21 October 2021
Building financial health for a brighter tomorrow
Today, 21st October 2021 is International Credit Union Day.
Celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948, International Credit Union Day reflects on the credit union movement’s history and achievements and raises awareness about the sector. It’s also a time to blow our own trumpet (just a little), and celebrate the ways credit unions have improved the lives of their members around the world.
This year’s International Credit Union Day is themed on “Building financial health for a brighter tomorrow”. Financial wellbeing has been, and will always be, a commitment for credit unions across the globe but is particularly relevant now when we’re all assessing the financial impact of the pandemic on our lives and pockets.
So, what exactly is our ‘financial health’?
Financial health is a term used to describe the state and stability of someone’s finances.
There are many elements to financial health, including (but not limited to) the amount of savings you have, how much of your income you are spending on outgoing expenses, how much you may be putting away for retirement, and how much debt you have.
The more stable your financial health the more financial freedom you will have and the less worry and stress.
How can we improve our financial health?
Thankfully, there are ways we can improve our financial health; some which may require a little more organisation than we are used to, or will even require some changes to our lifestyle.
Here are a few tried and tested steps which are effective in improving your finances, resulting in a better future going forward.
- Make a monthly budget to understand where your money goes
- Start paying off any high interest debt you have
· Start a savings plan that you can manage
- Pay bills on time - this will build up your credit score
- Build an emergency fund - money you save and put aside to cover a financial shock
- Periodically check your credit score
How can a credit union help to improve your financial health?
We are here for our members and do all we can to ensure they maintain or improve their financial wellbeing and resilience. Here’s how:
· We offer low interest loans which are fair and affordable
· We can help you to save by taking a small amount from your loan repayment and putting it in your savings account
· We typically pay our members higher rates on their savings than other accounts do
· We treat people as individuals when looking at their finances
If you are worried about money and would like to improve your financial situation we have lots of information on our website. There are also links to many reputable organisations that can help advise you with any financial difficulties you may be experiencing.