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Talk Money Week: Budgeting Tips

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Talk Money Week: Budgeting Tips

At Leeds Credit Union, in addition to providing our members with access to affordable loans and a wide range of savings accounts, we also offer a Money and Budgeting Service (MABS) exclusive to our members.

Having a budget keeps your spending in check and makes sure that your savings are on track for the future. Budgeting can help you set long-term financial goals, keep you from overspending and help shut down risky spending habits so, to help your money go as far as possible this Christmas, here are the MABS team’s top tips for effective budgeting.

1. Begin with a Budget: Start by outlining your spending plan. Account for every penny you spend – a Leeds Credit Union savings account can help manage your earnings and spending.

2. Credit Union Account: Consider joining a credit union, such as Leeds Credit Union, which as well as getting you into the savings habit, offers multiple benefits including lower interest rates on loans and fewer fees.

3. Emergency Fund with Leeds Credit Union: Always have an emergency fund, which should ideally cover at least three months of your living expenses. A dedicated savings account with Leeds Credit Union could be an excellent place for this.

4. Repay High-Interest Debts First: Focus on paying off debts with higher interest rates first, then address lower interest rate debts. Leeds Credit Union offers some of the lowest interest rates for loans in the market from just 6.9% APR.

5. Short Term Loans from Leeds Credit Union: Leeds Credit Union offers short-term affordable loans, which are advantageous as you pay less interest overall when compared to high interest doorstep or payday lenders.

6. Use Direct Debits with Leeds Credit Union: Organise direct debits for your bills from your Leeds Credit Union account. This ensures timely payments and avoids late fees.

7. Limit Credit Card Usage, Consider Leeds Credit Union Loans: Try to only use your credit card in emergencies. Alternatively, consider taking an affordable loan from Leeds Credit Union for large unexpected expenses.

8. Regularly Review Your Leeds Credit Union Account: Frequently review your budget by monitoring your Leeds Credit Union account using online banking and the LCU App. It can help you identify the areas where you can cut back and save money.

9. Save for Goals with Leeds Credit Union: Whether it’s for a holiday, home improvements or a car, save with purpose using a Leeds Credit Union savings account.

10. Leeds Credit Union for Children’s Savings: Encourage children to start saving early. Leeds Credit Union offers youth accounts that can be used as a tool to teach children about money management.

11. Seek Professional Help from Leeds Credit Union: If managing your finances becomes overwhelming, consider scheduling an appointment with a Leeds Credit Union Money & Budgeting team member. They can provide you with invaluable support and advice.

12. Take Advantage of Leeds Credit Union’s Family Loan: If you’re receiving Child Benefit and finding it challenging to access affordable credit, consider Leeds Credit Union’s Family Loan. This loan allows you to borrow money, whilst offering manageable repayments and also helping you to save. A portion of your Child Benefit goes towards repaying the loan and the rest is put into a savings account that’s accessible after the loan is fully repaid. This provides an excellent opportunity for families to both manage their immediate financial needs and build a savings buffer for the future.

13. Debt Consolidation Loans from Leeds Credit Union: If you have multiple debts, consolidating them into a single loan from Leeds Credit Union could potentially lower your monthly payments and simplify your finances.

14. Leeds Credit Union’s Christmas Club: Put away a little bit every month in a Leeds Credit Union Christmas savings account, so you’re not hit with a huge expense at the end of the year.

Find out how Leeds Credit Union can help you.

Christmas on a budget doesn’t mean Christmas is cancelled. With small loans of £250 available to our members, joining our credit union could help make your Christmas one to remember – find out how to join here.

International Credit Union Day 2023

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To celebrate International Credit Union Day, we’re taking a look at the history and value of credit unions.

International Credit Union Day

International Credit Union Day (ICU Day) takes place annually on the third Thursday of October, with the next installment scheduled for October 19th. First established in 1948, ICU Day’s aim is to make more people aware of the work carried out by credit unions around the world and the benefits they deliver.

But when, where and why was the first credit union established? And what do credit unions really do? Let’s take a look.

What is a credit union?

A credit union is essentially a bank which is controlled by its members and operates on a not-for-profit basis. This means that, unlike commercial banks which are either privately owned or publicly traded, credit unions typically offer their members lower rates on loans, fewer – and lower – fees and higher annual percentage yields on their savings products.

Like commercial banks, credit unions offer financial services to its customers, such as access to loans, savings accounts and expert advice. Credit unions vary in size and can have anything from a handful of members to hundreds of thousands of them. There are more than 230 million credit union members worldwide, with approximately 1.3 million in the UK alone.

How did they first come about?

The first credit union – known as The Household Association – was founded in Slovakia in 1845 to provide cheap loans to its members.

By 1859, more than 200 credit unions had opened up across Germany and, by 1888, they’d spread right across Europe, to countries including England, Italy, France and the Netherlands.

What about Leeds Credit Union?

We were established in Leeds in 1987 as the Leeds Council Employees Credit Union, where we offered savings and loans to local authority staff. We opened our doors to everyone living or working in the local authority area in 1997.

Leeds Credit Union has four branches across Leeds and also operates across Wakefield, an area we’ve covered since 2014. Our services are also available to individuals living or working in Harrogate and Craven and more recently, the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham, as well as staff of certain other employers and housing associations.

Since 2009, we’ve been one of the UK’s largest credit unions, helping more than 37,000 members, by offering lower interest rates than many other lenders – we’ve saved our members millions of pounds over the years.

Why are credit unions so popular?

There are lots of reasons but some of the most common are:

  1. We put people before profitWhereas banks are for-profit businesses with shareholders to answer to, credit unions are not-for-profit businesses that are only responsible for their members’ financial wellbeing. This means we can focus on creating the best possible customer service experience for our members, instead of trying to generate profits at every opportunity.

    Credit unions are also often more willing than banks to help you if you have a low credit score or are temporarily out of work. 

  2. We work with our membersBecause credit unions are owned by their members, we listen and react promptly to their questions and concerns. We also take our members’ feedback and use it to make positive changes to the way we work, enabling us to introduce new loans, savings accounts and policies specifically tailored to our members’ needs.
  3. Our affordable loans are centred around your needsWhatever you need the money for, regardless of the amount, credit union loans are built around their members and typically offer a range of flexible and affordable loans that have fair and competitive interest rates which are capped by Credit Union legislation. 

    This ensures nobody is encouraged to take out a loan with unaffordable repayment rates and everybody who needs support can access it.

  4. We look after more than just your financial wellbeing If you’re a member of a credit union, in addition to financial products, you’ll also have access to financial advice, such as how to borrow responsibly or how to develop an effective savings habit, and this is vital to protect our members’ mental health.
  5. Your money is safe with usCredit unions are authorised and regulated by both the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), which protects our members by ensuring we’re run to strict regulatory standards.

    Furthermore, members’ savings are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), meaning that if anything DID happen to your credit union, your money would be safe and your finances would remain intact. 

Join LCU today

At Leeds Credit Union, we’re committed to helping our members become as financially stable as possible. To find out if you’re eligible to join, click here.

The Importance Of Financial Wellbeing

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To celebrate World Mental Health Day 2023, we’re looking at the mental health benefits of forming good financial habits.

Taking place on October 10th, World Mental Health Day 2023 is all about raising awareness of mental health and driving positive change for the benefit of everyone.

Something most people worry about at one time or another is money and there are likely to be more of us worrying about it than usual at the moment as a result of the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Luckily, research shows that taking small steps – like saving a small amount of money each month – can have a positive impact on both your financial wellbeing and your mental health. Here’s everything you need to know.

What is financial wellbeing?

Financial wellbeing is all about people’s relationships with money, the control they have over their own finances and their ability to strike the right balance between having enough money to pay the bills and enough to spend on things they enjoy, both now and in the future.

Financial wellbeing goes beyond simply earning or being able to save lots of money – in fact, recent research suggests that people in the top wage bracket are less content with their lives than those with good financial wellbeing.

Why is financial wellbeing important?

As well as being important for financial reasons, financial wellbeing is also important for our mental health. People with poor financial wellbeing often suffer from stress and anxiety, and are at an increased risk of becoming isolated. Furthermore, employees with financial concerns are more than twice as likely to suffer from reduced productivity and/or absenteeism at work than those with good financial wellbeing.

Conversely, people with good financial wellbeing are less stressed about money, which has a positive effect on their overall health and can help improve their relationships.

How to manage and improve your financial wellbeing

Establishing good financial habits is easier said than done but these tips will help you on your way:

How Leeds Credit Union can help

As a credit union, we don’t have external shareholders or investors, so it’s our members who come first, not profits.

We offer a variety of savings accounts and loans to help our members improve their financial circumstances, while our Money and Budgeting Service (MABS) is also available to members who meet certain criteria. To find out how we can help you increase your financial wellbeing, click here.

Boosting Employee Performance and Engagement: The Power of Payroll Saving and Loans

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Boosting Employee Performance and Engagement: The Power of Payroll Saving and Loans

As we celebrate Happiness at Work Week, it’s essential to recognise that employees’ financial well-being plays a pivotal role in their overall happiness and job satisfaction. 

Financial stress is a significant source of anxiety for many individuals. According to surveys, it ranks as one of the top causes of stress for employees. When employees are preoccupied with their financial struggles, it can negatively affect their performance and engagement at work, so we’re taking a look at the ways in which payroll saving and loans can help alleviate these concerns: 

Financial stability through payroll saving. 

One of the most effective ways to enhance financial wellbeing is by encouraging employees to save a portion of their income regularly. Payroll saving allows employees to automate their savings, ensuring that they consistently set money aside for emergencies, retirement or other financial goals. 

By partnering with a credit union like ours, employers can facilitate this process, making it easy for employees to allocate a portion of their salary to a savings account. This financial stability can reduce the stress associated with unexpected expenses, giving employees peace of mind and allowing them to focus better on their job responsibilities. 

Access to responsible loans. 

Life is full of unexpected challenges, and sometimes employees may require financial assistance to overcome them. In such cases, offering access to responsible loans can be a game-changer.  

At Leeds Credit Union, we provide employees with the opportunity to access loans with competitive interest rates, flexible repayment terms and responsible lending practices. 

When employees know they have a reliable source of affordable credit, they are less likely to turn to high-interest payday loans or accumulate debt on high-interest credit cards. This peace of mind can help them stay focused on their work and maintain a higher level of job satisfaction. 

Improved financial literacy. 

In addition to providing financial products, many credit unions also offer financial education resources. By offering workshops, webinars or one-on-one consultations, employees can enhance their financial literacy and make more informed decisions about their money.  

When employees have a better understanding of their finances, they are more likely to manage their money wisely, reduce debt and achieve their financial goals. This, in turn, can lead to reduced stress, increased job satisfaction and higher levels of engagement at work. 

Leeds Credit Union – we’re here to help. 

During Happiness at Work Week, let’s remember that a happy and engaged workforce is a productive one. By addressing employees’ financial wellbeing through payroll saving and loans, employers can create an environment where employees feel more secure, less stressed and better equipped to perform at their best. 

At Leeds Credit Union, we are committed to helping both individuals and businesses in Leeds and the surrounding areas improve their financial wellbeing. By partnering with us, employers can take a significant step towards enhancing their employees’ performance, engagement and overall happiness at work.  

If you’re interested in exploring how payroll saving and loans can benefit your employees and organisation, click here. 

Preparing For The New School Year.

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The summer holidays are nearly over so we’re looking at the ways in which parents can reduce the cost of sending their kids back to school.

With the new school year just around the corner, parents across the UK are beginning the annual task of ensuring their little ones are fully equipped.

But with the nation still in the throes of a cost-of-living crisis, the prospect of forking out hundreds of pounds for school uniforms and new equipment is likely to be giving many parents sleepless nights.

And that figure is no exaggeration; according to the Schoolwear Association, the average cost of compulsory secondary school uniform in England in 2023 is £96.24 per pupil.

While new laws around schools helping parents clothe their kids for less should help cut some of the cost, there are other ways to keep the expense of buying uniforms manageable. These include:

Shopping at supermarkets.

Most supermarkets have good-sized clothing sections these days and many of them do an excellent line in school uniforms. So long as your child’s school allows generic clothing, plain coloured items with no badges or branding can be picked up at massively reduced prices.

If your child does require clothing with a logo, it may be possible to buy a generic item of clothing and iron or sew a badge on yourself.

Hit the sales.

Retailers like Sainsburys and Marks & Spencer offer clothing discounts across their entire ranges a few times a year. Check out what offers are currently available online and, if you get your timing right, you could get as much as 25% off the cost of a school uniform.

Buy second-hand uniforms from your child’s school.

If you’re lucky, your child’s school will host second-hand uniform sales a few times a year, enabling you to pick up everything they’ll need for the next 12 months at a fraction of the first-hand price.

School or council support.

Although funding cuts have made it harder for councils and state-run schools to provide grants for school uniforms, some councils and schools do still offer financial support. Use the Government’s postcode checker tool to see if your local council can help, or contact your children’s school directly.

Look for a bargain online.

eBay and Facebook Marketplace often throw up offers that look too good to be true, so remember to check their websites regularly. And don’t dawdle if you do see something useful – good deals usually get snapped up in no time at all.

When it comes to equipment, your little one’s needs will vary depending on whether they attend primary or secondary school but the items of equipment most commonly required are:


Although plenty of schoolwork is done on computers and laptops these days, schoolchildren are still expected to carry an extensive list of stationery items with them. The essentials include:

Pencil sharpener
Pencil case
Set square
Glue stick

The good news is that stationery is both relatively inexpensive and long-lasting. Retailers like WHSmiths and Rymans usually have sales or multi-buy offers on back-to-school essentials during August and early September so keep an eye on their websites and take advantage of any bargains to keep your costs down.

It’s also worth asking family and friends with kids who have left school if they have any kit left over that you could buy used or just take off their hands. Similarly, charity shops often have plenty of equipment to choose from, as do pound shops and online marketplaces.

The cheapest way to pick up specialist maths equipment is to buy it as a set, while basic calculators can be picked up from most supermarkets from as little as £10.

Electronics and accessories.

If you need to buy your child a laptop, you’ll want to get one that’s light enough for them to carry around, small enough to be easily transportable and that holds enough charge to get them through a school day.

If the cost of buying a new laptop is prohibitive, don’t worry – refurbished laptops are easily available in shops and online and offer an affordable way to purchase a high specification laptop at a reduced price. Check out Refurbished Laptops for high quality devices that have been tested to guarantee they’re as good as new and wiped clean of previous data.

Other essentials.

Other items you might need to pick up include backpacks, lunchboxes and water bottles.

Sports Direct currently has a sale on backpacks, with sports-mad children sure to find something suitable at a reasonable price, while Amazon has an enormous selection with something to suit every budget. Amazon also offers the widest range and excellent value for money on lunchboxes and water bottles.

Back to school September 2023.

If you’re a parent, the fact that the new school year also means a new set of costs is something you’re probably all too familiar with.

If you’re concerned about how you’ll pay for new uniforms and equipment this year, our Family Loans allow you to borrow as much as £1,000 to help cover the cost. For more information, click here.

Best Ways To Celebrate Yorkshire Day

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Fancy celebrating Yorkshire Day with an inexpensive day out somewhere in the county? Here are our top 5 suggestions.

There’s no better time to get out and enjoy Yorkshire’s plethora of amazing attractions and natural wonders than summer. And, with Yorkshire Day – the annual opportunity to officially celebrate all things Yorkshire – fast approaching (it’s on August 1st), not seizing the opportunity to check out one of the region’s incredible destinations over the coming weeks would be nigh on unforgivable.

From open-air sculpture parks to ancient abbeys, Yorkshire has something for everyone, so don’t delay – start planning your next trip out today!

Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Lions? Check!

Tigers? Check!

Bears? Check!

If you love exotic animals, there’s no better place to spend a sunny summer’s day than by exploring Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

With more than 475 animals to see, including capybaras, zebras, rhinos, sea lions and more, plus daily shows and feeding sessions hosted by the friendly and knowledgeable staff, Yorkshire Wildlife Park is ideal for animal lovers of all ages.

Ticket prices vary but are around £20 per person, with under 3s going free. However, you can get £5 off per person when booking online in advance!

Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Hurst Lane, Auckley, Doncaster, South Yorkshire. DN9 3HQ.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Alongside 500+ acres of rolling countryside, Yorkshire Sculpture Park is also home to more than 100 open air sculptures and installations.

From Barbara Hepworth’s ‘Squares with Two Circles’ to Henry Moore’s ‘Large Two Forms’, you can see the work of the greats in an incredible setting. Often with a free-roaming sheep or two strolling right alongside you!

A dog-friendly space with plenty of cafes and food and drink outlets, plus a children’s play area and a huge, picturesque lake, the Sculpture Park is free for under 25s, while standard tickets are just £9. If you like leisurely walks, picnics and fabulous scenery, this is the place for you.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire. WF4 4LG.

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden

Studley Royal Park was one of the first sites to be inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage Site listings in 1986 – and it’s just as beautiful today as it was then.

At over 900 years old, the abbey offers a unique glimpse into the past and the park was built around it, creating a wonderful open space that’s filled with character at every turn. There are over 800 acres to explore here, with incredible vistas and secluded spots where you can escape the bustle of day-to-day life and relax with a book, a picnic or even a snooze!

Adult tickets cost £18, while kids cost £9, however family tickets are available and can help lower the cost of entry depending on how many people are in your party.

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Ripon, North Yorkshire. HG4 3DY.

Thorp Perrow

Home to one of the UK’s finest collections of trees, not to mention a spectacular Tea Room and The Bird of Prey and Mammal Centre, Thorp Perrow is a Victorian arboretum spread over a whopping 100 acres.

The perfect place to leave your phone turned off as you get back to nature, at Thorp Perrow you’ll find birds of prey in flight and wallabies roaming freely through the woods. Throw in an excellent adventure playground for the kids and you’ve got a genuine ‘must-visit’ attraction for all the family!

Adult tickets cost £13.95, while under 4s go free.

Thorp Perrow, Bedale, North Yorkshire. DL8 2PS.

The Forbidden Corner

Tucked away in the already-majestic Yorkshire Dales is The Forbidden Corner, one of the region’s most beloved, bonkers attractions. It’s not known as ‘The Strangest Place In The World’ for nothing!

Home to a labyrinth of underground tunnels, chambers and surprises, with plenty of dead ends to keep you on your toes, The Forbidden Corner invites you to work your way through four acres of gardens, where you’ll encounter weird and wonderful statues, stunning water features and breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Adult tickets are £16.50, kids tickets are £14.50 and kids under 3 go free.

The Forbidden Corner, Middleham, Leyburn, North Yorkshire. DL8 4TJ.

Happy Yorkshire Day from Leeds Credit Union!

Nothing beats time spent outside in the open air, so why not make the most of Yorkshire Day and head for the great outdoors and a new adventure?

If the cost of living crisis is making the cost of days out like these prohibitive, find out how one of our affordable family loans could help you by clicking here.

Celebrating ‘Love Parks Week’

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Taking place from July 28th to August 6th, Love Parks Week 2023 is UK-based environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy’s annual campaign that celebrates parks, green spaces and the people that look after them.

Excellent places to connect with nature and get some fresh air, exercise or peace and quiet, spending time in parks – or any pleasant outdoor space – can also benefit our mental health, so ensuring they’re well taken care of and accessible to all is extremely important – and most of all, free to enjoy!

Anyone living in and around Leeds knows there are no end of wonderful parks in our region, so which ones should you prioritise visiting over Love Parks Week 2023? We take a look!

Roundhay Park

One of the biggest city parks anywhere in Europe, Roundhay Park sets an incredibly high standard for all other Yorkshire parks to live up to. 

And with 700 acres of lush and beautiful parkland, woodland, gardens and lakes, plus playgrounds and a skate park for kids, it’s easy to see why. 

The park is also home to a massive amount of wildlife, including deer, rabbits, foxes, swans and woodpeckers, so visitors are pretty much guaranteed to see something special while they make their way around one of its five different trails.

Roundhay Park, Roundhay, Leeds. LS8 2ER.

Beckett Park

Tucked away in the bustling suburb of Headingley is Beckett Park, an oasis of calm among the area’s high-energy vibe.

Featuring plenty of wide open spaces lined with cherry blossoms and other trees, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a spot of sunbathing or ball games when the weather’s fine. It’s also a great spot for a walk whatever the weather, with wooded areas carpeted with bluebells and even a hidden monument to Queen Victoria!

Beckett Park, Churchwood Avenue, Headingley, Leeds. LS16 5LF.

Pudsey Park

Home to more than seven acres of grassland, sprawling gardens and a huge variety of trees, it’s no surprise that the award-winning Pudsey Park is one of Leeds’ most popular green spaces.

Walkers will have a great time strolling around the Gothic-style Church of St Lawrence, while those with a competitive edge can enjoy a game of bowls on the green and music-lovers can take in live music from the park’s traditional bandstand.

Throw in a large playground and a skatepark to keep younger family members entertained and you’ve got a park that can comfortably call itself one of Yorkshire’s best days out.

Pudsey Park, Church Lane, Pudsey, Leeds. LS28 7RR.

Gotts Park

Looking for Leeds’ best place to exercise in the fresh air? Look no further than Armley’s own Gotts Park.

Spread over 74 acres of green spaces, gardens and woodland, Gotts Park is a must for fitness fans. Boasting numerous picturesque walks around the likes of a Grade II-listed fountain and a war memorial, not to mention an 18-hole golf course at the nearby Gotts Park Mansion, this is a brilliant place to get out and get active.

If you’re feeling particularly brave, you could even tackle the notorious ‘Killer Steps’ – a set of 161 Victorian steps that are guaranteed to test your limits!

Gotts Park, Armley Ridge Road, Leeds. LS12 2QX.

Hyde Park 

Also known as Woodhouse Moor, Hyde Park is another of the region’s most popular public parks and one of the oldest.

Boasting five breath-taking, tree-lined avenues that meet in the centre, Hyde Park provides visitors with jaw-dropping views of Kirkstall Valley and the opportunity to enjoy a stroll around a plethora of Victorian statues.

In addition to all the open grassland, Hyde Park is also home to allotments, tennis courts and a skatepark, meaning it has something for everyone to enjoy.

Woodhouse Moor, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds. LS6 1SJ.

Enjoy Love Parks Week with Leeds Credit Union! 

Although entry to these parks are free, we know that days out to public spaces usually incur some costs for families to bear. If you need a small loan to help you cover your expenses this summer, you can apply to borrow as much as £1,000 with one of our Family Loans by clicking here.

How to Host the Perfect BBQ

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How to Host the Perfect BBQ

Wherever there’s sun, there’s usually someone firing up a barbecue and this year, we think it should be YOU! 

To celebrate summer’s arrival, we want to help you amaze and delight your friends and family by throwing the best BBQ party they’ve ever attended, so dig out your apron and fire up the grill – it’s time to get cookin’.

Keep it simple

There’s a reason you don’t often see people in suits at barbecues – they’re supposed to be casual, so make sure yours is a relaxed affair. Try to host it on a day when the sun’s shining and that will do a lot of the hard work for you; after that, you just need to provide plenty of seating and/or space in your garden and keep the food and drinks coming.

Speaking of which…

What to serve

It’s a barbecue so burgers and sausages are non-negotiable. You could also consider steaks, kebabs or chicken drumsticks if you think your carnivorous guests need more options too. And always go for quality over quantity – 10 top quality burgers are better than 20 bland ones.

As for vegetarians, roasted veggie skewers or meat-free burgers and sausages are always a safe bet.

You’ll also need some sides to serve with your mains. A couple of large bowls of salad, some loaves of garlic bread, coleslaw and a variety of sauces will suffice. Stocking up on crisps/crackers/breadsticks and dips so your guests have something to nibble on while the food is cooking is a good idea too, as is getting plenty of cheese and lettuce for those who want toppings on their burgers.

If you’re going to serve dessert, keep it summery with some ice cream or classic strawberries and cream.

In terms of beverages, you’ll want to keep your fridge well stocked. If you’re serving alcohol, you’ll have a decent idea of how much everyone will drink but most people will generally have one or two drinks per hour. If you’re concerned about the cost of alcohol making the barbecue too expensive, why not ask your guests to bring their own?

Non-alcoholic options are important too, so have jugs of iced water (or fruit infused water) dotted around, as well as lemonade or iced tea in the fridge. Remember to make plenty of ice cubes in advance or buy a bag of ice just before the party begins too – the last thing you want is your guests overheating.

What other items do I need?

Napkins, paper plates, reusable plastic cups and cutlery are all essential, as are suitable lighting if the party’s likely to continue into the evening. String lights are inexpensive and can be easily draped along fencing or on low tree branches to create an ambient atmosphere.

You’ll also need to create a suitable playlist to set the mood, put a smile on people’s faces and keep things upbeat. It’s your party so you get to choose what makes the cut but make sure there’s something for everyone. A few cheesy classics everyone knows the words to never go amiss – just remember to keep the volume at a level that won’t upset your neighbours and will allow your guests to have a conversation without shouting.

You may also want to think about providing a few games, especially if children will be present. If you have the room, lawn games like swingball, croquet or cricket are always popular; if not, buying cheap water pistols for kids and decks of cards for adults is an easy win.

Where to get hold of a new bbq

If you’re in the market for a new barbecue, check out this ‘Best BBQ 2023’ article from Ideal Home magazine for suggestions on bringing your garden kitchen to life, whatever your budget.

Before you make a purchase though, it’s worth asking yourself how often you’re realistically likely to use your BBQ. If the answer is ‘once a year at most’, it might be worth foregoing a more expensive option and investing in some disposable ones from your local supermarket instead.

The benefits of BBQs

That’s right, not only are they delicious but barbecues are also fairly unique in that they can benefit both physical and mental wellbeing.  

For starters, using a barbecue reduces fat intake as much of it drips through the grates and onto the bottom of the grill during cooking – good news for your cholesterol levels.

By cooking slower and at a lower temperature, barbecued food also preserves its key vitamins and minerals better than many other cooking methods, helping your body turn the food into energy and allowing you to maintain a healthy diet.

Attending a barbecue party is also good for your mental health as studies have shown that interacting with others boosts feelings of well-being, improves your mood and decreases feelings of depression. Talk about a win-win!

Cook up a storm with Leeds Credit Union

Whether you want to invest in a brand new barbecue or just need a hand getting your garden ready for summer, you could borrow from £250 to £25,000 with one of our tailored loans. To find out more, click here.

App Switchover

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As we continue to improve the technology we offer our members, we are making a number of key changes to allow you to get better access to your accounts and finances.

Following the launch of our all new app, we have made the decision to switch off the old Incuto version, meaning anyone still using it will need to download the new version in order to continue benefiting from all the great features we have to offer.

The old app will be switched off on 31st May.

The new LCU App offers a better way of keeping your finances at your fingertips and downloading it is quick and easy – and already has a 4.8 star rating!

You can either click here to download it using your mobile phone, or head to the app store if you’re using a laptop or desktop computer. You log in details will stay the same.

You can read all about the new app here.





Financial services provider Leeds Credit Union (LCU) has officially opened its new company headquarters in Leeds.

Tracy Brabin, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, cut the ribbon on Leeds Credit Union’s new site at Carlton Tower, 34 St Pauls Street, which sees the organisation moving into larger, more modern offices that will enable it to improve its energy and IT efficiencies, and continue to pursue its ambitious growth plans.

Mayor Brabin was greeted by LCU’s senior management team, before Chair of LCU Jane Toole gave a speech highlighting the positive impact the organisation has on the communities in which it operates by helping financially vulnerable households access a range of savings accounts and affordable loans, helping to keep their money out of the hands of loan sharks and high-cost lenders.

The morning culminated in a walk around the new offices, introductions to team members and the opportunity to witness the work LCU does firsthand.

Stephen Porter, Head of Member Experience at LCU, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Mayor Brabin to the new offices. She was supportive, took the time to engage with and talk to members of the team and showed a real interest in what we do.

“It was great to have an audience with her and we can’t thank her enough for taking the time to pay us a visit and officially open the new offices. We can’t wait to continue safeguarding the financial wellbeing of our 37,000+ members from our new premises.”

Commenting on social media, Mayor Brabin said: “Companies like Leeds Credit Union are more important than ever in supporting thousands of members in our region through the cost-of-living crisis, so I was honoured to help open their new headquarters in Leeds and meet some of the team doing such fantastic work.”

On Monday, 4th December 2023, our systems will be down for scheduled maintenace from 3pm for approximately three hours.

This means head office, branches and online banking/app will not be contactable or usable.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.