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Tag Archive: Budgeting

  1. Budget-Friendly Tips for Enjoying a Summer Holiday in 2023

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    Embrace the Sun: Budget-Friendly Tips for Enjoying a Summer Holiday

    The summer season calls for relaxation, exploration, and unforgettable memories. However, planning a summer holiday can sometimes be daunting, especially when trying to stay within a budget. But fear not! With a bit of careful financial planning, you can embark on a memorable summer holiday without breaking the bank. 

    In this blog post, we’ll guide you through some budget-friendly tips for enjoying a summer holiday while highlighting how Leeds Credit Union can help you spread the cost with our affordable loan options.

    Set a realistic budget:

    Begin your holiday planning by establishing a realistic budget. Determine the amount you can comfortably afford to spend on your vacation. Consider your income, savings, and any additional funds you can allocate.

    Choose affordable destinations:

    There are plenty of fantastic holiday destinations that offer exciting experiences without draining your wallet. Research destinations known for their affordability, such as hidden gems, off-peak locations, or budget-friendly countries. Opt for destinations with low-cost accommodation options, affordable local transportation, and reasonably priced attractions. By choosing wisely, you can enjoy a memorable holiday without sacrificing your budget.

    Flexibility in travel dates:

    Being flexible with your travel dates can result in significant savings. Consider travelling during weekdays or outside peak seasons when airfares and accommodations tend to be more affordable. Utilise travel comparison websites to find the best deals and be open to adjusting your plans slightly to secure cost-effective options.

    Embrace alternative accommodation:

    Hotels aren’t the only option for your summer holiday accommodation. Embrace alternative options such as hostels, vacation rentals, or camping sites. These choices can often provide a unique experience and save you money.

    Plan and prepare meals:

    Eating out every day can quickly eat into your holiday budget. Instead, plan and prepare some of your meals. Visit local markets or grocery stores to stock up on fresh produce and ingredients. This way, you can enjoy picnics, cook your favourite dishes, and experience the local cuisine without constantly dining at restaurants.

    Take advantage of free activities:

    Many destinations offer an array of free or low-cost activities and attractions. Research and discover parks, museums, walking tours, or festivals that won’t put a dent in your wallet. These activities can provide a rich cultural experience while keeping your budget intact.

    A holiday loan:

    Leeds Credit Union offers low-interest holiday loans designed to help you spread the cost of your summer holiday. With our flexible repayment plans and competitive interest rates, you can easily manage your finances while enjoying your well-deserved vacation. Whether you need assistance with flights, accommodation, or other holiday expenses, a holiday loan could provide the financial support you require.

    So go ahead, plan your budget-friendly summer adventure, and let Leeds Credit Union help make it a reality.

  2. Spring Cleaning Your Finances

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    Spring Cleaning Your Finances

    Spring is a time of renewal and rejuvenation and it’s also the perfect time to take a look at your finances and give them a good tidy up. Whether you’re trying to pay off debt, save for a big purchase or simply get a better handle on your finances, here are some tips to help you tidy them up this spring.

    1. Review your budget

    Start by taking a look at your budget and reviewing your expenses from the past few months. Are there any areas where you can cut back? Are you overspending in certain categories? Make adjustments to your budget as needed to ensure that you’re living within your means.

    2. Pay off your debt

    If you have any outstanding debt, now is the time to focus on paying it off. Start by prioritising your debts and paying off the ones with the highest interest rates first. Consider consolidating your debts with a debt consolidation loan that has a lower interest rate to make your repayments more manageable.

    3. Check your credit report

    Your credit score is an important factor in determining your ability to obtain credit and the interest rate you’ll be charged. Review your credit report and check for errors or inaccuracies that may be negatively affecting your score. Dispute any errors and work on improving your credit score by paying your bills on time and keeping your credit utilisation low.

    4. Shop around for better deals

    Review your bills and subscriptions, such as your internet or mobile phone plan, and see if you can find a better deal by switching providers or negotiating with your current provider. Also, take a look at your insurance policies and compare rates to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

    5. Set financial goals

    Finally, set some financial goals for the year ahead. Whether it’s paying off a credit card balance or building up an emergency savings fund, having clear goals can help you stay motivated and focused on achieving financial success.

    Leeds Credit Union – here if you need us

    Spring is the perfect time to take a close look at your finances and make any necessary adjustments. By following these tips, you can tidy up your finances and set yourself on the path to financial success. Remember, a little effort now can pay off handsomely in the long run!

    If you’ve done everything you can to save and make some extra money but are still struggling to make ends meet, you could borrow as much as £25,000 with one of our affordable loans. To find out more, click here.

  3. Case Study – Help with Outstanding Debts

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    Case Study – Help with Outstanding Debts

    Many people join Leeds Credit Union (LCU) because they need help dealing with debt. Here’s the story of one of our members who used our services to ensure they and their partner never needed to deal with unscrupulous doorstep lenders again.

    “I have been an LCU member for three years and my main reason for joining was for the personal loan and to look into savings accounts. My partner and I were short on cash at the time so we applied for a loan to repay outstanding debts and the following day we were accepted. I was shocked; I did not think that we would be accepted.

    “Being accepted for various loans over the years has been life-saving”

    “Up until joining, we had religiously been using doorstep lenders for loans, but we have stopped using them now and only use LCU for our financial needs instead. The loans are much more affordable, faster and more reliable. It is all made so easy and has reduced our monthly outgoings; I’d be lost without it.

    “Being accepted for various loans over the years has been life-saving. The money has gone towards a holiday, household goods including a new fridge, cooker, sofa and bed, and it also helps if I’m short on bills and need a top-up. The customer service is always fantastic, and the staff are so polite and helpful that they feel like family. I think I now know them all by name and vice versa!

    “Since joining I have never looked back. LCU has helped my partner and I out of some difficult financial situations. My mum is now also a member and no longer uses doorstep lenders either. We are all in a much better place now and would never go anywhere else so thank you!”

    A positive difference

    We love making a positive difference to our members by helping them reduce their monthly outgoings and pay off their loans – or credit with higher rates of interest – so it was great to read these kind words.Our affordable loans are available to all Leeds Credit Union members. For more information and to apply now click here.

  4. How To Ease Your Financial Burden in 2023

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    How To Ease Your Financial Burden in 2023

    When you think of new year’s resolutions or plans for the coming months, the first things that pop into most people’s heads usually include getting fit, drinking less alcohol or taking up a new hobby. But what about financial planning?

    Whether you’re determined to pay off your debts or serious about saving, making financial plans is a great idea. And with 2023 likely to be another financially challenging year, sticking to them could be the key to ensuring the next 12 months are prosperous.

    Of course, making plans and sticking to them are two very different things but if you’re committed to achieving yours, here are a few we think would benefit everyone.

    Deal with debt

    Thanks to credit cards and easy payment options, debt is easy to get into but much harder to get out of, especially when you take into account the regular interest payments that come with it.

    If you can, use any surplus cash to pay off your debts asap, prioritising any that could jeopardise your accommodation or heating, or land you in legal trouble if you fail to keep up repayments, then moving onto the most expensive and working your way down to the least costly.

    This is something we could also help you with via our debt consolidation loans.

    Start saving

    Although it’s widely recommended that everyone should have between three to six months worth of earnings set aside in case of an emergency, for many people this is simply impossible.

    However, there’s no denying that regularly saving as much as you can afford – even if it’s only a few pounds per week – is a great idea, so make sure you have an active savings account. Although the interest rates they’ve been paying out in recent years has been minimal, rates are on the up in 2023, making them an important asset again.

    The best way to start saving is to work out what you’re spending money on, identify what you can do without and save that money instead. Take a look at what subscriptions you have, whether it’s Netflix, Amazon or ‘bolt-ons’ related to your mobile phone and if you can live without them, cancel them and start saving what you would have spent.

    Set a budget

    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/treats 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 ahead of time and take proactive steps to ensure you have sufficient funds set aside to cover the cost without getting into more debt.

    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.

    Shop around

    Although the cost of energy is currently high regardless of supplier, it’s worth shopping around for cheaper deals on your energy bills and, if you can find any, save the difference. 

    Similarly, shopping around for cheaper groceries, broadband and mobile phone providers and fuel prices are also easy wins.

    Improve your 2023 finances with Leeds Credit Union

    At Leeds Credit Union, we provide straightforward and affordable loans and savings accounts to our members, helping them take back control of their money and achieve financial security.

    If you’re interested in becoming our newest member, click here.

  5. Case Study – A MABS Success Story

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    Case Study – A MABS Success Story

    When a Leeds Credit Union member contacted our MABS (Money and Budgeting Service) team in need of support, we were only too happy to help.

    The first step was to arrange a telephone appointment with the member, a housing association tenant in full time employment who also receives Child Benefit and was struggling to manage their finances, with rent arrears, council tax and water and energy bills all causing them concern.

    In order to ascertain the member’s financial situation, we carried out an income and expenditure assessment to get a better picture of how their money was being spent each month. Once we had all the relevant information, we offered to get in touch with their water and energy suppliers, housing association and the local council to discuss the outstanding payments and the ways in which we could help them start reducing their arrears.

    Next, we contacted the Council Tax department at the local council and were informed that the tenant had a balance of £582.30 outstanding for 2021/22 and a further £833.15 for 2022/23. We negotiated with an adviser and agreed to payments of £20 a month towards the outstanding arrears balance, plus a monthly payment of £123.00 towards this year’s bill.

    Then, with rent arrears of £631 outstanding, we calculated how much rent they could afford to pay and reached an agreement with their housing association on a monthly payment of £40 to reduce their debt in addition to their weekly rent charge. We also agreed to review this figure again if they felt they were struggling to afford it at any point in the future or if their circumstances changed.

    We then liaised with Yorkshire Water and agreed to complete an application form for the Community Trust Fund to try and get some of the member’s arrears cancelled. It was also agreed that the tenant could go on the company’s Resolve scheme, a debt support scheme designed to help customers who are struggling to catch up on previous water bills. This meant that when the member made the agreed payments over the next 12 months, Yorkshire Water would credit their account every quarter to reduce the outstanding amount.

    Finally, we contacted energy company SSE to ascertain the tenant’s outstanding balance, enable them to provide SSE with up-to-date meter readings and work out how much the tenant needed to start paying every month. A monthly figure of £185 was agreed for the next three months, at which time it would be reviewed again.

    The results

    After updating the income and expenditure assessment with the new figures, the MABS team advised the tenant that opening one of our Bill Paying Accounts would be an effective way of keeping track of their finances and allowing them to always know how much they had available to spend. It would also enable us to make direct payments for their rent, energy, water and council tax bills. The member agreed to this and said it would help them keep on top of their finances.

    By agreeing fixed monthly repayment amounts with their debtors, we have ensured our member’s bills will always be paid on time going forward, while they will also be able to reduce their arrears and still retain access to any surplus money that remains once all their agreed outgoings have been met.

    If you need help dealing with debt, our Money and Budgeting Service (MABS) could help get you back on your feet in no time. For more information, click here.

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.