Ballaghaderreen Credit Unions are inviting local people to consider their Christmas budgets now and start some early savings to ensure they are not hit with big bills in 2016. Families in the local Ballaghaderreen community are being advised to start putting aside small amounts of cash on a regular basis to meet the festive bills in December and January.
Research carried out by the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) last Christmas showed that in 2014, 6% of people approached or considered approaching a moneylender to borrow for Christmas expenses. Ballaghaderreen Credit Union urge members of the local community to think twice about using moneylenders to avoid a sack full of debt in the New Year. People should plan how much you can afford to spend – and stick to it. This will allow families to be in a better position to keep a tight rein on Christmas shopping costs. Members should consider that if you cannot afford to pay for something without a loan, you simply cannot afford it. It’s easy to say but it’s still true – the best gift at Christmas is being together – and that costs nothing.
Bill Golden Manager of Ballaghaderreen Credit Union said: “Christmas can be a stressful time for many families, but we all need to remember that Christmas really is about giving, not robbing the family finances. For that reason we are advising local people to begin making their Christmas preparations a little bit earlier this year. We are inviting members and non-members alike to visit our office and see what options are available to prevent debt later in the year. We are not asking people to start putting away large amounts of cash, but instead would like to see small amounts set aside on a regular basis. By putting money aside in the credit union now you will not only ease the cost of Christmas down the road but will also establish a savings habit which can be beneficial for loans and other services in the future.”
He Added: “A strong savings record can make it easier to get low cost loans for family events such as weddings, christenings and Christmas as well as funding big expense items such as a new car or even a fill of a tank of heating oil. It will also make it a cheaper Christmas than using credit cards, moneylenders or payday loans. Setting a Christmas spending budget is more important now than ever as is writing a list. This will allow people to keep a tight rein on the Christmas shopping costs
Now is the ideal time to start establishing a savings record, before the expense of winter fuel, back to school and Christmas set in. By starting now you will have set aside money which will help ensure that the festive season will not be followed by bills in 2016.
Ballaghaderreen Credit Union has also outlined their top tips to get people through the Christmas season.
1: Budget, Budget, Budget.
Plan how much you can afford to spend – and stick to it.
2: Make a list.
Decide what you’re going to buy in advance. Decide in the store and you’ll spend more!
3: Pay with cash where possible.
Avoid loans, credit cards, store cards, catalogues and money lenders – they’ll cost you more.
4: If you borrow be sensible.
Borrow where the interest is right…..not on your doorstep!
5: Compare prices.
Before you buy, compare online and between shops. You’ll be amazed at the difference.
6: Use trustworthy vendors.
Buy from reputable websites and check they guarantee delivery before Christmas.
7: Check for Sales.
Many shops will have sales before Christmas. Ask around, and maybe you could get those presents for even less!
8: Interest Free Deals.
Look for interest-free deals when buying furniture or electrical goods – but make sure to compare prices.
9: Christmas Clubs.
Joining a Christmas club or buying a few savings stamps will help you now – it will also get you into the habit for next year.
10: Read the small print.
If you borrow or enter into a buy-now-pay-later deal, be careful. Some lenders will penalise you for paying it back early or, if you do not pay it within the interest free period, you could be subject to hefty interest payments.
11: Under pressure? Talk to us first.
Suffering from debt stress? Already owe money lenders? Call into Ballaghaderreen credit union to discuss your options.
12: Friends and Family are priceless.
The best gift at Christmas is being together – and that costs nothing. Many families do Kris Kringle or Secret Santa gifts. Some families only give gifts to children. There are many ways of saving money without taking away the magic.
For further information please contact: Ballaghaderreen Credit Union.
Phone: 094-9860522 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org