to eat and grocery purchases are essential.
Solution: Make a shopping list and stick to it. Do not get attracted by special offers on items you would not normally purchase. Shop around and pay attention to prices. Some people take calculators with them shopping so they know what the bill will be when they get to the checkout. Try it and see if you can cut your grocery bill.
I don’t have a savings habit…
Regular saving helps you remain on top of your finances and saving a small amount can make a big difference.
Solution: Once you have completed the Household Budget Plan and have discovered you have excess income over expenditure, this is the amount you can afford to set aside. A clever way to organise regular saving is to set up a standing order from your bank account, so you can view it as a bill. Before you know it a nice sum will have accumulated in your savings in your Credit Union account, which is available for you whenever you need it. Remember you also earn a dividend on your savings with Credit Union Plus!
Note to Members……
Should you find yourself in a difficult financial situation and are having problems meeting your loan repayments, please call to see a member of our Credit Control Staff. Our trained staff will meet with you in confidence. Get assistance from Credit Union Plus. Do not struggle on your own. We are here to offer a helping hand.