Now is a good time to take an honest look at your finances and set goals for the new financial year. So, what actions can you implement now that will benefit you for the next 12 months and beyond?

Read on to learn five important lessons for the new financial year which could boost your financial wellbeing.

 

Understand your credit score

 

Viewing and understanding your credit report is a vital part of a healthy relationship with money.

The word ‘credit’ means the ability to borrow money or obtain goods or services that you’ll pay for later. 

So, your credit rating assesses whether you’re in a good position to do this or not, depending on your financial history.

To find out how to check your credit score online for free, visit our blog on the subject here.

If this highlights areas where you need to improve your credit, we’ve shared 10 ways to boost your credit score here.

 

Learn about interest rates


Interest is the amount you get charged for borrowing money. It’s shown as an APR - an average percentage rate of the amount you borrow.

In most cases the advertised interest rate isn’t the one you get when you borrow from high street lenders. 

This is one of many reasons why we are always transparent with you about what you’re borrowing and only ever offer fair and flexible loans which we believe you can afford to repay.

Our members pay interest on the reducing loan balance, so you only ever pay interest on what you have left rather than the full loan you took out.

Read more about transparency around loan interest rates here.

 

Ditch expensive short-term credit

 

Short-term credit is harming individuals and families across the UK, and we want to highlight how risky it can be. 

Short-term credit can lead to:

  • Spiralling debt
  • A poor credit rating
  • Stress
  • Anxiety

We examined the real impact of short-term credit here, looking at the dangers of ‘buy now, pay later’ options, as well as the emotional damage caused by credit cards and overdrafts.

Luckily, you have options, so you don’t need to rely on risky types of short-term credit to tide you over until payday.

Check out our blog on the alternatives to short-term credit that won’t have a lasting impact on your financial and emotional wellbeing. 

 

Start super-saving

 

Let’s make 2022/2023 the year you become a super-saver!

There are so many ways to save money through your GMB Credit Union, many of which you’ll hardly notice once you’ve put things in place.

We’ve talked about how – and why – to help your children form good money habits, highlighting how our relationship with money starts to form from the age of just seven.

Teaching your children good money management encourages them to be responsible and independent, setting them up for a successful and happy future.

Set up a Junior Saver and support your whole family to develop healthy habits.

Imagine watching your children open their presents on Christmas Day and seeing the family enjoy the festivities together without worrying about the financial strain it’s caused to make it all happen.  

Joining our Christmas Saver is a fantastic way to plan ahead and make this Christmas your best yet.

Another great way to save money this financial year is to do a direct debit audit. Check what you’re paying for every month and cancel anything you don’t need or use, like that gym membership, magazine subscription, or streaming service.

These costs add up, so calculate what you’ll save and use that as your incentive to drop the direct debits.

 

Create a budget that works for you

 

Cashflow is term for how your household money comes in and goes out every month. So, it is essential that you create a household budget to steer you through these troubled times. Please take time to sit down and create a workable budget 

And while we may dream of saving thousands, it’s not always realistic on a day-to-day level with the increased living costs and unexpected expenses.

So, make this the year you set a realistic budget that’s achievable.

Because once you do this and start seeing the benefits add up, you’ll feel in control of your finances and wish you’d approached your finances in this way sooner.

 

Laying the foundations for a better financial year


With all the challenges life has thrown your way over the past few years, it’s understandable if your finances have taken a hit. 

We’re here for you this – and every - year, and we’re ready to support you through the long-term fallout of Covid and the escalating costs of living.

So, you don’t need to rely on greedy banks or fall victim to expensive lenders.

Whatever position you’re in, now is a great time to assess your circumstances and look at the areas where you can make changes and improvements that will put you in a better place in a year’s time. Follow our tips and reach out if you feel our products could: reduce the amount you pay in interest, help you access a brighter financial future or provide you with a dividend that could supercharge your savings.