Valentine's Day means that love is officially in the air. But instead of focusing on your partner this Valentine's Day, why not turn your attention to your finances?
Here are our top tips for looking after your money.
Whether it's to help you afford a big ticket item like a car or to keep safe for an emergency, almost everybody is aware of the importance of regularly putting money aside. But with the current cost of living putting a significant strain on many people's finances, how can you start saving money now if you weren't already doing so?
The quick answer is reduce your outgoings wherever possible and save the difference. Of course, this is easier said than done but with the help of our money saving blog, you'll be able to start bumping up your savings sooner than you think.
We also offer a comprehensive range of savings accounts to help ensure your money can grow consistently and securely.
If you have several loans and/or credit cards to your name and are having a hard time keeping up with the repayments, it might be worth combining them all into one loan.
Known as a debt consolidation loan, this type of loan involves you borrowing enough money to pay off your current debts from a single lender, which helps you reduce your monthly outgoings and allows you to take back control of your finances.
At Leeds Credit Union, our members can borrow from £250 to £20,000 to help them become more financially stable. For more information about the different loans we offer, click here.
Making a budget is one of the simplest and most effective ways of keeping tabs on your finances, so sit down with your bank statements and work out how much you need to spend on essentials (your rent/mortgage, utility bills and groceries), how much you can afford to spend on hobbies/events (such as birthdays or days out) and how much you should therefore be able to save each month.
By ensuring you always know how much money you have coming in and going out, you can identify potentially expensive periods - such as Christmas - ahead of time and take proactive steps to ensure you have sufficient funds set aside to cover the cost without getting into debt. Making - and sticking to - a budget will also make you think twice before making any purchases you haven't already accounted for, reducing your risk of overspending.
If you don't already make regular budgets, now is the time to start. Lots of budget planners are available for free online to help you get started (this one from Money Saving Expert is great) and our Money and Budgeting Service (MABS) is available to help tenants of Housing Leeds create realistic budgets and ensure their bills are paid on time.
Although the vast majority of credit unions and banks still have branches which customers can visit in person, online banking is now the most popular banking method in the UK.
As well as being incredibly secure, online banking delivers a raft of other benefits including providing 24-hour access to your accounts, whether at home or out and about, via your bank's website or app. It also enables you to carry out transactions, such as transferring money, almost instantly, all via your smartphone, tablet or laptop, making it easier than ever to keep track of your finances.
If you are an existing Leeds Credit Union member, you can sign up for our online banking service here and download our app here.
Discussing your personal finances more openly increases your financial and mental wellbeing so, if you're having financial difficulty, talk to somebody about it.
Studies indicate that talking about money makes you feel better about it and helps you build healthier money habits, such as saving more regularly and making less risky financial decisions. In addition, talking about money reduces stress and anxiety and strengthens relationships.
Whether you choose to talk about your finances with your partner, family or friends, broaching the subject is an excellent way of getting to grips with your financial situation.
At Leeds Credit Union, we provide straightforward and affordable financial products and services to our members, helping them take back control of their money and achieve financial security.
If you're interested in becoming our newest member, visit this page.
Leeds City Credit Union is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (FRN 213369).
Tel: (0113) 242 3343 Email: email@example.com
Registered Office: Leeds City Credit Union Ltd, 2nd Floor Westminster Buildings, 31 New York Street, Leeds LS2 7DT
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© Leeds City Credit Union 2018
Due to staff training our City branch will be closed from 9am until 11am today.
Our online and telephone services are running as usual.