Now You have Time, Take Time to Make Smart Money Moves

by Dundalk Credit Union , 22nd April 2020

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We could never have imagined these times we find ourselves in now.  However, this is our reality, for whatever time it lasts, so let’s take the extra time we now have to examine our financial commitments and see where and how we could reduce outgoings and possibly make savings.

Take an aerial view

When things are challenging and we are under pressure it can be hard to see the wood from the trees.  Take some time out to list all outgoing expenses on a weekly or monthly basis using simple pen and paper or excel, if you love a spreadsheet.  You need to include all outgoings, things like school lunch money, take-aways, from the regular to the irregular outgoings.  A good thing to include are large annual bills, car and home insurance for example, work out their monthly cost and include this in your outgoings too.

You can then divide those outgoing expenses into essential and non-essential expenses, the non-essential items might give you areas where savings can be made, these include items like monthly subscriptions for TV packages, gym membership, etc.  Separating your essential and non-essential expenses allows you to see what is a need (essential) and what is a want type (non-essential) spend (hobbies, luxuries, the extras we all love).  The reality is with our new temporary way of living, recreational spend is reduced significantly at the moment anyway.  You should always check that before reducing or cancelling any subscription payments you are not incurring a cancellation charge.

Review your Statements

A great piece of advice comes from Money Advice and Budgeting Service, or MABS. They recommend sitting down and going through your bank statements to try to identify any unnecessary spending that could be building on a monthly basis.  For example, historic gadget insurance policies that you may be unaware of or forgotten about. Common example of this is downloading a game for your child that has an automatic renewal, an easy one to forget to cancel.

Switch and Save – Consolidating your monthly repayments

If you have an existing loan or costly high interest credit card monthly repayments, a sensible thing to consider is consolidation.  Remember credit card interest rates are typically very high and for many can be a long-term drain on monthly income especially if you are only paying off the minimum payment.  Dundalk Credit Union’s Switch & Save Loan combines all your eligible monthly outgoings into a single monthly payment option at one interest rate.  We have a team of loan advisors available to chat through your own situation and together we will be able to see if consolidation makes sense for you.

Anne-Marie, a member since 2019, recently Switched & Saved with Dundalk Credit Union, she said  “I have saved €232 a month on my monthly loan repayments by Switching & Saving with Dundalk Credit Union, one of their friendly loans team reviewed my outgoings and saw the potential saving with a Switch & Save loan.  They even took care of paying off my bank loan and I now save that surplus and will have a substantial amount of my child’s college fees saved by September 2020, without any additional financial pressure.

To Find out more, choose any of these options:

Utility Service Providers – Shop Around & Save

How often have you looked at your utility bills and said I’m going to look at better options, but never got round to it?  Switching providers is not as complicated as you think. Switching can be done over the phone or better still online and won’t take long to do, and let’s face it we have a lot of time at the moment!  Check out price comparisons websites for current deals and offerings.

By shopping around and comparing utility providers you could reduce your monthly household expenditure. Take this time to look at common utility expenses such as TV and broadband, mobile phone, energy provider and health insurance. You could be surprised at the possible reduction in price if you switch to a different provider.   You should always check before switching your provider that you are not incurring a cancellation charge or a change in service – take time to compare, you’ll be glad once you make the right switch.

Set a Savings Goal

If you are lucky enough to be in full employment during these times, could you set aside savings?  Look at all of those cappuccinos, lunches out, shopping treats that are now out of bounds, make a commitment to put that “extra” into your savings account.  You can set up a standing order to put this extra money into your Credit Union account.  Your BIC/IBAN codes can be found on your Credit Union transaction receipts or you can ask one of our team for help. See how much you can save now those treats are out of reach!    Set a savings goal, buy that special something when we return to “normal” life.  Remember we should save from the top (when you get paid), not from the bottom when excuses get in the way!

If You are Worried About Loan Repayments

At Dundalk Credit Union, we’re here to help you and we will work with you in any way we can. We encourage you to contact us, as soon as possible, if you need advice or support. We have a range of solutions if you are facing financial difficulty and we will be flexible to your needs.

We are Here for You

During these challenging times, we would like to remind you that we are here for you.  We encourage you, where possible, to stay at home and interact with us online or by phone (042-9335489).  If you come into our office please be assured that we are adhering to all HSE COVID 19 guidelines on social distancing, hand sanitising, coughing etiquette, etc.  Staying apart won’t stop us staying in touch.

For more information check our website on https://www.dundalkcu.ie/news_events/information-on-covid-19/

Download our simple and easy to use Budgeting Sheet below

Budgeting Sheet

 

 Dundalk Credit Union is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.


Warning: If you do not meet the repayments on your loan your account will go into arrears. This may affect your credit rating which may limit your ability to access credit in the future.


Warning: This new credit facility may take longer to repay than your previous credit facility. You may pay more than if you paid over a shorter term.