Sharing the love for Hertsavers Credit Union

At Hertsavers, we are always willing to help our members where we can. A big thank you to one of our members who has shared her experience and some love for Tracey, from our customer services team. Please note that for authenticity, we have made minimal edits to the text.

I left my town of Bradford fleeing DV with my young 7-month son. I landed at Hertford council and asked for help. I didn’t want to go in a woman refuge as I didn’t want my baby there so my only option was to rent privately as I had not been in the area long enough and family ties were not strong enough.

I had no money nothing. So the Council told me about the rent deposit scheme. Said all I needed to do was to find housing at the right cost. And they would pay it for me. The first month’s rent was a bond equivalent to the rent and the administration fee for the estate agent. Brilliant.

It was hard to find a landlord who would accept DAD but I found a nice flat perfect and a great estate agent and the council did the rest.
Fast forward maybe a year and I got a call from Tracey. I didn’t know that the rent deposit scheme was a loan all along so I owed loads. Tracey helped me come up with a solution and I managed to pay it off at 6 payments a month. £5 and £10 installments. Sent up standing order.

….well fast forward another year or so and it was paid off and I had loads saved up. I was able to take my child away on holiday to Spain. It was amazing.

Got with a boyfriend who I know now, was a financial abuser and always wanted money off me so he took it slowly – promising to pay back but never did. Anyway was a week before Christmas, my son was turning 3 and I had given him all the money saved for Christmas and was stuck. Desperate I called the credit union for a loan. Tracey answered and honestly help me so much She went above and beyond to get me the loan fast. I was living in a caravan site at the time and through a fax machine in the campsite office she got me the loan after tears and loads of paperwork. Christmas was saved.

And since then, I have always got the loan twice a year. Every December and roughly between May and July so I can always have a Christmas and a sunny holiday in year. My son is now 10 and so far Tracey has always been on the phone where I have had queries and my son has had his holidays.

I have another baby boy now and credit union is a life saver at times. Tracey is amazing. Because as a struggling single mum at the time, I just wanted the best for my child and with the care and patience of Tracey, I was able to give him the best. It is a child benefit loan after all and so now my children will always benefit from it. Thanks to Tracey. I have also told a fair few single mums who are struggling about my experience of receiving a child benefit loan and how I managed to get it to work for me twice a year that they now do exactly the same.

Thanks so much Tracey in my darkest times… back at the caravan park 2015, you saved my life and my little boys Christmas. We will forever be truly grateful. By the way I left that boyfriend there… and came back home to go on to live my best life. Always with credit union holidays to keep my kids happy. Thank you again Tracey . xxx”

How can I celebrate Mother’s Day on a budget?

Mother’s Day is a special occasion to show appreciation to the mothers and mother figures in our lives, but you don’t have to break the bank to make it special. Here are some budget-friendly ideas to celebrate Mother’s Day:

Make a homemade card: A heartfelt and personalized card can be more meaningful than an expensive store-bought one. You can use craft supplies you already have at home, such as construction paper, markers, stickers, and glitter, to create a one-of-a-kind card.

Cook a special meal: You can cook your mother’s favorite meal or bake a special dessert. You can also make a picnic and take her to a nearby park or beach.

Give her a day off: Let your mother relax and take a break from her daily responsibilities. Offer to take care of household chores, do the grocery shopping, or run errands for her.

Create a photo album: Gather old family photos and create a photo album or scrapbook. You can include pictures of memorable moments, family vacations, and milestones.

Have a movie night: Set up a cozy movie night at home with your mother’s favorite snacks and movies. You can also watch a classic movie together or have a marathon of her favorite TV series.

Give her a gift of time: Spend time with your mother doing something she enjoys, such as going for a walk, doing a puzzle, or playing a game.

Remember, the most important thing is to show your mother that you love and appreciate her. You can make Mother’s Day special without spending a lot of money.

How does Hertsavers support mothers?

As we approach Mother’s Day, it’s important to reflect on the many ways in which credit unions support and empower mothers. Credit unions are financial cooperatives that operate with the purpose of providing affordable financial services to their members. Here are some ways in which credit unions can help mothers:

Flexible financial solutions: Credit unions offer a range of financial products and services that can be tailored to meet the unique needs of mothers. Whether it’s a savings account for college tuition or a low-interest loan to help with unexpected expenses, credit unions can provide flexible solutions that can help mothers manage their finances more effectively.

Community support: Credit unions are often deeply involved in the communities they serve, and this can be especially valuable for mothers who may need extra support. Many credit unions offer financial education programs and other resources that can help mothers learn about budgeting, saving, and investing. Additionally, credit unions may partner with local organizations to provide additional support services, such as job training or child care.

Affordable banking options: Many credit unions offer lower fees and interest rates than traditional banks, which can be especially beneficial for mothers who are working to stretch their budgets. By offering affordable banking options, credit unions can help mothers save money and manage their finances more effectively.

Empowering women: Credit unions have a long history of empowering women, and this commitment to gender equality can be especially meaningful for mothers. Many credit unions are run by women, and they may offer resources and support that can help mothers succeed in their personal and professional lives.

Social responsibility: Credit unions are guided by a commitment to social responsibility, which can be especially important for mothers who are invested in creating a better world for their children. Credit unions may prioritize investments in socially responsible projects, such as renewable energy or affordable housing, and may offer members opportunities to support these initiatives.

In summary, credit unions can be valuable resources for mothers who are looking to manage their finances, build their communities, and create a better world for their children. By offering flexible financial solutions, community support, affordable banking options, and a commitment to social responsibility, credit unions can help mothers achieve their financial and personal goals. This Mother’s Day, let’s celebrate the many ways in which credit unions empower and support mothers.

Family budgeting in the current cost of living crisis

Managing a family budget can be challenging even in the best of times. However, with the current cost of living crisis, it can be even more difficult to stay on top of your finances. Rising costs of housing, food, healthcare, and education have put a strain on many families’ budgets. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips and strategies for managing your family budget during these challenging times.

  1. Create a budget
    The first step in managing your family budget is to create a budget. This involves listing your monthly income and expenses. Be sure to include all sources of income, such as salaries, bonuses, and any other income streams. Then, list all of your expenses, including fixed expenses like rent/mortgage payments, utilities, insurance, and variable expenses like groceries, dining out, entertainment, and more. This will give you a clear idea of where your money is going each month.
  2. Prioritise your expenses
    Once you have created your budget, it’s time to prioritise your expenses. Start by focusing on your fixed expenses, such as your rent/mortgage payment and utility bills. These expenses must be paid on time, or you risk losing your home or utilities. Next, prioritise your variable expenses based on their importance to you and your family. For example, groceries and healthcare expenses are likely to be high on the list of priorities, while entertainment expenses may be lower down the list.
  3. Cut back on unnecessary expenses
    One of the most effective ways to manage your family budget during a cost of living crisis is to cut back on unnecessary expenses. Take a close look at your budget and see if there are any expenses you can live without, such as cable TV or dining out at expensive restaurants. Consider alternatives to expensive activities, such as taking a family hike instead of going to the movies. Be creative and find ways to cut back without sacrificing too much.
  4. Find ways to save money
    In addition to cutting back on expenses, there are many other ways to save money. Look for deals on groceries and household items by shopping at discount stores, using coupons, or buying in bulk. Consider buying used items instead of new ones, such as furniture or clothing. If you have debt, look for ways to pay it off faster, such as making extra payments or consolidating your debt. This can save you money in the long run by reducing interest charges.
  5. Stay on top of your bills
    Finally, it’s crucial to stay on top of your bills to avoid late fees and other penalties. Set up automatic payments for your fixed expenses, such as your mortgage or rent, and consider using a budgeting app to help you keep track of your variable expenses. Make sure you pay all of your bills on time to avoid late fees and other penalties that can quickly add up and put a strain on your budget.

In conclusion, managing a family budget during a cost of living crisis can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. By creating a budget, prioritising your expenses, cutting back on unnecessary expenses, finding ways to save money, and staying on top of your bills, you can take control of your finances and navigate these challenging times with confidence. Remember to be flexible, creative, and willing to make changes as needed to ensure the financial stability and well-being of your family.