Saving money can be difficult to manage, but with a few small changes you may be able to put away a little bit of money. This can help you cope in the event of an unplanned expense or change in circumstances.
Saving a little at a time isn’t just planning for the future – it can also help you afford to buy new gadgets or home appliances, or go towards a family holiday or celebration.
Open a specialist account
Some Credit Unions offer a variety of savings accounts, including a Christmas Club specifically designed to help you save up for the festive season.
For keeping control of your regular bills and expenses, Credit Unions may also have a bill paying account. You pay in a set amount each month to cover outgoings like rent and utility bills, so you can use the rest of your income for day-to-day expenses or saving.
Open a government Help to Save account
The government’s Help to Save account pays you an extra 50p for every £1 you save. You can set up an account if you’re receiving working tax credit or universal credit, and can save between £1 and £50 each month. You don’t have to pay money in every month.
Borrowing money safely
If you need to borrow money, make sure you do so in an affordable way through a legitimate lender. Responsible lenders will help you understand the risks and impact of taking out a loan. They’ll give you clear details of how much you need to pay back and when.
Before you take out a loan
- Check the interest rate and APR.
- Confirm how much you have to pay each month and in total.
- Find out about penalties for missed or late payments.
Credit Union loans
Credit Unions are usually a not-for-profit financial cooperative that offers a range of financial services. They maybe able to provide loans at reasonable rates.
Avoid loan sharks
You should avoid borrowing money from loan sharks. All legal lenders are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The following are signs a loan may not be legal and is being provided by a loan shark:
- you’re offered a cash loan
- there’s no paperwork
- large amounts of interest or APR are added to your loan
- your bank card, benefit card, passport, or valuables are taken from you
- you feel threatened.
We work with an organisation called Stop Loan Sharks to crack down on these criminals and protect communities from the harm they cause. The Stop Loan Sharks team also offers help to anyone who has become a victim of a loan shark. Their help is free, confidential and will give you the protection and support you need.