Financial Health Check

Do a Complete Financial Health Check

Everyone should review their finances at least once a year. No matter how we are managing there is always room for improvement. Plan for the year ahead and learn how to manage your money better.

What is a Spending Diary?

A Spending Diary is a list of your spending over a short period of time i.e. weekly, fortnightly, monthly.

Once you know how you spend your money you will be ready to use a Budget Planner.

Your Spending Diary

Keep all your receipts and fill in your Diary on a daily basis.  Get your partner/spouse to do the same. Then, together, go through each other’s Spending Diary and see what savings you can make.

Remember: It is important that you list everything in your spending diary including your daily lunch, daily newspaper, travel expenses.

What is a Budget ?

A Budget is a plan for the money you expect to get and how you intend to spend or save it. It is a helpful record because it will tell you:

  • How much money is coming in and going out
  • How much money you have left
  • How much of what you owe (debts) you can afford to pay off
  • How you can plan your spending in the future
  • How much you can afford to save
  • Where you can make changes to your spending habits

Budgeting can give you:

  • Peace of mind ….it stops you spending money you don’t have
  • Control…  over your spending to avoid impulse buying
  • Organisation… You can plan for goals such as Holiday or Home Improvements
  • Preparation for emergencies… By putting a small bit aside for a “rainy” day
  • Support… it helps you avoid spending more than you earn (getting into debt)
  • Thriftiness… to save money by making changes to your spending habits

The Money Advice & Budgeting Service offers a very helpful and quick Online Budgeting Tool.

Open the MABS Budgeting Tool

Your Spending Diary and Budget should have identified areas that need toning up

As a family, sit down together and ask yourselves where further savings can be made. A little goes a long way, even reducing small items can make big savings in the long run. Get your children involved; it’s important to teach them from a young age the value of money.

Money Savings Tips

  • If you have older children living with you who are earning by way of job or social welfare, could they be contributing towards household expenses? e.g. rent, food etc.
  • Could you reduce your outgoings? e.g. make your own lunch? Give up or smoke less? Cut down on daily/weekly spending?
  • Could you reduce your telephone costs? Could you continue to use your phone as usual but still save money by changing provider? Or changing to a more appropriate package with better deals or call rate? Visit for tips on where to find value for money.
  • Could you save on Electricity? Look at Energy Efficiency on and
  • Could you save by shopping around for better bargains? Where do you do your grocery shopping? Is it time to shop smartly and look at store brands? Always bring a list and stick to it to avoid impulse buying. Earn with loyalty cards and keep an eye out for latest offers on TV or in newspapers.
  • Next time your insurance is up for renewal, shop around. Your health, motor & home insurance providers will either match your best quote or you can simply change provider to get the best rate. Make sure to compare like-for-like.

The Consumer Protection Commission website offers great money savings tips.

Look at ways to save

You may think that saving money is for people with spare cash. Saving money doesn’t have to mean a large amount of money; any amount is a great start.

Regardless of how little or how much money you save, it’s crucial to accept the importance of regular saving.

There are two sides to savings

  1. Spend less by shopping smartly.
  2. Put money aside for the future or a “rainy” day.

Saving Makes Cents

It’s important to recognise that things can happen and that a rainy day will come. So putting a little aside is always a help.

Gives you a track record

It’s habit forming and like all good habits it’s one you won’t want to break.

Having a savings record shows that you are consistent so if you need to borrow money having a good track record of savings will strengthen your loan application.

The start can be a small one: the loose coins left in your pocket; the change in your purse; every cent helps!

After working out your Budget, decide on an amount you’re going to save. When you draw up your Budget, try to put savings in as if it were an expense; that way you are putting that amount out of reach.

What can St. Colmcille’s Kells Credit Union do for you?


Set up a Direct Debit – Transfer regular payments from your Bank to your Share account.

Start a Budget Account – You can join at the start of any month and you can now pay your bills through our Payzone Facility*.

*Utility bill needed.

Call in to the office and lodge money over the counter.