In an ideal world, you’d love to be able to comfortably save money for a house deposit, a car or even a family holiday. But in reality, simply getting by is the financial priority of most people at the moment.
Times are hard, but as a GMB Credit Union member, you’re never alone.
In this blog, we want to discuss how you can take steps every day to build a brighter financial future with the support of your Credit Union.
Your money: how is the cost of living crisis affecting you?
The cost of living crisis means inflation is causing the prices of key household expenditures like energy and food to rise much faster than household incomes.
Gas prices increased by 129.4% in the year to January 2023, while electricity shot up by 66.7% in price. Plus, the government’s energy bill support scheme is now coming to an end.
A survey revealed 24% of UK households regularly run out of money for essentials most months or days, and almost 40% end the month with zero cash left over.
Meanwhile, research showed nearly 90% of food banks reported higher demand in December 2022 and January 2023 than the year before.
Short-term financial goals
Despite the cost of living crisis, there are still ways you can make small steps towards a positive financial future for you and your family.
Below, you’ll find some short-term financial goals which you can commit to right now.
Stay in touch
Whatever is going on with your finances, burying your head in the sand will make it worse.
So, promise yourself that if you need support at any time, you’ll reach out to us for a zero-judgement chat. Together, we can find solutions to protect you now and avoid future problems.
You can send us secure messages 24/7 using the Nivo app or give us a call during our opening hours.
Expand your knowledge
You may feel like you’re not “good with money”, but there’s always time to learn and expand your knowledge to make things easier to handle in the future.
We have plenty of free resources to help with that - from a budget planner to helpful links and useful articles.
Improve your credit score
If you can’t afford to save money at the moment, one positive action you can take to benefit your financial health long-term is working on your credit score.
Read our blog on 10 ways to improve your credit score.
Long-term financial goals
Although it feels like everything is a struggle right now, the cost of living crisis won’t last forever, so it’s always wise to think ahead when it comes to your financial wellbeing and your family’s future.
Once you’ve taken steps to address your immediate financial needs, consider setting some longer-term goals to motivate you to stay in control of your money.
You have a choice of savings accounts available with GMB Credit Union to support your financial goals, whether it’s spreading the cost of Christmas or putting funds aside for your children or grandchildren through a Junior Saver.
Your Member Saver account gives you flexible options - save the same amount each month via standing order or make lump sum transfers when you can afford it.
Plus, you can apply easily online and receive an annual dividend payment every April.
Clear your debts
Paying off your debts is a beneficial long-term goal to work towards giving you peace of mind and financial health.
There’s plenty of support and advice available to you if you’re hoping to take control of your debts but if you're unsure where to start - visit our debt advice resources here.
Pass on good money habits
Passing on good money habits to your children and grandchildren is a fantastic legacy for your family’s financial wellbeing.
As money habits begin to form as young as seven, it’s never too early to start educating younger family members about the value of money, setting a good example and supporting little ones to develop the priceless skill of money management.
3 ways your Credit Union can help today
While it may feel like there’s no solution to money worries, there is always a way forward - and we’re here to guide you through.
Here are three ways we can do that.
- Flexible and fair loans - we always try not to over burden or members financially focusing on what you can afford to pay back and you only pay interest on your decreasing loan value. Find out more here.
- Money Navigator - if you need help working through your immediate financial situation, we provide support to guide you through it. Use our free Money Navigator tool to get on the right track today.
- Instant messaging - use your NIVO app to contact us, apply for loans and savings accounts, check your balance, or make a withdrawal request. You’ll always get a reply within an hour during office hours.
Remember, we’re owned by GMB members and we are not driven by profit. Our entire focus is you and your financial health.
Not a member yet? Apply online to join us by completing the website loan or savings application form.