Financial stress is one of the greatest causes of stress and anxiety for people in this modern world.
When you are trying to manage your finances it can bring a lot of stress to everyone in the house. It can make it difficult to find any extra cash to enjoy eating out or a yearly family holiday for example.
Financial stress is one of the greatest causes of stress and anxiety for people in this modern world. Trying to simply stay above water can feel like a challenge and for this reason, anything unexpected that comes along can really rock the boat.
A couple of months ago, my husband and I had to take a look at the way we were managing our finances. After years of saving for a mortgage deposit, we found ourselves randomly paying bills as they came in as so many people do.
We found that the lack of structure and uncertainty when it came to domestic bills made it difficult to plan ahead. It really wasn’t working very well for us.
That is when we started to consider a credit union budget account. We both had credit union accounts and used them to save the odd bit of money and apply for a loan if we ever needed a small amount for a holiday or Christmas but we had never heard of their budget account.
Since signing up for this budget account our experience with our monthly bills and general family finances have been so much more positive.
These are the reasons why I love using a credit union budget account to pay all of our bills. We have never looked back.
1. It is really easy to set up.
You are initially given a budget card which is used to list and estimate all of your monthly bills. They are all added up (over a period of a year) and divided by the number of payrolls you will experience in that year. What is left is a general monthly (or fortnightly) bill figure that remains the same and is taken on the very same day when each payroll comes along.
2. You only deal with one institution.
Rather than individually paying your mortgage, gas, electricity and internet provider - the credit union look after paying the individual bills for you. You simply see one amount leaving your account every month.
3. There are no big surprises when larger bills come in.
For example, the gas/electricity bill tends to be higher for people in January after the colder months but it all balances out as some of your other bills may have been smaller in previous months. Your budget account balance can go in to minus/plus and be altered accordingly without you feeling the pinch. This is where the contingency % comes in. For example, 10% may be added on to your yearly rough budget to allow for fluctuations in specific bills.
4. It is consistent.
Every week, fortnight or month you know the exact amount that will be taken and there is no guessing. It makes it a lot easier to plan financially.
5. You can include “extras”
Such as Christmas expenses, holidays and Communions/Confirmations.
6. It makes it easier to save a little bit of money for a rainy day fund.
And this in turn makes it easier to enjoy extra weekly/monthly treats without the guilt.
7. Your disposable income really is just that.
When your payment comes out there is great peace of mind in knowing that what you have left is really yours. It makes for a much more realistic outlook in terms of making future plans and enjoying day to day financial freedom.
8. It is very affordable. Most credit unions have a yearly fee for this facility.
It may be as little as €15.