Paying the bills and feeding the family can easily swallow most of our money each month, so how can we juggle it all to make ends meet and put some money aside for a rainy day?
Here at Advance Credit Union we want to help all our members not only pay the bills, but have enough left over for big ideas. How about the trip of a lifetime? Upgrade the car? Upgrade your home? Whatever your plans, the first step is to keep the bills as low as possible. Here’s our suggestions to keep the household expenses under control:
- Budget. This might be scary, but you will feel in control of your money and less stressed. We ask all new members to do a budget, work out how much you can save regularly (don’t be too ambitious!). Check out the Budget Planner on our website.
- Reduce your outgoings. Phone your gas and electric supplier, can they offer you a cheaper deal? If not then sign up for The Big Switch or checkout the comparison sites.
- Turn the thermostat down. Just one degree less will save you money. Also, put a jumper on before turning it up. Set the timer; it is cheaper to use a timer for the hours heating you need than to leave it on constant.
- Cancel Sky or Virgin Media? One phone call to them asking to cancel is usually enough to be offered a cheaper deal. Freeview may be all you need; cancel Sky/ Virgin Media and see how long before anyone in your household notices.
- Mobile phone. One phone call asking for the disconnections department will often get a better deal. Pay-as-you-go customers – you may be better off on a contract if you spend more than £10/month.
- Claim benefits – do you know what benefits you are entitled to? www.turn2us.org.uk may help
- Save regularly – it doesn’t matter how little. Just a small amount in your Credit Union savings every week will build up a financial ‘buffer’ to smooth out life’s ups and downs
- Wish list Give yourself something to look forward to, and save for it! Family day out? Holiday? Furniture? Join Christmas Club, or set up a savings account for a specific special event, and watch your savings grow.
- Have fun! For free! Play park, library, walking in the park, football, Birmingham’s new Central Library, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Birmingham ThinkTank (OK, not free, but still cool)
- Second-hand – Freecycle, BargainPages, Loot, Gumtree, eBay – there are loads of ways to get what you need cheaper or even for free.
- Cheap Treats. Treating our kids doesn’t have to cost much – we love bubbles, balloons, bat and ball, paddling pool.
- Fortnightly menu Only buy the ingredients you need, get the kids involved in cooking their favourites
- Value not cheap. A good pair of shoes may cost more, but last longer than poorly made cheap items
- Strawberries. Punnet of approximately 20 strawberries £2.50 at Asda. Grow your own unlimited strawberries from £1.99 plant at Wyevale (cashback for Engage Account holders). Very easy to look after, grow in a pot, bag, bucket and they should keep producing fruit for years.
- Shopping list. Keep a weekly list for the supermarket shopping, then only buy what you need. Try Our Groceries iPhone and Android App
- Shop smart. My Supermarket compares your shopping basket at the major supermarkets to ensure you get the best deal
How Advance Credit Union can help
Credit union loan could help manage your money. Many of our members use their credit union loan to spread the cost while building up their savings.
Engage Account offers great cashback rewards and discounts at Asda, Argos, M&S, Debenhams and many more. Plus your Engage Visa card is accepted wherever you see the Visa logo (see terms and conditions)
Start saving – whatever your plans, saving regularly with AdvanceCU is a great way to put some money aside for your future.