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How a spring-clean can leave you with more pounds in your pocket
It’s officially Spring! Though we may welcome the longer days and the promise of warmer weather with open arms, we may be less enthusiastic about the seasonal tradition to ‘spring clean’.
In fact, blowing the cobwebs out of your finances can make a massive difference to the pounds in your pocket. Manchester Credit Union has swept up the best tips to help worker bees to dust off your dosh and help your balance to feel sparkling new:
Switch and save
From insurance and energy bills to your mobile and gym membership – think of the savings that could add up if you were to shop around for the best deals on each expenditure! Many providers include price increases in contract renewals, in the hope customers will be too busy to switch. Spending a few hours shopping around could save you the equivalent of months of savings.
Keep a diary for a week
Kick-start your spring clean with an accurate and up to date view of your finances by keeping a diary of your money going in and money going out. Many are surprised at how much the coffees on the go and the online shopping sprees add up to. Try it for a week and see for yourself when and where your spending could be reduced!
Kick the habit
Give both your health and wealth a boost this Spring by trying to kick costly and unhealthy habits. Wonder how much you would save by stopping smoking? Try out this free cost calculator – and if that convinces you to kick the habit, take advantage of lots of free resources to help you to stop smoking, including stop smoking websites.
Dig out the cookbook
Cut the costs of your food shopping by cooking batches of pasta sauces, pizzas and casseroles from scratch – freezing portions ready to microwave in replacement of expensive and often unhealthy microwave meals.
Pick up tips on saving time and money with quick and easy homemade meals from bloggers such as A girl called Jack.
Prepare for a rainy day
April showers may be upon us – so make sure you’re prepared for a rainy day when it comes to your finances. Start saving with us today so that you’re not caught out by unexpected costs.
Money saving tips for your dream day
Getting married is one of the most important days in your life, but the cost of a dress, cake, venue and food can mean that the cost really adds up.
With the average cost of a wedding being £25,000, it is easy to see how costs can spiral out of control and what is meant to be a fairytale can end up being a financial nightmare.
Manchester Credit Union has put together some top tips to make you a savvy bride and groom, showing you how you can have a memorable day without breaking the bank.
1. Firstly, it is important to have a budget and stick to it. Think about what you can afford to spend as you may also be planning a family or buying a house, and weigh up where you want your money to go. It is worth noting that one of the biggest causes of divorce is debt and finance worries, so make sure you enter married life without financially crippling yourself!
2. Pick wisely when it comes to the day and the season that you get married in. As we can never predict the weather here in the UK – does it really matter if your wedding is in the height of summer season or not? You spend most of the day inside anyway, and any good photographer will tell you that brilliant sunshine does not produce the best photos. Choosing to get married in Winter and on a Sunday or Friday can also cut the costs of a venue by half, and Monday to Thursday even more so.
3. Think very carefully about guests. It is amazing how the numbers can soon add up. Narrow down your guest list by sticking to close family and friends during the day and then invite more guests to the evening party, where there is less expense. There is no need to feel guilty, this is your day, and it will be a relief to some – who of course will be on their own budget to attend!
4. Haggle for bargains. Not a trait us Brits are widely known for but most wedding suppliers would be open to it. Make sure if you do bag a deal that you get an agreement in writing - so that you have a record in case there are any disagreements in the future. It is also always worth asking for something to be chucked in for free, and tap up talented friends to help with the big day. Whether that be someone who can make dresses, cakes, sing, photographer or even act as the master of ceremonies.
5. Weddings are a major expenditure and like buying a house, many people simply can’t afford to do it without a loan. If you decided to take out a loan, Manchester Credit Union, will ensure that it is affordable for you. And if you take just one piece of advice from this, please do avoid dangerous high cost credit, including payday loans, with APRs of up to 6,000%.Get in touch for more information on easy saving and affordable borrowing for your big day: email@example.com
Resolutions To Make You Feel Richer
Make 2017 the best year yet for your pocket in 3 simple steps:
1. Grab end-of-sale bargains to create a Christmas cupboard
With massive discounts- often more than 50% - now is the time to prepare for 2017’s Christmas with gift wrap, cards and decorations in the January sales. The end of each season is usually met with sales in high street stores- keep an eye out for bargain presents throughout the year to make December less of an expense. You’ll be delighted when you return to the stash later in the year!
2. Start saving early to spread the cost
Christmas may be the last thing on your mind as you pack away the decorations for another year – but now is the time to start thinking about saving for a stress free festive season. Save spare change and watch the coins add up over the twelve months – or go one step further and join our Christmas Club to save regularly without the temptation of taking out the savings until November- members also get a chance of winning a hamper worth £200!
3. De-clutter and make some dosh
From Christmas, birthday to redecorating the house – a lot of unwanted gifts, furniture and ornaments can be accumulated throughout the year. Sharpen your selling skills with Money Saving Expert’s 40+ eBay Selling Tricks, or check out local Facebook For Sale Or Swap pages and car boot sales.
Join the Christmas Club now to guarantee more pounds in your pocket ready for the 2017 festive season. Contact us today: firstname.lastname@example.org
MCU Newsletter - Winter 2016
With Christmas around the corner, the festive fever is kicking in. Make sure this year is a savvy season: read our top festive fixes to fill the Christmas stockings without ending up with an empty pocket.
Get cash back from your gifts
If you have found the gifts you were looking for online, be sure to check out cashback sites to see if you can gain cash back as you spend. These websites require a free sign up, and then direct you to your favourite websites while giving you cash for clicking through via their pages.
Make a list – and check it twice
It is all too easy for your mind to go blank when entering a busy shop full of Christmas shoppers. As a result, you can walk out with arms full of overpriced presents. Prepare a list of present ideas for each friend or relative, which matches your budget to make sure you save money – and time!
Work, family, clubs and social groups can lead to a long Christmas list to buy presents for! Create merry magic amongst groups of friends by suggesting a Secret Santa: secretly allocate each person with a recipient of a gift, making sure to set a low budget to create a challenge of finding thoughtful and inventive presents. Use free websites such as the name generator to organise your Secret Santa quickly and easily.
Avoid the New Year debt hangover
If budgeting hasn’t gone to plan, try to avoid pay day lenders, door step lenders and ‘buy now, pay later’ catalogue deals, which hike up the interest after the initial payment period. Explore options of affordable loans from us, or explore ways to cut your costs and avoid having to borrow.Looking for more information on easy saving and affordable loans? Get in contact now at email@example.com
Announcing our FIRST Credit Union Awareness Week
We are all buzzing hear at Manchester Credit Union as it will be a landmark date in the calendar for us next week, launching the city’s first every Credit Union Awareness Week. (October 17-21)
The aim of the campaign is to help people break the cycle of high cost borrowing and escape debt by highlighting how we have a better way to save, borrow and plan for tomorrow with our #MoneyBee challenge.
In the last 12 months, Manchester Credit Union has helped save its members £3million, and supported hundreds of people out of debt, but we know there are many more worker bees out there we could be helping and we are waiting to help them at our hive headquarters on Brazennose Street.
People in the city from single mums, working families and young men and women are using expensive credit cards or payday loan to help get them through each month or when in a financial crisis, whether that be when a washing machine breaking down or unforeseen car repairs crop up.
I would urge all these people to get in touch with us. Our members are at the heart of everything that we do, so we offer an ethical way to take out a loan and break free from the cycle of debt that far too many of us are familiar with. We are there when you need us most, helping you with a fair deal on our loans, and encouraging you to save for your future.
On top of that, the money we provide is for Manchester and stays in Manchester to help people take control of their money matters – with no big banker bonuses. We are for Mancs not banks!
So please don’t hesitate to get in touch via our website to take the #MoneyBee challenge by getting a quick quote, or speak to a member of staff at our headquarters, who can offer friendly advice with no judgement on your circumstances.
Please look out for us across the city during the Credit Union Awareness Week where we will be giving away honey and asking you to the #MoneyBee challenge.
You can also enter our competition to win a Champagne Afternoon Tea for Two at Gotham Hotel’s Honey Restaurant. Check out our homepage for more details!
Lastly, I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has been involved in supporting this landmark week in our calendar, from Maxine Peake to Northwards Housing, Great Places, Wythenshawe Hospital and MP Mike Kane. Follow our campaign on twitter: @CUManchester and Facebook.
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