Sadhbh’s Experience

Sadhbh’s Experience

At the start of this year’s Age Action, Computer and Device Classes the students from Ursulines were asked to write about their experiences. The first student to submit her piece on her experiences was Sadhbh Casey.

A Unique Opportunity

In transition year our school was given a unique opportunity to team up with and work alongside Age Action. It is an organisation that helps to integrate the young and older members of our community. Our task as tutors was to meet every Monday afternoon for six weeks with Age Action and our learners at St. Michael’s Credit Union. We would spend time with our learners, teaching them the IT skills they wanted to learn. Each person brought along the device they wanted to learn about, such as smartphones, laptops or tablets. For us, they are everyday things but for many members of the older generation, they’re simply mind-boggling devices.

We proceeded to teach them new skills every week like sending emails, booking flights and even shopping online. When each of us was assigned a partner on the first day we were a little nervous but as time went on it became just like chatting with friends. What we saw as a small thing to do was often a much bigger deal for the learner but it was great to share our knowledge. This experience was unforgettable and definitely life-changing for the older people who’ve learned new skills. Technology is becoming so important that it is key that not only young people grow with it!

We would like to thank Sadhb for expressing her experiences of being part of the Age Action classes. Also a big thank you to the volunteers, leaners and other tutors for making the classes so educational but also enjoyable.


Back To School Costs

Back To School Costs

It may still be the summer holidays but many parents are already preparing for the back to school time of year. The Irish League of Credit Unions has recently released the results from their annual survey of the costs of sending children back to school. 72% of parents feel the back to school spend is a financial burden, with more than a quarter (27%) saying the costs will impact negatively on household bills. However, more parents than ever are now in a position to finance back to school costs through their monthly income 71% compared to previous years.


From the survey, 29% of parents said they will borrow to fund the back to school costs. Of those who said they would have to borrow, the average amount borrowed is €345 this year. Primary school parents on average borrow €310, this is significantly less than secondary school parents who borrow €415.

A rise in the numbers using moneylender was small, we would find any increase like this concerning and would really encourage parents to instead talk to their local credit union, where interest rates are fair and capped by law. We would encourage all members borrowing to come and talk to us first. Your credit union is here to help! You can now make a loan enquiry through our website here at any time and anywhere!

Borrowing (1)

The vast majority of parents believe that Irish schools aren’t doing enough to support them in helping to keep costs down. With more than three quarters holding this view. The figure is even higher for parents of secondary school students at 85%! A clear indication that parents don’t think that schools are doing enough!

Other Highlights

Back 2 School Costs (2)

From the survey, it is good to see that more parents than ever are able to cover the back to school costs through their monthly income! However, it is still very clear that back to school costs are a financial burden on families. It forces parents to make tough choices on basic items and sacrifice spending on family holidays and even food.

For more information on back to school costs can be found on the ILCU website.

Communions & Confirmations

Communions & Confirmations

Preparing for a First Holy Communion or a Confirmation is an exciting time but with so many things to consider, the costs can add up quickly. It’s important to plan for the day and here are a few tips to help;

  1. Start Saving it’s never too late to begin saving and every little bit you put aside helps cover the costs of the day. It all adds up over time! St. Michael’s has been helping members save for over 54 years.
  2. Budget and know how much you can afford to spend. Make out a realistic budget and keep track of all your spending. Make a list of everything that you think you’ll have to buy from the outfit to the food. Make a decision on how much you’re going to spend and stick to that amount.
  3. Cutting the Costs 
  • Shop around when picking out their outfit for the day to get the best price.
  • Be creative! If you don’t have the money for all the extras think about what you can do yourself.
  • If you have decided to have a party at home, ask guests to bring along a dish to help share the cost and the work.
  • Do something a little different like asking your child what they might like to do with just the immediate family – maybe a trip to Fota.

I You Need To Borrow?

If you need help covering the costs of a Confirmation or Communion we are here for you! Avoid maxing out your credit card or using a moneylender that charges huge interest rates. Come talk to us today!

Here are examples of a loan with us;

Secured Loan; 

Loan Rate: 4.85% (5%APR)      

Amount: €600         Loan Lenght: 1 Year

       Weekly Repayments: €11.82      

 Total Repayment: €614.90

Personal Loan;

Loan Rate: 10.98% (11.60%APR)    

Amount: €500         Loan Lenght: 1 Year

       Weekly Repayments: €10.16      

 Total Repayment: €528.38

The Perfect Time To Start!

Now is the perfect time to teach your child about money and the importance of saving. A good starting point is to get your child to open a savings account with their communion money. We offer children’s’ savings accounts and visit local schools on a weekly basis as part of our School Savers Scheme. Encourage your child to put a little aside regularly by setting them a goal to save for. More information on saving with your credit union can be found here.

We wish everyone celebrating a First Holy Communion or Confirmation a great day!

Top Tips to Encourage Children to Save

Top Tips to Encourage Children to Save

Since the establishment of the first credit union, we’ve been encouraging children to save. Here is a quick list of our tips to encourage children to save.

  • Consider rewarding children for regular saving (perhaps by topping up their savings).
  • Help children to identify a short-term goal to save towards.
  • Make saving interesting, develop a savings plan or calendar to show when and how the goal can be reached or help children to hang up a picture of what they’re saving for.
  • Let children learn that they have to save up to buy something they really want. Don’t let them get into the habit of running to you every time they need more money.
  • Explain how dividends and interest work. When they put their money in a savings account, these savings earn more money at the end of the year.
  • Encourage your child to join our school savings scheme. We currently operate the saving scheme in the local primary schools. With staff members visiting to collect the savings once a week. Providing an opportunity for children to learn how to save regularly. The focus is not the amount saved, rather it’s on developing a habit of regular saving.
  • Give the children a piggy bank to help them save or better still bring them down to St. Michaels to open a savings account!

We would like to here about any tips that you might have for encouraging children to save! There are more ways than ever to get in contact! Post your children’s savings tips on any of our social media pages:     Facebook     Twitter   Instagram

Or you can email them to us at

The next time you in the office and let the savings habit begin and open a children’s saving account!

Top Tips for Teaching Children about Money

Top Tips for Teaching Children about Money

In a child’s world money comes from Mum’s or Dad’s pocket. When their pockets run out, a machine magically spouts out money after they tap it a few times. Children need to be aware that money doesn’t just appear but has to be earned and that you can only spend what you earn.

Here Are Our Top Tips for Teaching Children about Money

  1. Pocket money is a great way to help children learn to make their own decisions and live with them. How much pocket money to give will depend on age, maturity, responsibilities and you family’s financial situation.
  2. Give pocket money in small denominations to encourage children to put some of it aside as savings.
  3. Consider linking pocket money to chores. Showing that money has to be earned, the same way Mum or Dad earn money by going to work.
  4. Give advice to children but let them make their own spending decisions and mistakes. Don’t scold them for the mistakes but instead help them to see the error of their ways and learn for the future.
  5. Encourage children not to buy on impulse but to think about other options which they can spend their money on.
  6. Children love stories from their parent’s experiences. Talk to them about when and how you started saving, whether it was wisely invested and how it grew, the mistakes you learned from.
  7. With young children, it can be a good idea to play simple counting games with notes and coins.