Plan to manage your finances better in 2016 with some of our helpful tips below.
As the Christmas period is now well and truly upon us, here are some helpful tips to help you manage your money through the new year.
Budget, budget, budget! Budgeting takes the mystery out of your disappearing income. It gives you a clear idea of where you stand financially and helps you get to where you want to be. Budgeting gives you control of your money. If you haven’t yet set out a budget for 2016 take a look at our printable budgeting diary or go to www.consumerhelp.ie where there are online budgeting forms.
If you’ve already decided to budget, and you’ve worked out what income and outgoing you have, and where you can possibly cut back on spending, then how do you make it work for you? How do you make sure you stick to the plan? We’ve put together some tips to help you budget your finances.
- Direct debit those savings. Hopefully, you’ve earmarked a certain amount of your income to a regular savings plan. Make it easier on yourself and have that amount debited from your account and transferred to a regular savings account. Better still, if you can, have that money taken through payroll deduction. Don’t forget we operate 2 savings accounts (apart from our Share Accounts); Christmas Savings and Deposit Accounts.
- Use cash if you can. Take out an amount of cash the beginning of the week and only use it, not your credit card, to make purchases. It’s harder to part with cash and easier to see what you’ve spent and what you have left.
- Keep receipts. This will give you a clear idea of where you spend your money & where you can make cutbacks.
- Make it visual. If you’ve cut down on alcohol, cigarettes, chocolate as part of your New Year’s resolutions, put the money you would have spent on those items into a jar. Watch the money grow. Plan what you’ll do with that money after x months. If it’s a holiday, stick a picture of a holiday destination on the front of the jar.
- Know your interest rate & terms of loans. If you are in the market for a loan make sure you know how much interest you will be charged & shop around. Also, make sure you find out what terms and conditions are attached to the loan i.e. will there be any financial penalties for early repayment?
- Get buy-in from family/friends. Financial pressure can put stress on a relationship. Get your partner to commit to budgeting too, and share the responsibility. Look at car-pooling with friends and colleagues; suggest a cap on birthday present between friends, invite each other round for dinner where each guest brings one course.
- Use a HSSCU Budget Account. If you would rather someone else looks after your bills for you (with your money, of course! ) then take a look at our Budget Account. This account is operated on a money in / money out basis, i.e. members accumulate funds through their payroll, in addition to their normal credit union deduction, in order to pay these bills. There is a small charge for this service, currently €3 per month.
Remember if you are having financial difficulties you can always contact us in confidence at HSSCU or contact the MABS Helpline – 0761 07 2000, Monday to Friday from 9am to 8pm or www.mabs.ie