Travel On A Budget

Travel On A Budget

Travelling and everything that goes with it can add up quickly and become expensive. As with everything in life, there is a savvy way to do things! Being savvy with travel means you can keep the costs down but still have a fantastic time. Meaning you don’t miss out on exploring the world. Take a look at these tips on how you can travel cheap while getting that rich experience.

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Airbnb

Everyone has stayed in hotels and/or hostels. However, not everyone has tried  Airbnb ! their accommodation falls into that budget accommodation sweet spot. Less expensive than a hotel yet more comfortable and private than a hostel. It all really depends on how much you want to spend. Using Airbnb, you can find hosts with rooms to rent or entire homes! You can filter your search based on any budget and they have secure listings across 190 countries. All hosts are rated and reviewed by others so you can easily see if it’s a place that suits. Hosts are often more than happy to point you in the way of the best spots to eat, drink and the must see sights.

Why not become a host and make some travel money? Put up your place on Airbnb while on your holidays and generate a little extra spending money.

Booking Flights

Try To Be As Flexible As Possible

Look at the prices of flights to your chosen location over the course of a month to see when the cheapest time to fly is. There is a search tool with Google that allows you to visualise price changes over any given time period. However, peak times of year are always going to be expensive.

Skyscanner & Kayak

Skyscanner and Kayak are really useful services that search across dozens of airline providers to bring you the best deals.  You can easily search and compare flights to any airport in the world! When you use them, try to be as flexible as possible with your dates and destinations. Cool features on both websites are the price alerts (informing you of price changes) and you can look at the price across a whole month. If you’re undecided you can simply choose anywhere as a destination! Avoid unnecessary upgrades as they only marginally improve travelling and the money can be used elsewhere on your travels.

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Research and Plan

Putting together an itinerary or a daily/weekly plan for your trip will allow you to allocate your budget effectively based on the activities that you want to do and keep tabs on what you are spending. There are plenty of websites and Apps available to make this easier. Loney Planet started as travel guide books but have developed beyond this to incorporate much more.

Freebies!

There are lots of things you can do to have a rich cultural experience on a budget. It’s just a matter of doing your research, which the internet makes easier than ever. Asking others can also be a great source of info in person or online. For example, oftentimes museums have ‘Free Days’ midweek. In most cities, you are sure to find free walking tours available provided by local guides but often you are expected to tip. These tours are a great way to see a city. This is also a great opportunity to meet more travellers who may have some savvy travelling advice to share too.

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One of the biggest holiday expenses is food. Tourist and backpacker destinations are notoriously expensive so ask around and find out where the locals eat. If staying with an Airbnb host ask them for a suggestion. This may be outside the main commercial areas but you are sure to have a more authentic experience and to find some hidden gems. It’s also a great way to explore a city through its food!

Talk to us today about a holiday loan and get to seeing the world!

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Invest In Your Nest!

Invest In Your Nest!

We’re lending to members who are looking to invest in their nest! This could be used for a new washing machine, painting a child’s room, making changes to the kitchen, getting more from your garden or any other home improvement you’re planning. The amount you invest in your nest doesn’t matter, your credit union is here for you!

The Benefits of a Credit Union Loan

  • The peace of mind with loan protection insurance.
  • Lump sum repayments.
  • You can clear the loan early without any penalty.
  • No hidden charges.
  • Your repayments are calculated on the reducing balance of your loan.

Examples of home improvement loans with St. Michael’s Credit Union;

 

Use our Loan Calculator to get an estimate on the exact amount you would like to borrow here. St. Michael’s Credit Union has a loan approval rate of 94%! Talk to us today to invest in your nest!

What you need when applying for a loan;

How Do I Apply For A Loan- (7)

Home Energy Grant

Homeowners can avail of the grant through the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland provides funding through the Better Energy Homes a government programme. The grants provided apply to home insulation and heating system. To date over 335,000 homeowners have received grants. These grants have helped people to save on their heating bills, make their homes warmer and cosier. It also does a little to combat climate change! We have more information on availing of the grant here.

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!

Planning A Holiday?

Planning A Holiday?

Whether you’re looking for the ‘if not now, then when’Once in Lifetime Holiday Loan, or the ‘I can’t wait to see their excitement’ Family Holiday Loan, come and talk to your local credit union.

Here For You

Our philosophy has always been to look at things differently. We understand the difference a holiday loan can make to your life – creating memories and high points to look forward to, so we always look at your whole story to make sure you arrive at the perfect destination. We only propose holiday loans with realistic terms, which you can pay back in a way that works best for you.

We don’t charge administration fees or transaction charges and you can pay back your holiday loan early without penalty if that becomes an option. Remember, in your local credit union, you are not a customer, you are a valued member.

Examples of Loans

 

Secured Loan (4)
Holiday Of A Lifetime Loan

 

If you borrow at our Personal Loan Rate of €2,500 at 10.98% (11.60%APR), the weekly repayments are €50.81. You repay a total amount of €2,641.90. You can use our Loan Calculator to get a tailored loan estimate here; calculator.

If you are looking for some holiday tips we have a few here; Our Top Travel Tips.

Travel Insurance

You can also get your Travel Insurance is from coveru.ie It’s a new suite of insurance services brought to you by credit unions and AIG. Coveru.ie offers great value to credit union members on home, car and travel insurances. 

So if you are thinking about heading off on a holiday, be sure to talk to us today.

 

Things To Do St. Patrick’s Weekend

Things To Do St. Patrick’s Weekend

1. The Parade (Free)

The St. Patrick’s day parade is a great event for people of all ages! This year’s parade kicks off at 1 pm and will run from the South Mall to the Grand Parade, along St. Patrick’s Street and finishes at Merchant’s Quay. There is local involvement from the Rockies  club and Blackrock Rowing Club in the parade.

The parade is celebrating the theme of Cork – A City of Community, Culture & Commerce, it is sure to be a carnival of colour, music,  pageantry and comic fun! Rachel Allen is the parade’s Grand Marshal and will lead it along the route.

ParadeRoute2017

2. Music (Free)

The Lee Sessions are holding a number of trad sessions across the city on St. Patrick’s Day. Starting early and continuing late into the night in various pubs in the city;

1pm                 The Oliver Plunkett (Oliver Plunkett St) 

2.30pm            The Long Valley (Winthrop St)

3.30pm            Sin É (Coburg St)

5pm                 The Oliver Plunkett (Oliver Plunkett St)

5pm                 Counihans (Pembroke St)

5.30pm            Sin É (Coburg St)

6pm                 Corner House (Coburg St)

6pm                 Charlie’s (Union Quay)

6pm                 The Rock Bar (Gillabbey St)

7.30pm            Sin É (Coburg St)

9.30pm            Sin É (Coburg St)

10pm               An Spailpín Fánach (South Main St)

10pm               The Gables (Douglas St)

Each of these trad sessions is free but they are sure to be very busy so arriving early is advised.

3. Pop Up Patrick’s Market (Saturday & Sunday)

The market will be open from 10 am – 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. The market will be in Emmet Place over the weekend where you will find the country’s best street food, local Cork favourites such as O’Flynn’s, The Crepe Man, Sultan, Barracuda Barbeque, Wok Roll and Knockout Pizza. There will also be some tasty treats on offer too with Mini Donuts, Churros, Waffles, Clonakilty Ice Cream and Marco’s Freshly made Crisps. There will be a number of superb craft stalls to browse around at the market.

4. Children’s Activities

The Glucksman at UCC (Free); Have a children’s workshop creating artwork that responds to the classic storybook Peter Pan as part of the Big Picture Exhibition in March 2017.

Blackrock Castle Observatory; Planetarium Shows, Tours and Exhibition, Fri 17-Sun 19, 10 am -5 pm, (€4.50/€5.50/€6.50). Visit Blackrock Castle Observatory for Planetarium Shows, Castle Tower Tours and science exhibition Cosmos at the Castle!

It is sure to be a great day out whatever you choose to do! We wish all our members a very Happy St. Patrick’s 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 info@stmichaelscu.ie.

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

Volunteer With St. Michaels

Volunteer With St. Michaels

St. Michael’s Credit Union is looking for volunteers to get involved in a number of areas. Volunteering is a great way for members to develop professionally and personally with a credit union that has been part of the community for over 50 years.

The credit union movement is built upon the efforts of thousands of volunteers across the country who give their time and skills to their credit unions in the spirit of cooperation. St. Michael’s Credit Union has a team of volunteers that enables us to function proactively and positively in the local community. It is important that these skills are passed on to new volunteers so that the credit union can continue to develop.

Many of the roles in our credit union are staffed by members, for members. These volunteers sit on the various Committees and our Board of Directors, so they are fundamental to our past, present and future. Volunteering is mutually beneficial to both the volunteer and credit union.

Benefits of Volunteering

People can develop both personally and professionally by volunteering with St. Michael’s Credit Union. The benefits volunteering include:

  • Gaining skills and experience in a senior role of a professional financial service provider
  • The opportunity to avail of education and training
  • Personal development
  • Meet new people from the community
  • Work on developmental and business projects
  • Give something back to the community

The credit union committees offer an excellent starting point for new volunteers. These committees provide experience, learning and an active role within the credit union. Once a volunteer has served the credit union at committee level for a period of time, and training needs have been identified and addressed, you can move into a director or supervisor position.

Reasons to Volunteer

There are a vast variety of reasons why people volunteer. We’ve listed a few below:

  • Learn new skills
  • Volunteering is something that members enjoy doing
  • Develop new interests
  • Increase employability
  • Use professional skills
  • Increase self-confidence
  • Sense of achievement
  • To make a difference in the community
  • They hold the organisation and its ethos in high esteem

How to Apply

The Irish credit union movement currently has 9,250 volunteers involved. There is a mixed age range of those who are volunteering with St. Michaels. To get involved please contact us and please quote “VOLUNTEER” through one of the following methods;

You can download our volunteering form here.

Email: info@stmichaelcu.ie

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Or you can do it in person by calling into our office and staff will be more than happy to help.