How to do a financial health check to improve your financial wellbeing

Did you know that 48% of adults admit that they feel stressed or overwhelmed about their financial situation at times?

Similar to a dental check-up or a medical check-up, a financial health check is important as it helps evaluate how you are managing your money.

Previously, this would be done with a financial professional however nowadays, there are several tools available online. For example the financial health check tool by the Money Advice Service.

Why should I take a financial health check?

It gives you a clear picture of where you are at with your finances.

By understanding your financial position, you will be able to find ways of improving your financial health. This in turn will help with your overall well-being.

Here is how you can conduct an effective financial check-up:

1. Identify your financial goals.

Whether these are long-term or short-term goals, creating specific goals is the first step to perform a thorough financial health check. You can use online tools to help you such as the MoneySkills App.

2. Understand where you currently are with your finances.

This means laying down all your expenses, debts and incomes to help you understand where you are and what areas of your finances need the most attention. This will then help you prioritise what you need to do. By understanding where you are with your finances and making any necessary changes can help you reach your financial goals.

3. Track how much you are spending.

This is an important exercise for your financial checkup as it means tracking what your expenses and daily transactions look like. If you haven’t already got a tracker, you can create a spending journal to see where your money is going.

This will help you see how EXACTLY you are spending your money and make you be more conscious of how much is going out from your bank account.

Tracking also helps with cutting your budget.

4. REVIEW your budget.

If you already have a budget, this is your chance to review it and make adjustments. However, if you haven’t got one, you can create one. Here is an online tool to help you.

5. Review your savings for the long term.

Make sure that you start saving for a rainy day. This will help in case there are any unplanned occurrences such as you lose your job; bills are unexpectedly high.

By setting goals of how much you will save each month can help you in case an emergency does happen. You can then use this instead of getting into debt.

One of the ways that you can start saving immediately is by setting up a payroll deduction scheme with your workplace.

6. Check your credit score.

By doing this, you will be able to know what your creditworthiness is. You can use credit score reporting websites to find out.

7. Get accountable.

Share your goals with an accountable partner or partners who are either on the same journey as you or have already accomplished what you are trying to achieve.

By doing this, you will be motivated to keep going and stay on track.

TIP: To ensure that you conduct a financial health check, set reminders on your calendar so that you can review your finances on certain dates. Also, if something in your life changes such as a change of jobs (and salary); a new debt, you would need to do a financial review. By staying on top of your money will help you with your financial well-being.

 

How to teach children develop good money habits

In a recent newsletter competition, we had asked our members “What advice would you give to your younger self?” Our winner, Leah, said, “I would tell my younger self that although having fun is the best thing to do, while you are young and able. Rainy days will always happen when you’re least expecting. A few pounds a month adds up over the year. Don’t be afraid to say you can’t afford something! Be proud that you are saving for your future and not being frivolous for today.”

This has been quite valuable advice as it makes people aware that they need to save for a rainy day and be assertive if they can’t afford something.

By teaching children at a young age about good money habits, they will always be grateful that you taught them how to be responsible with money, a valuable life lesson.

Here are some ways that you can teach them how to develop good money habits:

Be a good role model by being responsible with your own finances

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.

Go back to basics with cash

Earning pocket money is still common where children get paid for completing chores or for rewarding good behaviour.

By showing your children the value of money, they will appreciate it and make them feel grown-up.

Also, take them shopping when you go so that they can see how a shopping list works and what the receipt looks like in the end. This will show them the importance of a shopping list and budgeting.

Open a Junior Savings Account

By getting them a Junior Savings Account, you can show them how their savings are growing. This would also be a good time to start talking to them about what they would like to do with their money in terms of future planning. This will instil a good saving habit that will stay with them into adulthood.

The concept of spend, save, give

If you are rewarding children with pocket money, show them the concept of spend, save and give.

How the concept works

Divide the money into three portions as follows:

  1. Spend – agree with your child as to how much they will spend on something of their choice.
  2. Save – the second portion is saved for a goal that your child trying to meet or for long-term saving which you may have put into the Junior Savings Account.
  3. Give – encourage them to use of their money to help others. For example, you can give some money towards a charity of your choice or through awareness days and events that they come across such as Red Nose Day. This is a good opportunity for you to talk to them about donations.

Controlling spending

Give your child the independence to make decisions as to how they will spend their money.

You can give older children pre-paid debit cards so pocket money can be paid straight from your bank account to theirs. You can control their spending limits and see how much they are spending and what they can buy.

While you do this, you can talk to them about setting a budget and make them aware of their spending/how much is left in the account. This will teach them how to be cautious when spending and track their spendings.

Staying safe

Teach them that they need to protect their personal information as much as spending and saving.

Ensure that their identities are protected online by keeping an eye on their social media accounts and making sure that they know the dangers of sharing any personal information on any digital communication channels.

Also, let them know about scams both offline and online. For example, that they shouldn’t share passwords or account details if somebody asks them.

 

Hertsavers referral schemes

As we rely on the support of the local community to strengthen the credit union, we are on the mission to grow our credit union. Therefore, we have the following referral schemes in place. The only criteria is that your referee needs to be working or living in Hertfordshire.

Child Benefit referral scheme:

Members that refer a new member to Hertsavers for a Child Benefit Loan can now claim a £50 referral bonus for themselves and the new member, who will also receive a £50 bonus. You can find out more here.

Workplace champions

If you already have a payroll savings scheme set up at your workplace, you can become a workplace champion. If your referee takes an introductory loan of up to £2000, which is payable over three years, the Champion and their referral will both receive an additional £100 to their account. Find out more.

Why should your referee join the Hertsavers Credit Union?

1. We are a not-for-profit so your money is safe.
2. We have low interest rates therefore when you borrow a loan, you are also saving money.
3. All savings up to £85,000 per member are guaranteed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Hertsavers Social Impact Report

We are currently conducting a survey across all our members to understand how joining our Credit Union has impacted their lives and the overall satisfaction of our members.

What is a Social Impact Report?

A social impact report is used as a communication tool to measure how we, as a credit union, is performing and use it to relate to the overall change brought about to people’s lives and the environment over the past two years.

How will be undertaking the research?

We will be conducting a members’ survey over the next couple of months to get our members’ feedback, thoughts and stories. This will be sent out to all members who have opted in to receiving information via email. If you would like to receive a copy of the members’ survey and you aren’t on our mailing list, please contact office@hertsavers.co.uk with the subject line ‘Members Survey’. All the participants who complete the survey will be entered into a prize draw* where two lucky winners will receive £50 into their Hertsavers Savings Account. *Terms and Conditions apply.

We will also be holding virtual face-to-face interviews with some of our members as well as our payroll partners. If you would like to get involved, please register your interest here. All the participants will receive £20 into their Hertsavers Savings Account. Terms and Conditions apply. Further details will be released closer to the time.

As a thank-you, all the participants of the survey will be the first to receive the Social Impact Report.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR THE PRIZE DRAW

Please read the full terms and conditions below to enter the Hertsavers Credit Union Members Survey 2021 PrizeDraw.

Prize Draw Terms and Conditions

1. By entering the Prize Draw you are agreeing to these Prize Draw terms and conditions.
2. The Prize Draw is being run by Hertsavers Credit Union.

Eligibility to enter

3. The Prize Draw is open to Hertsavers Credit Union members only and entrants must be 18 years of age or older.
4. Employees and board members of Hertsavers Credit Union and its subsidiaries including Employees and board members of Credit Union Solutions (CUS), along with their families and members of their households, are not eligible to enter.
5. In entering the Prize Draw, you confirm that you are eligible to do so and eligible to claim any prize you may win.
6. A maximum of one entry per individual is permitted.
7. The Prize Draw is free to enter.

How to enter

8. Your name and contact details are required for us to notify the winners.
9. By entering the Prize Draw Hertsavers Credit Union cannot guarantee that your survey response will remain anonymous.
10. Prize Draw entries will be accepted up to Midday on 18 July 2021. Entries after that time and date will not be included in the draw.
11. To enter the Prize Draw simply complete and submit the Hertsavers Credit Union Members Survey 2021.
12. Hertsavers Credit Union will not accept responsibility if contact details provided are incomplete or inaccurate.
13. Hertsavers Credit Union holds the right to disqualify entries that demonstrate a lack of consideration to the main survey, including incomplete or incomprehensible answers.

The prize

14. The prize will be £50 in the member’s Hertsavers Savings Account.
15. Two winners will be drawn at random.
16. The prize is non-exchangeable, non-transferable and no cash alternatives will be offered.
17. Hertsavers Credit Union reserve the right to substitute prizes with another prize of equal or higher value if circumstances beyond our control make it necessary to do so.
18. The decision of Hertsavers Credit Union regarding any aspect of the Prize Draw is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into about it.

Winner announcement

19. Winners will be notified after 15 September 2021 via the contact details (email or phone) provided in their Members Survey response.
20. Hertsavers Credit Union will attempt to contact the winners by email up to two times.
21. If either winner does not respond to the emails notifying them of their win within 14 days of the second email, they will lose their right to the prize, and Hertsavers Credit Union reserves the right to choose and notify a new winner drawn at random.

Receipt of the prize

22. Please allow 30 days for delivery of the prize into the Savings Account.

Data protection and publicity

23. You consent to any personal information you provide in entering the Prize Draw being used by Hertsavers Credit Union to administer the Prize Draw, and only for those purposes as defined within our privacy notice.
24. All entrants may apply for details of the winning participants by contacting us at office@hertsavers.co.uk.
25. The winners agree to release their first name to any other Prize Draw participants if requested via Hertsavers Credit Union.
26. An announcement of the winners’ first names will be made via Hertsavers Credit Union members eNewsletter.
27. All personal information shall be used in accordance with Hertsavers Credit Union’s Privacy Notice.

Limitation of Liability

28. Hertsavers Credit Union does not accept any liability for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by any entrants as a result of either participating in the Prize Draw or being selected for a prize.

General
29. Hertsavers Credit Union reserves the right to cancel the Prize Draw or amend these terms and conditions at any time, without prior notice.
30. The Prize Draw and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR THE VIRTUAL FACE-TO-FACE INTERVIEWS

1. The interviews are being conducted by Hertsavers Credit Union for the social impact report.
2. The reward will be £20 into the member’s Hertsavers Savings Account.
3. To get the £20, the interviewee needs to be available and participate in the full interview.
4. Interviewee needs to be a current member of Hertsavers Credit Union.
5. The interviews will be conducted over Zoom, Google Meet or Teams and will be recorded for the purpose of the research only.
6. Your name and membership number is required so that we can add the token into your Hertsavers savings account.
7. The token is non-exchangeable, non-transferable and no cash alternatives will be offered.
8. Please allow 14 days for delivery of the token into the Savings Account.
9. Employees and board members of Hertsavers Credit Union and its subsidiaries including Employees and board members of Credit Union Solutions (CUS), along with their families and members of their households, are not eligible to be interviewed.
10. Hertsavers Credit Union reserves the right to substitute rewards with another reward of equal or higher value if circumstances beyond our control make it necessary to do so.
11. Hertsavers Credit Union reserves the right to cancel the interview session and rewards or amend these terms and conditions at any time, without prior notice.
12. These terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
13. All personal information shall be used in accordance with Hertsavers Credit Union’s Privacy Notice.

 

 

 

Become a workplace champion today

Who is a Workplace Champion?

This is someone who is dedicated to improving at a certain area of within an organisation. They are highly motivated to share their enthusiasm and engage their
community.

We are looking for members, who are part of our Payroll Deduction Scheme with one of our partners, to refer our Payroll Deduction Scheme to their colleagues. By referring your colleagues, you will indirectly help them reduce their money worries and show them how to get into the habit of saving.

As a thank-you, you (the Champion) and your referee will both receive an additional £100 to their account when they take an introductory loan of up to £2000. Terms and conditions apply.

Interested members should contact graham@cus.coop providing their own contact details and their work location.

Together, we can take the money out of worry and create a more productive workplace for everyone.

Hertsavers Payroll Deduction Scheme – apply today

Have you been ever been stressed at work because you are worried about your finances? Does it affect your performance at work? You are not alone… From research done by ABCUL,

“1 in 4 employees lose sleep over money worries.

“59% of employees with money worries say they are not working at their best.”

“26% of working age adults in the UK have no savings at all and a further 29% have less than £1,000 in savings.”

As Hertsavers, we help you take the worry out of money. By joining our Payroll Deduction Scheme, you will be able to save and borrow with us.

When you put aside a predetermined amount of money from your salary/wages each month without spending it, you will automatically save money even without thinking about it. This will help you stop worrying about remembering to put money aside for a rainy day as we would have done it on your behalf.

What’s more, you can take out an introductory loan as soon as you join the credit union.

By taking the money worries away, you will be more productive and less stressed at work.

Apply now

How to boost your financial wellbeing for better mental health

At Hertsavers, we believe that you need to look after your mental health as much as your physical health. According to Mind, the mental health charity, poor mental health can make it more difficult to make earnings and manage money. At the same time, worrying about money can make your mental health worse.

From a survey conducted by Money and Mental Health, 86% of the participants who had experienced mental health problems said that their financial situation worsened their mental health problems.

Those who are suffering from financial stress may experience insomnia (lack of sleep), depression, anxiety, physical health issues such as high blood pressure, weight gain or loss, alcohol or drug abuse, relationship issues and even self-harm or suicidal thoughts.

Here are some of the ways that can help you boost your financial wellbeing:

1. Create a financial plan and stick to it.

Think about what you will be doing to help you cope with the situation that you are in. Do you have spending issues? Get in to the habit of setting a budget. Are you stressed at work? Look for a new job or a side hustle. Paying too much for bills? Shop around for better deals.

Once you have identified the issue and possible solutions, set yourself some goals by making them SMART.

After setting your goals, monitor your progress by checking in. Reward yourself if you have hit a milestone. If you have gone off-track, rein yourself in.

Remember, the more detailed and realistic your plan is, the better the chance that you will follow through. You can even ask someone that you trust to hold you accountable to make sure that you stick to your plan.

2. Set up a monthly budget and review it regularly.

Setting up a budget will not only help you achieve your financial goals but also help you prevent spending unnecessarily.

By keeping track of your budget frequently, you will be able to look for ways to save money, prioritise what you are spending on and see what else you can do to reach your financial goal.

3. Declutter your finances.

After you have reviewed your budget, you can identify what you can spend less on to save money or see what you can remove from your budget if you don’t need it anymore. For example, if have a subscription that you haven’t used, you can stop it. If your mobile contract is about to end, you can start looking for better deals.

You can read our blog for more details on how you can declutter your finances.

4. Get into the habit of saving.

The habit of saving can be quite difficult to stick to however, if you have the right mindset, you will see the results of saving.

Create a goal of how much you are thinking of saving every week/month.

If it helps, you can open a savings account with us so that you have a pot where your money goes. You can find out more here.

Give yourself small rewards for every milestone that you hit. Though make sure your treat/reward costs less than what you have saved :-).

You can read our blog on ‘How to get into the habit of saving money’ here.

5. Get some money mantras that can help whenever you feel low.

Mantras are powerful that can help you boost your confidence and self-worth. They can also help in creating peace and prosperity.

For example:

“I am grateful for the money I have and eager for the abundance that is to come.”

“I forgive myself for my past poor money choices.”

6. Talk to someone about your financial situation.

As the saying goes,” A problem shared is a problem solved.” This is true when it comes to talking to someone about your financial situation. Money is often perceived as a taboo topic however when you do open up, it can help resolve the issues that you may have.

By talking to someone about your worries can help you make sense of what exactly it is that is causing you grief. In fact, sometimes your friend/loved one could even help you come up with a solution that you hadn’t even thought of.

If you need professional advice, there are lots of services that are available such as StepChange and Money Advisory Service.

7. Destress yourself

Financial difficulties don’t disappear overnight however for your mental wellbeing, you can find different ways to help you attain peace of mind.

  • Practice meditation and breathing techniques especially when you have five minutes to spare.
  • Get some exercise into your routine.
  • Get some sleep as feeling tired can make you feel agitated and even more worked up.
  • Practice gratitude – even though you may be struggling financially, think about things that you appreciate. This will help you boost your mood.
  • Eat healthily to help support your mood, and improve your energy.

‘SHARK’ – an interactive film plus free training sessions

The England Illegal Money Lending Team are proud to launch a new interactive film ‘SHARK’ showing the dangers of loan sharks on social media created by the Perception Theatre Company. It’s part of a drive to educate young people about the risks associated with borrowing from loan sharks on social media.

The film which has decision-making pauses where you can decide what route they’d choose has been funded from cash recovered from loan sharks under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).

You can watch the film here.

Stop Loan Sharks training sessions:

Session 1: Could you spot a loan shark?

The purpose of loan shark training is to provide information and knowledge about the issue, how it relates to your work and how we can help those who have borrowed from illegal lenders. The length of the session is approximately one and a half hours.

It will include key things to look out for as a sign that a friend, client or colleague may be involved with a loan shark. The session will show the impact that illegal lenders have on victims and communities and how we can work together to stop people falling into the clutches of criminals.

01 June 1030 -1200

13 July – 1030 – 1200

Session 2: Changing Lives: A loan shark victim’s journey and the part you play.

A continuing learning opportunity for those who have already received Stop Loan Sharks training – this is an additional learning tool for those that already know the basic facts about loan sharks. Learn about the implications and facts around reporting or not reporting for your business and staff; Learn about victim safety, Data Protection issues and how to help victims open up about their situation.

08 June – 1030 -1200

20 July – 1030 – 1200

Session 3: Do you understand credit unions?

Everything you needed to know about credit unions: Learn about the credit union sector – what they are, how they operate, things they do and how we can work together to encourage financial inclusion.

22 June – 1030 – 1200

27 July – 1030 -1200

 

How to spring clean your finances

Spring is upon us, the weather has improved and lockdown rules have started easing. Many of us take this chance to start spring cleaning. Now is also a good time to tidy up your financial affairs for a better mindset and managing your money.

1. Set your financial goals – and commit to them

After you have outlined your short-term and long-term financial goals, set a limit as to how much money you need to put aside to achieve them. One of the most effective ways is budgeting. By tracking your spending and seeing how much you are saving, you will feel that you’re in better control of your money which will boost your confidence.

2. Review your budget

As mentioned in the previous point, budgeting is an effective way to track your spendings which would eventually help you reach your financial goals.

When doing a spring clean, go back to your budget and 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.

By budgeting consistently, you will be able to reach your financial goals more easily and reduce any financial stress.

3. Review your credit score

It’s important that you check your credit score on a regular basis. Having simple errors in your record can affect your ability to get a loan in the future.

You would need to check the following details:

  • Address details are up-to-date
  • You are on the electoral roll at your address
  • Your information about any existing accounts is accurate
  • You make payments on time.

There are various ways to check your credit score including Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

You can find out more about credit scores here.

4. Clear any outstanding late payments

As mentioned earlier, late payments can affect your credit score therefore now is the time to catch up and clear any late payments.

Some examples of how you can save up to settle your debts including:

Sell any unwanted items that you have either online or in a car boot sale.
Avoid spending money unnecessarily by avoid impulse buying, for example.
Sign up for our payroll deduction scheme with your employer and start putting your money aside.

You can check our money-saving tips for more ways on how to save.

5. Plan for your financial future

If you enjoy gardening, you may know that you would need to plan and begin to plant your garden for the next year in the spring. Likewise, if you are thinking about buying a car, your first home, Christmas, a special occasion or planning a holiday, you would need to take the time to create a financial plan.

You can do so by taking the advantage of one of our savings accounts to suit your needs such as the Christmas Savings Account. Also, a quick win for saving is setting some money from your salary each month through our payroll deduction scheme.

 

How to register and book the new web app

With our new web app (Lace), you’ll be able to do the following on your mobile device:

  • Get your member account balances and details in real-time, 24/7
  • Apply online for a new loan
  • Check your loan, including the last payment date
  • Request statements
  • Make a share withdrawal
  • Update your personal details.

Our web app runs on IOS (Apple), Android and Windows mobile devices. Here is how to register and bookmark the web app on your mobile device.

Registering to use the web app

  1. From your smartphone or tablet, simply tap “New app” on our website. (Clicking the same option on a PC – a desktop or laptop – will take you to our members’ area, which is better suited to larger screens).
  2. The first time you visit the web app, you will need to tap “Register”, which you’ll find at the bottom of the welcome screen.
  3. Complete the single-screen registration form and tap “Register” again.

Once your registration request has been approved (during our office hours), you’re all set up to use the new web app.

Making it easy to use

  1. Register to use.
  2. Bookmark our app to create an easy-to-use icon on your mobile device’s home screen (see the “How to” section below).
  3. When your registration has been approved, the first time you log on, you’ll need to enter your member number together with additional security information.
  4. If you select “Remember me” then, on subsequent logins you will only need to enter characters from the passcode you created at registration.

How to bookmark on IOS (Apple devices)

  1. On your device, tap this link – it will take you to our web app.
  2. At the bottom of the screen (for iPad, top left) tap the “share” icon
  3. Find and select the option, “Add to Home Screen”.
  4. When prompted, name the icon “Hertsavers CU”.
  5. In the future, to access our web app, find and tap the icon “Hertsavers CU” on your phone or iPad’s home screen.

How to bookmark on Android devices

  1. On your device, tap this link  – it will take you to our web app.
  2. Press the menu button on your phone and click on “Add bookmark.”
  3. When prompted, name the icon “Hertsavers CU” and save the bookmark in the Home folder.
  4. Tap and hold on the bookmark icon on the top right.
  5. Scroll down the list of bookmarks – press and hold “Hertsavers CU”.
  6. Select the option to “Add shortcut to home.”
  7. In the future, to access our web app, find and tap the icon “Hertsavers CU” on your phone’s home screen.

If you have any issues, please contact us.