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Tag Archive: Finance

  1. Mental Health and Saving

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    Mental Health and Saving

    Saving money each month can have a positive impact on your mental health in several ways. Here are a few of them:

    It reduces stress and anxiety

    Financial stress is a common cause of anxiety and can have a detrimental impact on mental health. By saving money each month, even if it’s only a small amount, you can reduce financial stress and anxiety by building a safety net and having some funds to help cover unexpected expenses.

    It improves feelings of security

    Having savings can help improve feelings of security and stability. Knowing that you have money set aside provides a sense of comfort and peace of mind, which can improve overall mental health.

    It increases confidence and self-esteem

    Saving money can also increase confidence. Achieving your financial goals, no matter how small, can provide a sense of accomplishment and boost your self-esteem, which helps improve mental well-being.

    It reduces the financial strain on relationships

    Financial pressures are a common cause of relationship problems. By saving money to make you more financially resilient, you can reduce any financial strains in your relationships and help reduce your anxiety and stress levels.

    It provides a sense of control

    Saving money can also provide a sense of control over your finances. This can help reduce feelings of helplessness and increase feelings of empowerment, which can have a positive impact on mental health.

    Get saving with Leeds Credit Union

    Making saving a priority is a great way to improve your financial well-being and boost your mental health. We offer a range of savings accounts that enable you to make regular contributions and access your money instantly – for more information, click here.

    We also offer a Money and Budgeting Advice Service (MABS) to our members to help them make the most of their money. Find out more about it here.

  2. Case Study – Helping Reduce Financial Stress

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    Case Study – Helping Reduce Financial Stress

    Although April is nationally recognised as Stress Awareness Month, financial stress is an issue that can affect anybody at any time. With that in mind, we were very pleased to receive some feedback from a member who we recently helped reduce their financial stress.

    They emailed us to say:

    “Since receiving my first loan from Leeds Credit Union, I have managed to get my finances into a much better position.

    “I’ve since been accepted for a second loan and am making additional payments to pay it off as fast as I can. I am also depositing small amounts of money into my savings account so that I have something set aside for a rainy day.

    “I am very grateful to everybody that works for LCU. The impact of their products and services has enabled me to become much more financially stress free so I just wanted to say a big ‘thank you’ to the staff there!”

    There’s nothing we like better than helping our members, which is why we make sure they have easy access to our range of affordable loans, all of which are tailored to suit their individual circumstances.

    With our employees also on hand to offer help and assistance, we’re proud to be helping our local community cope with the ongoing cost of living crisis and the financial stress that has come with it.

    To find out more about our loans, savings accounts and other services, click here.

  3. The Spring Budget 2023 – How Will I Be Affected?

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    The Spring Budget 2023 – How Will I Be Affected?

    On March 15th, 2023, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the UK’s budget for the fiscal year 2023-2024. The budget covered a range of topics, from taxes and energy bills to childcare support; here are some of the key points.

    Energy prices

    The Energy Price Guarantee will remain at £2,500 a year, it was announced.

    The Government confirmed the Energy Price Guarantee – which dictates what most households in the UK pay for energy – will be kept at £2,500 a year for three months from 1 April, instead of raising it by 20% as planned.

    Childcare support

    Several changes are being made to childcare supports for parents, including:

    • New free childcare. From April 2024, anyone living in England with a two-year-old will be eligible for 15 hours of free childcare. This will rise to 30 hours for any child aged from nine months to school age from September 2025.
    • Upfront funding for childcare costs for people claiming universal credit. Anyone eligible will get the first month’s charges paid for them before they start to pay in arrears. The maximum amount available will increase to £951 for one child and £1,630 for two or more children.

    Prepayment meters

    From 1 July, prepayment meter customers will pay less for energy, as the Energy Price Guarantee will be adjusted so that prepay meter customers pay no more for energy than those who pay by direct debit. 

    As a result, prepay households will save an average of £45 a year on their energy bills.

    Tax

    The personal income tax allowance will increase from £12,570 to £13,000, meaning individuals will be able to earn more before they start paying income tax.

    The National Insurance Contribution (NIC) threshold will rise from £9,568 to £9,880, providing a tax cut for those on lower incomes.

    Healthcare

    The NHS will receive an additional £6 billion in funding, which will be used to tackle waiting lists and improve mental health services.

    Education

    Education spending will increase by £5 billion, with a focus on school catch-up programmes and vocational training.

    Affordable housing

    The government will invest £2 billion in affordable housing projects across the country.

    Transport

    The government will invest £15 billion in improving the UK’s transport infrastructure, including new roads, rail links and cycling infrastructure.

    In conclusion…

    Overall, the Chancellor’s budget was focused on providing support for key areas such as the NHS and education, while also investing in the UK’s future through green initiatives and technological development. 

    While some may criticise the tax cuts for higher earners, the government argues that these measures are necessary to stimulate economic growth and job creation. Only time will tell whether these measures will have the desired effect but it is reassuring to see the government is taking steps to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing the UK today.

    If you are experiencing financial difficulties, one of our small loans or savings accounts and Money & Budgeting advice service could help you become more financially stable.

  4. Show Your Finances Some Love for Valentine’s Day 2023

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    Show Your Finances Some Love for Valentine’s Day 2023

    Love is in the air for Valentine’s Day 2023, but instead of focusing on your partner, why not turn your attention to your finances?

    Here are our top tips for looking after your money.

    Saving

    Whether it’s to help keep you safe for an emergency or to help you afford a big ticket item like a car, most people are 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. Begin by working out what you’re spending money on, identifying what you can do without and then start saving 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. Even if you only save a few pounds per week, it all adds up.  

    At Leeds Credit Union, we offer a comprehensive range of savings accounts to help ensure your money can grow consistently and securely.

    Consolidate your existing debts

    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 £25,000 to help them become more financially stable. For more information about the different loans we offer, click here.

    Budgeting

    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 also available to help tenants of Housing Leeds create realistic budgets and ensure their bills are paid on time.

    Sign up to online banking

    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.

    Talk to somebody

    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.

    How can Leeds Credit Union help?

    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.

  5. 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.