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For Money

 

 

We have a responsibility to all our members – not just those that are unable to access finance elsewhere, all our loans will be subject to a credit search and affordability check the result of which may mean we feel it would be irresponsible of us to lend.

 

Part of the mission of the credit union movement in the UK and worldwide is to improve levels of financial education and inclusion.

 

We work to benefit members, helping to provide communities with affordable and appropriate savings and loan products and promoting sound money management.  We encourage regular savings and support members in making financial decisions that are right for their circumstances.

 

We fully support the teaching of financial education in schools and are very keen to assist in practical ways – we can set up savings clubs, provide learning materials and put you in contact with local groups that may be able to assist further, contact us to find out more info@northlondoncu.org

 

If you are having difficulty in meeting your credit union loan repayments please contact us and we will do our best to help – don’t ignore the problem.

 

If you have lots of different debts and are thinking of paying them off so that you owe one, easier to manage amount, we may be able to help.  Please see our debt consolidation page for more information here.  You can read the story of one of our members who did just that here.

 

 

 

Taking Control of Your Finances

 

 

It can be a struggle to manage our money, either because we don’t know how or maybe our circumstances have changed, meaning our income has gone down or our outgoings have gone up, so carrying on as before is no longer an option.

 

Here are some tips and suggestions that others have found helpful.  Remember that they are no substitute for tailored, professional advice and if you are worried about your finances there are people that can help you – click here.

 

1.  Do an honest assessment of your income and spending.

 

The first thing you need to do if you want to take control, is to know what you have coming in and what you have going out.  The key word here is ‘honest’.

 

Lots of us find this difficult.  It might be that you’re worried about what you might find – things might be worse than you thought and if you find a problem then you might feel you need to do something about it – ignorance is bliss, right?  Sadly with money, the longer you leave it, the worse it gets.

 

There are many websites and books that will help you work out your finances.  We have given you some useful links to sites with budgeting tools here.

 

2.  Work out if you need to spend less.

 

It’s simple enough, are your (real) outgoings less than what’s coming in every month?

 

Maybe you’re reassured to find that you have enough money to live on comfortably and don’t need to do anything else, however, the chances are if you’re here on this page, you’d like to spend less, save more or both.

 

If you think you need immediate help, click here for Financial Problems.

 

3.  Where can I spend less?

 

Again, you’ll need to be honest, if you find yourself hiding bills and receipts and feeling guilty about your spending, it’s time to ask yourself some tough questions.

 

It’s vital to be realistic.  Like a dieter, even the most ardent of money-savers should allow themselves a little treat now and then, otherwise they’ll quickly go off the rails – the trick is to make sure it’s affordable and accounted for.

 

There are masses of resources and information available for money-savers: books in your local library, on the internet and, if you prefer face-to-face, there are free courses run by charities and community groups.

 

4.  Good areas to review

 

 Household utilities and entertainment

 

Use one of the many comparison sites to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your gas, electricity, TV, phone (landline and mobile) and internet.

 

Insurance

 

Again, comparison sites are your friend here.  If you are under the impression that loyal customers are rewarded with lower prices, sadly you need to think again.  You may be able to save hundreds by moving or even just threatening to move.

 

If you are in a traditionally high-risk category of car insurance, e.g. you’re a young driver, there are steps you can take to bring your insurance costs down (there are some good tips here.  Remember though, that insurance companies can and will invalidate claims if you have lied to them – it is fraud, don’t do it.

 

Groceries

 

There are discounters, there are ‘own-brand challenges’, there are free supermarket trolley comparison sites (they usually make their money through showing you ads and sending you promo emails), but the best thing you can do today to cut the amount you spend is to start menu planning!

 

Love local?  You can save money and support local traders at the same time by using independent local shops and businesses.  Markets are often the cheapest place to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, for example.  One of our Guest Bloggers wrote about her quest to do more of her shopping locally, which you may find useful, read it here.

 

Buy little and often or bulk discounts?  There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that some people may spend less doing daily shops to only buy what they need for that day, rather than a big shop, where it is easy to overestimate what you need.  You could combine this, doing a monthly shop for bulky items and smaller shops for fresh produce.

 

Debts

 

Debt is a fact of modern life, whether it be credit cards, mortgages or loans.  It is worthwhile reviewing your debts and seeing whether you would get a better deal elsewhere.  Don’t forget to take into account any early repayment fees.

 

5.  Places to get stuff cheap and for free

 

No, we’re not suggesting a crime spree, but that you make the most of resources in your local area.

 

Charity shops: not for nothing do the Australians call them ‘opportunity shops’ or ‘op shops’, they can be a great source of books, clothes, household goods – pretty much anything you can think of.  They sort and dispose of anything not of sellable quality and often keep prices low as part of their social mission.  Having said this, they often have a strict ‘no returns’ policy, so examine items closely and try on clothes before you buy them!

 

Recycling sites are gaining in popularity.  Common ones include Freecycle and Freegle, where members can post unwanted items and even request specific items, there are also Facebook sites set up for a similar purpose.  Obviously, normal safety rules apply when meeting people you don’t know and never pay money upfront for postage or anything else, but as long as you’re sensible, it’s a great way to reuse unwanted items and get the most surprising things for free.

 

Selling sites, car boot, table-top sales and listings papers can be a source of bargains if you know exactly what you want and can ignore the other wares on display!  There are also now huge numbers of local selling sites on Facebook.  Like the recycling sites though, you would usually be expected to arrange collection of items yourself.  Be aware and never put your personal safety at risk for the sake of an apparent bargain.

 

 

 

CAP Money Course

 

Trying to sort out your money? Not sure how to work out what you can afford to spend on Christmas this year? Struggling with debt? Help is available. A free course to help you manage your money better and learn to budget, save and spend well.

 

Chase Family Church are running the “CAP Money Course” starting on 14th October from 7.30pm (and 21st October, with a follow-up session 18th November 2014) at Chase family Church Centre, Shirley Hall, Shirley Road, Enfield, EN2 6SB.

 

CAP Money courses are free, but booking is essential.

 

To book a place contact either Chase Family Church 020 8366 5488 or you can book directly by visiting their website here and putting in your postcode. This will direct you to courses which are being held in your area. You can then apply directly. You will receive a confirming email later.

 

You do not need to be a church-goer or a Christian to attend a CAP course, they are open to everyone.

 

NLCU’s only involvement with this course is that we think money education is A Good Thing and we were asked to help publicise it.  Our staff are unable to assist in any way with questions or arrangements for the course, please call CFC directly, they’re very nice!

 

 

Telephone: 020 8366 8244  info@northlondoncu.org   Postal address: 3 George Mews, Enfield, Middlesex, EN2 6JA

NORTH LONDON

CREDIT UNION

North London Credit Union

 

All content belongs to North London Credit Union unless otherwise stated. North London Credit Union Ltd. is a not-for-profit financial cooperative, run & controlled by its members. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority & the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registered Office: 3 George Mews, Enfield, Middlesex, EN2 6JA, registration no. 213809 . Savings are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

 

 

Telephone: 020 8366 8244

Established March 1994