How to talk to your children about money

Looking back at your own childhood, what experiences did you have with money that has led to your current financial habits? Were people around you careful with money or did they spend it like there was an endless supply?

With financial literacy, it’s a good idea to start teaching your children about money from an early age. Here are some ways that you can do so:

1. Be open and honest

When money is tight, it’s natural to keep your loved ones away from your financial woes. However, by sharing stories about past regrets and presenting financial difficulties can actually help your children learn valuable lessons about managing money. How? By showing them how you plan to get your feet back on the ground after a financial issue can actually have a positive impact on your child’s money habits. Teach them the importance of planning (budgeting) and how to prepare for financial success.

This leads on to the next point:

2. Set shared savings goals

This is a great way to teach your children about money where you set a shared saving goal and follow the plan through. This could be by doing something you and your children would like to do together. For example, with summer holidays in just a few months’ time, you could plan some summer activities. Come up with plan to budget and save money together.

If you have older children that are able to work, ask them to come up with a certain amount every week or month. If you have younger children, give them chores to earn extra cash. You can then match their contribution when they supply their share of savings. To make it tangible, keep the earnings in a clear jar so that they can see their savings accumulate. When the time comes, your children will see the ‘fruits of their labour’ and be able to enjoy their summer activities.

3. Show them how money works

Banks now provide online solutions for convenience however make a special trip to the bank with your children to start a conversation about money. Teach them valuable lessons about saving.

Also show them the following:
How to deposit money
How to use an ATM machine securely
On payday, explain to them how the money is used towards food, bills and other expenses.
When buying groceries, teach them how credit or debit card works.
The difference between needs and wants

Make it fun by playing games where they have pretend money and made up transactions. This way they will see how money works and will hopefully create good money habits that will stick with them for life.

4. Be a good example

Children observe and emulate what the grown-ups around them are doing. Showing your children that you have set financial goals, created a budget, made a shopping list (and sticking to it) and finding ways to save money will have an automatic positive impact on how they perceive your attitude towards money.

5. Get a money mantra or money script

Before instilling a money script in your children, you need to identify the money mantra that you currently share and evaluate whether a change needs to be made.

Start a money journal and write down the way you feel and think about money. After you have improved your money mantra, it can become easier to change your behaviour after which you can share a money mantra or script with your children.

By talking to your children about money, they will understand the value of money, have a positive relationship with money and have better money habits.

How to celebrate Mother’s Day on a budget

The amount that you could spend on Mother’s Day can easily add up, especially if you want to make it special. For instance, a box of chocolates, flowers and a card could cost about £20.

Therefore, here are some ways to make it extra special for your mum (and on a budget):

1. Make a homemade gift

You can make a body scrub from sugar, a delicious cake or a keyring.

2. Family photos

Print off some photos of special occasions or holidays that she has been on and create a scrapbook or photo collage.

3. Make a voucher book

Put some handmade vouchers together for things for her to enjoy or you could do for her. This could be for a home-cooked meal of her choice, you doing the chores or even something a little more active like a yoga class.

4. Make a homemade meal/dinner

Pick her favourite starter, main and dessert dishes and whip up something you know she’ll love. Why not invite the rest of the family along for a really special meal?

5. Create a memory book/jar/box

Get all your family members to put down something special about your mum. You can then collate these and put them in a decorated jar or memory book. She will love this special (and personalised) gift.

6. Take a family outing

As Mother’s Day is in the spring, if the weather is good, take a walk in the park and admire the flowers. You can also have a picnic with a basket packed with all her favourite treats.

7. Have a movie night

Get your mum’s favourite movie, pop the popcorn and drinks and enjoy a night in with your mum.

8. Call her and wish her

If your mum lives away from you, why not give her a call to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day? If she isn’t too far from you, pay her a visit.

Wishing all mothers a Happy Mother’s Day!

Time to spring clean your financial house

As the daffodils start to bloom and the days get longer, you know that spring has begun. There is no better time to start spring cleaning both your home and finances.

Here are some ways to get started.

  1. Review your spending by creating a budget

This may sound like a tedious task but put together all your expenses on to a single spreadsheet and reassess whether you need all those expenses or can you make some changes with how you are spending.
You can use budgeting tools to help you get started.

This is the start of the decluttering process.

2. Declutter your subscriptions

If you haven’t used a service/subscription for a while, think about whether you really need it. If not, then it’s time to ditch it. This is also a good time to review your bills and contracts to see if there are better alternatives available.

3. Clear any outstanding debts

First of all, make a list of all the debts that you owe.

Next, categorise them between priority and non-priority debts. Priority debts are those that need to be paid off first such as mortgage repayments, council tax and energy bills.

Non-priority debts are those which still need to be paid but aren’t as critical as priority debts. Examples include crefit cards and water bills.

If you have issues with debt, always seek debt advice. Some of the services that you can turn to include Money Advice Service; Debt Advisor Service; Step Change; Citizens Advice Bureau to name but a few.

4. Reset your financial goals and start planning for the future

Did you make new year’s resolutions that you haven’t kept? Springtime to revisit those goals and see how realistic they were. It’s also a good time to set financial goals and open a savings account (if you haven’t done so already) so that you can start saving to reach that goal.

It’s also a good time to start saving for Christmas or that dream holiday.

5. Automate your savings and get some headspace back

If you struggle to remember to put some money aside every month, then there is no better way than automating your savings. By doing this, not only will you be less stressed but you would have enough savings for a rainy day. A good way to start automating your savings is through your salary. You can set one up through our Salary Saving Scheme.

6. Review your insurance policies

Springtime is a good time to review any changes that have happened in your life that will need you to consider taking out a policy for financial protection. Some of these may include having a baby, getting married or buying a home. It’s also a great time to review homeowners or rental insurance policies as well.

7. Do an actual spring clean

Did you know that dirty hobs, windows and dusty radiators can hike up your energy bills? Take advantage of the spring cleaning bug and clean your home. Your wallet will thank you.


After you have done your financial spring clean, you will get a feeling of accomplishment for getting your financial house in order.

International Women’s Day 2022: #BreakTheBias

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

The day has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom’s Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women’s equality. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere.

The theme for this year’s IWD is #BreakTheBias.

Imagine a world where there is equality, diversity and inclusivity. A world which is free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

How is the world shifting towards gender equality?

Gender-related conversations and activities are certainly on the rise. Over the years, the term “International Women’s Day” was the most discussed topic on Facebook by millions (even more than the Super Bowl). And back in 2018, Pantone’s ‘Color of the Year’ was purple (i.e. women’s colour). Everywhere, gender is on the mainstream radar and impacting the narrative. Stereotypes, discrimination and bias are more likely to be called out. Men’s role in society is more varied and gender roles are more fluid.

We are moving to a very exciting time in history where the world now “expects” diversity, equity and inclusion. The world notices its absence and celebrates its presence.

Step back over the years. For example, International Women’s Day 2016 saw people worldwide being asked to support women’s equality and develop an inclusive mindset via a #PledgeforParity. Then for International Women’s Day 2017, the world was asked to #BeBoldforChange and identify tangible action to help accelerate gender parity. International Women’s Day 2018 saw a massive #PressforProgress as the world stepped forward to push the boundaries and go beyond in achieving greater equality for women. International Women’s Day 2019 saw groups continue to play a critical role in helping forge a more gender-balanced world as we worked towards a #BalanceforBetter. International Women’s Day 2020, amidst the pandemic, saw an important wave of collective individualism as we all strived to be #EachforEqual – because we know that an equal world is an enabled world. Then in 2021, we saw widespread global adoption of the #ChooseToChallenge theme as groups committed to actively watching for and calling out inequity.

Now in 2022, we must step up and be aware of the significant impact that bias has on women’s equality – both conscious and unconscious bias. We need to recognise it and call it out. We need to #BreakTheBias.

What is Hertsavers doing towards supporting women?

As a credit union, we can build a community with equality and free from bias by making sure that we support women financially so that they can:

  • Regain control of their money and independence
  • Give them the confidence to make sound decisions and express themselves in their professional and personal lives

Some of the ways we do this are by encouraging people to save money with one of our savings accounts. For those who are struggling with the demanding child care costs, we offer child benefit loans of £500 or £750, if you have two or more children. If you are returning to the workplace and need a head start in getting your finances back on track, we have an introductory loan of up to £3,000 or you can join the Salary Saving Scheme. We also provide financial education such as money-saving tips through our blog and newsletters.

How you can show your support at this year’s International Women’s Day

• cross your arms and strike the #BreakTheBias pose showing solidarity and support

• post across social media using the hashtags #BreakTheBias and #IWD2022

• like, repost, comment on the #BreakTheBias posts of others

Together we can all #BreakTheBias.

Pair sentenced for multi-million pound illegal lending racket

Two women who ran an illegal lending racket worth more than £4 million have been sentenced.

Luz Guerra Villar, 65, and Leticia Manipol, 69, of Church Lane, Tooting, lent over £4.2 million to fellow Filipinos across South London, including many working at a London hospital.

Appearing for sentencing at Kingston Crown Court on Friday (February 4), Villar was sentenced to 18 months, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 220 hours of unpaid work.

Manipol was handed a 15-month prison sentence, suspended for two years with 200 hours of unpaid work.

The defendants had pleaded guilty to illegal money lending and money laundering charges between July 2003 and October 2019 at an earlier hearing.

The case was prosecuted by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) in partnership with the London Borough of Merton, Richmond upon Thames & Wandsworth Regulatory Services Partnership and the Metropolitan Police.

On October 22, 2019 officers from the IMLT executed a warrant at the defendants home in Wandsworth.

Villar was present at the property on the day the warrant was executed. She told investigating officers “I do lend money” while under caution and guided them to an upstairs bedroom where she referred to a notebook within a wardrobe. Cash totalling £1,740 was also seized along with electronic devices belonging to Villar.

During a search of the property, documentation outlining names and amounts were discovered in numerous books and ledgers, indicating that approximately £4.2 million worth of loans had been given out illegally over sixteen years. In the majority of cases, interest of 20% was charged on the loans.

Manipol was out of the country on the day the warrant was executed. On October 24, 2019 she was arrested at Gatwick Airport upon her return from Barcelona and electronic devices were seized from her.

A forensic examination of the defendants digital devices revealed dozens of SMS messages, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp messages which referenced loans.

Messages on Villar’s phone revealed a consistent pattern of lending with requests for loans, extensions upon time to repay loans, penalties for missing payments, the setting up of direct debits to repay loans, apologies for non-payments from numerous individuals and reference to interest applied to loans.

Villar tried to conceal the illegal enterprise by splitting transactions. One message sent to a victim said: “I can give you £10K this week and 10K next week, because if I will give it all in one go, I might be questioned.”

Officers also found a significant volume of messages and chatlogs relating to loans on Manipol’s phone. One victim was told to act as a guarantor on a friend’s loan, the message said: “What is your friend’s name? you will have to act as her guarantor. Meaning if she can’t pay her loan, you will be the one to pay her loan.”

The court was told Villar issued interest bearing loans amounting to £2,741,865 and received £2,841,233 in repayments between July 2003 and October 2019.

Leticia Manipol issued interest bearing loans of £1,462,502 and received £1,613,267 in repayments between 2008 and 2019.

Welcoming the sentence, Tony Quigley, Head of the England IMLT said: “Illegal money lenders are a scourge on society, taking advantage of people in desperate situations.

“The defendants, in this case, raked in millions of pounds from their illegal activity and targeted financially vulnerable victims in the Filipino community. I hope this sentence reflects the seriousness of this offending.

“These unscrupulous lenders often present themselves as a community service provider or as a friend to build trust but can quickly turn nasty if repayments are not met. Vulnerable borrowers are often unaware of the interest being charged on the loans and the dangers that illegal lenders pose.

“Perpetrators need to realise that this kind of activity will not be tolerated and by working with our partners we will do everything in our power to ensure those involved are brought to justice.”

Wandsworth Council’s community safety spokesperson Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “We strongly support the work of the Illegal Money Lending Team and their ongoing efforts to tackle unscrupulous lenders and loan sharks who pose such a threat to some of the most vulnerable members of society.

“Here in Wandsworth we’ve helped set up a local credit union so that people on low incomes who find themselves excluded from mainstream banks and credit companies can obtain an affordable, safe and ethical loan. Our advice would always be to contact the credit union and steer clear of the sharks.”

Recorder Caspar Glyn QC said he acknowledged the offences were ‘very serious’ matters and there was ‘high culpability’.

The defendants will now face a Proceeds of Crime hearing to recover assets and money amassed through their criminal activity.

Anyone with concerns about illegal money lending can contact the Stop Loan Sharks 24/7 Helpline in confidence on 0300 555 2222 or access support online at Live Chat is available on the website between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.


For media enquiries, please contact IMLT Press Officer Holly-Leigh Carr on 07703 373535 or email

Notes to editors:

The Illegal Money Lending Teams in England, Scotland and Wales work alongside the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to investigate those operating within the consumer credit market without the appropriate authorisation.

The Illegal Money Lending Teams in England and Wales work in partnership with local Trading Standards Authorities in their related countries. They consist of specialist officers who investigate and prosecute illegal money lending and related activity and LIAISE officers who support victims and raise awareness of the dangers of borrowing from illegal money lenders.

How to save money during Lent

Following Shrove Tuesday comes Lent, a 40-day period that leads up to Easter, an important festival on the Christian calendar. Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. From a religious perspective, Christians observe Lent as a mark of respect for Jesus who fasted for 40 days in the desert.

Nowadays people give up something for Lent for 40 days to test their willpower. It can also be a way to ‘spring clean’ yourself. It’s also a way to get started on the goals that you had set yourself at the start of the year which you didn’t get around to. Also, giving something up can also help people save money. You don’t have to be religious to get involved.

Here are some things/habits to give up for lent and save you money.

1. Give up… ready-made coffee/tea

A quick win (if you have the willpower to do so) is giving up shop-bought coffee/tea/hot chocolate from a coffee shop.

Making your own tea or coffee at home could save you hundreds of pounds a year. Research shows that you could save £86 by just giving it up for just 40 days. (Source)

If you really have the urge to get a special coffee such as a latte or cappuccino, you can either invest in an espresso machine where each cup will be pennies. You could also get ready-made sachets where you just need to pour hot water and enjoy (less than £5 for a pack of 10).

Not only will you be saving money by skipping the coffee shop, but your body will also feel healthier if you give up high calory coffees.

2. Give up… streaming media

For 40 days, give up your subscription such as Netflix. You will save money plus have lots of time to do other things that you wouldn’t get to do if you were just watching movies or binge-watching your favourite series.

3. Give up… drinking alcohol

Yes, we know that you have ‘Dry January’ to do that. However, why not give it up for Lent as well? For 40 days, stay away from alcohol and it will save you at least £95 during this time, or even more if you usually have two pints a day.

4. Give up… smoking

By giving up smoking during Lent will help you save at least £73, presuming you smoke four a day and buy a 20-cigarette pack worth £9.10.

5. Give up… takeaways

From delicious pizzas to chicken tikkas, you could save ££s just by skipping takeaways. Look for alternatives such as making pizzas at home. Also, if you make a weekly plan of meals and meal prep, you will always have something to eat at home after a busy day.

6. Give up… taking expensive public transport

If you aren’t travelling far to get to your destination, why not take advantage of riding a bike or walking? By giving up the tube, a bus or taxi, you can save money and also get fitter at the same time. Can’t afford a bike? We have you covered – with our transport loan, you can take out up to £5,000 payable over five years.

7. Give up… impulse buying

Yes, this is a habit that can be given up for Lent and can help you save money. By having a shopping list that you can stick to, you will avoid impulse buying and the guilt that follows.

8. Give up… pricy days/nights out

Recreate experiences at home, for free or look for cheaper alternatives.

For example, a trip to the cinema can be expensive. You will end up buying popcorn, drinks in addition to the price of the ticket. Instead, you can recreate this experience at home by watching a movie at home. You can make or buy a bag of popcorn, get drinks, turn the lights out and enjoy the film.

These are just some of the things that you can give up and start saving money during Lent.

In fact, give yourself a bigger challenge and try giving up the habit for a year. You will be pleasantly surprised by how much you would have saved by the end of the year.

Good luck!

Make your Valentine’s Day memorable

Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to reconnect with a loved one. You don’t need to go over the top (and break the bank) to do it. However, you can start saving today by opening a Hertsavers Credit Union savings account.

You don’t necessarily buy chocolates, roses, jewellery. Sometimes it’s the thought that counts and we’re here to help you come up with low-cost Valentine’s ideas that are unique.

1. A booklet of vouchers

Create a booklet of ten vouchers which contains different services/chores that you can pledge to do on behalf of your loved one. For example

“One voucher to empty the dishwasher”

“One pass to take the dog for a walk”

2. Create a “What I love about you” book

You can make a book with all the reasons why you love someone. You can make it funny, serious, romantic or whatever reflects your relationship.

Some prompts include:

“I love how you <blank> every day”

“I love to watch you <blank>”

3. A hand-written letter

There is nothing more romantic or touching than when someone writes down how they feel about you on paper. Do this for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day.

Tell them exactly what you love and appreciate about them. Nothing says I love you like your own words.

4. Treasure Hunt

Instead of giving a box of chocolates, why not make it fun by hiding candy where you think your sweetheart will find them? For example on their cup of coffee in the morning, another in their purse, another under the pillow etc.

5. Edible flowers

Make ‘roses’ from strawberries with strawberries and skwers which have been dipped in chocolate. You can then make a bouquet and present it to your loved one.

6. Make a homemade meal together

Rather than going out for a meal, why not make it romantic and cook together? You could listen to music, drink a glass of bubbly and cook at the same time.

After making the meal, why not eat it by candlelight? 🙂

7. Go on a walk or bike together

If fitness is one your goals for this year, why not go for a walk or bike ride together? This is ideal especially if it’s been a long time since you did something like this together.

8. Have a movie night in

Pop the popcorn, cosy up under a blanket with a hot cuppa and enjoy a romantic together (if that’s what you both enjoy).

9. Dine out

Go out and eat. It doesn’t have to be an expensive meal but you can get hold of meal deals and vouchers.

You don’t necessarily have to do dinner. You can have breakfast, lunch or even just a dessert.

10. Become a local tourist

Spend the day together doing things that tourists would do. This can be inexpensive and may learn something new.

With your children

11. Homemade treats

Make homemade treats by making cookies and cupcakes instead of getting them from the shops. You can decorate them with heart-shaped sweets as well.

12. Love balloons

Fill up ordinary cheap balloons with a love note and homemade confetti that your children can have fun popping. You can hang them upside down from a chair or where they can easily reach.

13. Read some love stories together

Snuggle up with your children and read them some children love stories such as “Guess how much I love you”. You can borrow these books from your local library instead of buying them.

14. Make a homemade Valentine’s Day card

If you want to get your children involved, ask them to make a Valentine’s Day card with things that they can find around the house. For example, they can paint pasta red in colour and make a heart-shaped design out of it.

Last words

Make your Valentine’s Day memorable with experiences rather than expensive gifts. Remember, it’s what’s in your heart that counts.

Building towards your financial future

With the rising costs of living, where last December the inflation hit a high of 5.4% in 30 years, there has never been a better time to plan for your financial future than today.

As the saying goes, “Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow.”

This quote can apply towards planning your finances and what you would need to do to reach your savings goals.

Here is how Hertsavers can help you towards reaching your financial goals.

1. Start saving today

” The future is created by what you do today not tomorrow” – Robert Kiyosaki

For instance, people spend more at Christmas than at any time of the year. Therefore opening up and saving into a Christmas Savings Account in January means that you will have more money available for Christmas shopping and avoid financial stress next January.

You can find out more about our savings accounts here.

2. Make loan plans in advance

Making loan plans ahead of time will mean that you will be able to apply for a loan – and get it approved – for when you actually need it. We were impressed with our members last November and December as many of them applied for a Christmas loan ahead of time which meant that they had secured the loan in time for Christmas.

We have a wide range of loans at low-interest rates which can be repaid between 12 to 60 months (depending on the size of the loan). For instance:

• Members saving through a deduction from their payroll are eligible to apply for an Introductory Loan of up to £3,000 repayable over 60 months subject as always to credit and affordability checks

• Members with equity in their property are eligible to apply for loans of up to £20,000 repayable over up to 60 months subject to affordability and credit checks

Pay yourself first to save for a rainy day

Make it a priority to put money into your emergency fund with each and every paycheck. One of the best ways to do this is through the Salary Saving Scheme. You can find out more here.


Parting words of wisdom

If you understand how money can work for and against you, you can make better decisions. Financial literacy is not about wealth but about understanding money regardless of the amount. It’s about how you treat it and how you maximize opportunities. – Mellody Hobson

Christmas opening hours and application deadlines

The office will be closed from midday on 24 December 2021 until Tuesday 04 January 2022.

As usual essential systems maintenance will take place on 29, 30 and 31 December 2021 and the office will be closed.

Child Benefit Payments will resume on Tuesday 04 January 2022.

To guarantee loans for Christmas the application and any supporting documents must be in by 14 December 2021.

The last day payments will be processed is Christmas Eve (24 December 2021) and any requests for share withdrawals or any loan agreements need to be in no later than 9 a.m. Christmas Eve to guarantee payment, any that come in after this time will be processed on 04 January 2022.

Back to School money-saving tips

From a survey that was done by Idealo, 52% of parents that were surveyed said that the back-to-school season put a financial strain on their family.

Whether it’s replacing your child’s school uniform, restocking stationery supplies, getting devices to support their education or organising school trips and more, back-to-school can be difficult. Therefore we have put together some tips on how you can save money for the new school year or term.

Do a stock-take and make a list

First things first, take a look at what you already have before making a list of everything that you need to buy. For instance, check whether your child’s shoes and uniform are fitting before going out to buy them. If you need them, add them to the list. This would apply to stationery and any other items.

Do your research and set a budget

Make a budget of how much you are intending to spend on all the school items. You should do your research to see what the prices are of various items (plus see if there is a sale). Don’t just go with the first deal that you see as it may blow your budget. If you think you are going to go over your budget, make a priority list.

Affordable alternatives

Find out if there is a school uniform policy. Do you need to buy from the school shop or can you get the basics from a regular shop? Also, see if there is a second-hand shop where you can find barley-worn pieces for a bargain. Also while shopping for uniforms, look for crease-free fabrics to save you ironing on a Sunday afternoon.

Plan ahead for additional costs

For instance, find out from your child’s school if there will be any upcoming school trips and the costs involved. This way, you will be able to add it to the budget and plan for the year ahead by putting some money aside each month for the expenses.

Meal planning

Ok, this is not for the actual back-to-school season but also applies for the school year as well. Plan ahead on what you will be making that week which can also be taken for lunch the next day. This way you will be saving money by avoiding takeaways and also less stressful when you are thinking of what to make for the children when they come home from school. By getting the children involved, you will have happy children, you can shop for your need, save time and also reduce food waste.

Label your children’s items

With school uniforms, every child’s items look the same and they may come home with the wrong shoes or cardigan, for example. By labelling ALL their items, your child will be able to find their missing items quicker and you will be less stressed about replacing items that are lost, especially if they are expensive.

Encourage your children to make their school supplies last

New lunchboxes, school bags and stationery can be quite expensive especially if you have to replace them every term or start of the school year. Encourage your children to look after their items by ensuring that they bring them home from school (for starters), keeping their property clean and in good condition. This will show your children how to be responsible and also encourages the habit of saving instead of spending.

You can even ask them to contribute towards the items to show them the value of money.

If you need help with the back-to-school finances, you can take advantage of our Child Benefit Loan. You can find out more here.