Budgeting Tips

1) Get ahead of your loan!

When borrowing from Carlow District Credit Union, the loan officers will endeavour to structure the repayments over an appropriate term for the amount and purpose of the loan. To this end they may average a member’s income for the year to arrive at an affordable repayment amount. All loans from Carlow District Credit Union are variable interest rate loans with flexible overpayment amounts and no early repayment penalties.

2) Identify one off annual expenses and annual occasions.

Divide expenses into yearly, quarterly and monthly payments. For annual payments (such as car insurance, car tax etc.) try to agree monthly payment plans. The Credit Union “Consolidated ” loan may help with this. It will allow you to bundle several annual bills into a single loan repayable over 12 months in regular weekly/monthly payments.

3) Identify necessary unavoidable expenditure Vs discretionary expenditure. 

It is important to prioritise the expenditure in your household budget. Social Welfare income is only designed to give a member a reasonable standard of living, it does not provide for discretionary expenditure such as expensive family holidays.

4) Set a Goal

When the household budget is complete review each element. Identify areas where your income may be improved. Identify areas where expenses could be reduced. Review the possibility of changing utility providers.

5) Get the balance right between planning for retirements and living for today!

It is right and prudent for members to plan for retirement. However, independent financial advice should be sought regarding the appropriateness to continue contributions such as pension policies, savings plans or life assurance when experiencing financial difficulty. It may be necessary to reduce such contributions in the short term to be able to afford to repay loans.

6) Reduce your shopping 

  • Shop with a list. If you decide in store you will spend more – use loyalty cards/coupons etc.
  • Shop for bargains and cut back on non-essential items. Be smart. Shop for store brands.
  • Local butchers offer great deals.
  • Eliminate waste – watch what you bin!

7) Look at your services. Are you getting value for money on the following?

8) Other tips

  • Are you claiming all your tax benefits or social welfare entitlements? Visit www.revenue.ie and www.citizensinformation.ie for more information.
  • Make your own lunch.
  • Could you reduce your travel/parking costs (walk or cycle to work/ car pool?)
  • How much do you spend on socialising/entertainment?
  • If you have older children living with you that are receiving an income, could they contribute towards your household expenses? Remember the secret to getting rich – “Spend less than you earn”.

 9) Review your income and expenditure

The solution may be a revision of your income and expenditure, as well as assistance with your Budget Planner.