Geeta and Sarah from the Consumer Credit Counselling Service delivered an excellent money management workshop at Monday’s work club.
The first question they asked everyone was ‘How much money have you spent over the past 24 hours?’ This had to include everything, such as cash, card payments and any direct debits. This left many of us scratching our heads, trying to remember whether any direct debits had come out of our accounts the previous day. I couldn’t remember just how much I’d actually spent in the local shop earlier that morning!
Geeta and Sarah really opened our eyes to how little we really know about our spending habits and where all those pennies are actually going.
The first part of the workshop focused on income and budgeting. We were asked to record the various streams of income that we receive throughout the month, this should include everything such as wages, job seekers allowance, housing benefit, child tax credits etc. Most of us found this part fairly easy; the difficult bit was calculating out goings such as rent, utilities, childcare, insurance and especially the finer details of how much we spend a month on food, newspapers, transport etc.
Geeta and Sarah highlighted the importance of prioritising certain bills such as mortgages, rent and secured loans.
The workshop moved on to day-to-day money management ‘the sensible way’. Cutting back on little things can make a big difference, for example taking pack lunch to work each day instead of buying it. If you spend £3.00 on lunch every weekday, this adds up to £780 every year! This section finished with a detailed discussion around bank accounts, standing orders, direct debits and credit ratings.
The group then moved onto a discussion around credit and dealing with debt. This section was a real eye opener as there are many different types of credit available, all of which have slightly different terms and conditions. Geeta and Sarah went on to outline the range of credit available from store cards through to door step loans, explaining the pros and cons with a few cautionary tales.
The final part of the workshop looked at the debt collection process and the route creditors will take to collect unpaid unsecured credit debt. Geeta and Sarah detailed what customer’s rights are and who to contact if they feel a creditor is treating them unfairly.
Throughout the workshop Geeta and Sarah made it very clear that if anyone is having problems with debt, they should call the Consumer Credit Counselling Service for support Tel: 0800 138 1111
Find out more about the Consumer Credit Counselling Service at http://www.cccs.co.uk/
The next Work Club runs on Monday 5th March, 10am – 12 noon at Leeds Central Library
Focus topic: Searching for Vacancies
There will be an opportunity to discuss your own job seeking needs with one of the library’s job seeker advice workers during the session. To find out more about the Central Library Work Club visit www.businessandpatents.org