The theme for International Credit Union Day 2022 was “Empowering your financial future with a credit union”. This encouraged us to show you, our members, and anyone else who is thinking of joining us on how we thrive on financially empowering our members.
What does it mean to be financially empowered?
As Dave Ramsey, an author, said, “You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.”
By being financially empowered you will have control of your financial situation. You have the knowledge and resources to make your money choices and move towards your future goals. You will be able to overcome any obstacles that come your way and you will be able to enjoy life.
Some of the ways that you can empower your financial future with Hertsavers are as follows.
1. Build up your savings to cover any emergencies.
We have a wide range of savings accounts that can help you jumpstart your savings.
What’s more, you should aim to save money on a monthly basis. If you are on the Hertsavers Salary Saving Scheme, you can automatically save as your earn so you don’t have to worry about remembering to put money each month. Find out more.
2. Asking for help when you need it
Sometimes changes in our lives can lead to financial difficulties. At Hertsavers, we support our members with loan products designed to sustain and uplift you during difficult times. From offering top-ups on child benefit loans to Homeowner loans, we’re constantly reviewing and creating new products to suit our members’ financial situation.
3. Create a financial plan
Having a financial plan where the ultimate goal is to save money, create an emergency fund, and keeping track of where your money is going, will not only improve the way your feel about money but also give you control over your finances.
4. Set financial goals
When setting goals, think of them as long term or short term goals.
Long-term financial goals
Think about what you want in the long run. Is it to be able to own your home? Provide the best education for your children? Retire earlier?
These are called long-term goals as they may take time to achieve.
Short-term financial goals
These are goals that are quick and easier to achieve over a short period of time. For example, saving up for a summer holiday; buying a car; renovating your home; saving up for your wedding.
Set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) goals so that they are easy to focus on.
5. Make a budget and review it
Budgeting is an effective way to track your spending which would eventually help you reach your financial goals.
By reviewing your budget constantly, you will be able to see what you are spending on. If there is any unnecessary spending such as subscriptions that you aren’t using or contracts which have ended, you can cancel these or look for better deals.
You can use budgeting tools to keep track of your expenses.
6. Become financially literate through self-learning. Some of the ways that you can do this is through videos, blogs , podcasts and books.
You can even become a volunteer board member where you can sharpen your financial skills, gain leadership skills and network with like-minded individuals.
7. Do a financial health check at least once a year to find out what your current state of affairs is and make adjustments. You can find out how you can do a financial health check here.
Why choose a credit union in the first place?
• Equal Ownership – Credit unions are democratically controlled and member-owned and member-operated. Each member has equal ownership and one vote regardless of how much money he or she has in savings.
• Not for Profit – Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives that provide a safe, convenient place for members to save money and access loans and other financial services at reasonable rates.
• Social Purpose: People Helping People – Credit unions exist to serve their members, not to make a profit. Every member counts, including those of modest means. This “people-first” philosophy impels credit unions and their employees to get involved in their community and support worthwhile causes.
• Volunteer Leadership – Each credit union is governed by a volunteer board of directors elected by and from the credit union’s membership.
• Financial Education for Members – Credit unions place particular importance on educational opportunities for their members and the public to help everyone become better-educated consumers of financial services.
• Trust – Lately credit unions have received positive press for being trustworthy and resilient institutions during a tumultuous time. Credit union members worldwide can be proud of these accomplishments and rest assured that their money is safe at the credit union.
By empowering your financial future, you will be able to reduce your stress, have a better outlook towards life and achieve your long-term goals.