Tel: 01226 741000

Cost Cutting & Money Saving Hints & Tips…

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Nowadays every penny counts, that’s why you need to make your hard earned cash work just as hard as you do!

Here are a few hints and tips from the team at Sheffield Mutual…

Tony Burdin: Chief ExecutiveTony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Use all your tax-free savings allowances.
  • Many cash deposits are losing money when compared with inflation – consider investing money you don’t need in products that offer higher potential returns, such as Investment ISAs and Investment Bonds.
  • Shop around each year for your house and car insurance – even if staying with the same company, do a quote online as a new customer of the same company and ask them to match it.
  • If buying goods online, put the item in your basket for a couple of days and see if the firm sends you a discount code offer.
  • Save money on dental treatment and spectacles by becoming a member of Sheffield Mutual!
  • Turn radiators off or turn the thermostat down in rooms you’re not using.

Jamie Bellamy: Finance Director

Web Jamie Bellamy

 

Whatever you’re doing, always put the research in, to make sure you’ve got the best possible deal.

 

 

 

 

Curtis Parker: Client Relationship Officer

Web Curtis

Dry January / February a great cost cutting exercise and good for the body too!

 

 

 

 

Dawn Gregory: Business Development Manager

Web Dawn

Thinking of buying a new car? The new vehicle tax rates come into force April 1st 2017 – could you save money if you bought now?

 

 

Sue Squires: Office Manager

Web Sue

  • Never spend more than you can afford.

  • Never pay credit card charges by always paying your credit card bill off in full each month.

 

 

Sharon Pursley: Finance Officer

Web Sharon

  • Shop early or later to get the sticker bargains

  • Always shop around and do your research

  • Always haggle!

 

Lewis Kerry:- Financial Reporting Officer

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  • Go through your bank statements and look for things that you bought/spent money on that you didn’t need to. For example; mine was expensive coffee’s. Only a couple of pounds each time, but it soon adds up!

  • Leave your wallet/purse at home so someone else has to pay!

 

 

Debra Roberts: Member Services Officer

Web DebraMake packed lunches rather than buying pre-pack sandwiches from supermarkets or mobile catering vans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew Bonner : Member Services Administrator

DSC_4926Try things yourself first before getting in the professionals. You may be surprised with how you do.

 

 

 

 

Melissa Perry : Member Services Administrator

 Web Melissa

When ordering online, to save paying for delivery, pick up at store or a local pick-up point.

 

 

 

 

THIS BLOG PROVIDES GENERIC INFORMATION AND OPINIONS OF THE WRITER AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON FOR MAKING INVESTMENT DECISIONS. NO ADVICE HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY SHEFFIELD MUTUAL. IF YOU ARE IN ANY DOUBT AS TO WHETHER A SAVINGS OR INVESTMENT PLAN IS SUITABLE FOR YOU, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER CONTACTING A FINANCIAL ADVISER FOR ADVICE. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A FINANCIAL ADVISER, YOU CAN GET DETAILS OF LOCAL FINANCIAL ADVISERS BY VISITING WWW.UNBIASED.CO.UK. or WWW.VOUCHEDFOR.CO.UK ADVISERS MAY CHARGE FOR PROVIDING SUCH ADVICE AND SHOULD CONFIRM ANY COSTS BEFOREHAND. ANY REFERENCE TO TAXATION IS BASED ON THE WRITER’S UNDERSTANDING OF CURRENT TAX LEGISLATION AND PRACTICE, WHICH COULD CHANGE IN THE FUTURE.

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Regular Savings – simple and affordable?

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Save RegularlyWhen it comes to savings, the easiest thing to do is to simply open a savings account, deposit your cash and forget about it until you need it. However, to make the most of your money, may not always be the best thing to do. With interest rates so low, most standard instant access savings account won’t give you a very good return on your investment. No matter how much money you have saved, it’s always a good idea to spend a little time looking at your investment options and considering your own needs.

While a long term investment plan will make you the most money, it’s always wise to have some money you can get at quickly in case of an emergency. If your boiler breaks in the middle of winter and you need to quickly find the money to have it replaced, do you have cash you can get at fast without incurring penalties? If your money is tied up in a long term investment, you could well jeopardise any chance of a good return if you take your money out early. That’s why the best idea is to have several pots for your savings. Work out how much money you have in savings, and then consider how much of this you’d like to be able to access quickly. Perhaps you’re thinking you’ll go on holiday or buy a new car in a few months, and of course it’s always reassuring to have money you can get at quickly for any unforeseen circumstances. Once you’ve worked out how much money you need in your fast access pot, the rest of your savings you can safely tie up in a longer term plan.

There are plenty of good long term savings and investments available on the market. In general, the longer length of time you can put your money away for, the better deal you’ll get when it comes to saving.  As long as you don’t want the money out before the term finishes, and of course now you have put aside some emergency money elsewhere, this shouldn’t be an issue, you should be able to get a good return. There are products that give you a guaranteed return, so you don’t have to worry about losing money either.

There’s also no reason why you can’t have several products to save money over different lengths of time. Perhaps you have a young child and you’d like to put money away for twenty years for them. You may also be planning a round the world trip in five years time. You can invest your money two different ways that will give you the most benefit and allow you to get access to your money in five years and again in twenty years.

You’ll find products created specifically for medium and for long term investments. Do your research and you’ll be able to find just the right product that will perfectly suit all your needs, but it may well be the case that splitting up your cash into several ‘pots’ is the best choice to get the best return, and allow you to access the money just when you need it.

Making your money work for you takes just a little more time than simply stashing your cash in a standard savings account, but the results are well worth it.

If you’d like more information about regular savings from just £5 per month, then please visit the Sheffield Mutual website – http://www.sheffieldmutual.com/regular-savings.

This blog provides generic information and opinions of the writer and should not be relied upon for making investment decisions. No advice has been provided by Sheffield Mutual. If you are in any doubt as to whether a savings or investment plan is suitable for you, you should consider contacting a financial adviser for advice. If you do not have a financial adviser, you can get details of local financial advisers by visiting www.unbiased.co.uk or www.vouchedfor.co.uk. Advisers may charge for providing such advice and should confirm any costs beforehand. Any reference to taxation is based on the writer’s understanding of current tax legislation and practice, which could change in the future.

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Searching for income?

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Income Bond Panel

compass

Do you have a Lump Sum to invest and are looking to receive a guaranteed income for the next 20 years? You could consider Sheffield Mutual’s INCOME BOND:

Income bullet

What is the Income Bond designed for? The Income Bond is designed to pay you a regular income to your bank account from a lump sum you invest.

Why would I choose the Income Bond instead of a bank or building society account? The Income Bond allows you to choose the amount of income you would like to receive (subject to certain limits set by HMRC) and enables you to enjoy a level of income possibly higher than the typical interest rates currently available from banks and building societies, together with the prospect of some investment growth.

How does the income work? Invest a lump sum and decide how much income you would like to receive from your bond and how often. Choose a level of income in the range of 2% to 5% per annum of your lump sum, (you can amend, suspend or re-start the income at any time).income bond green box

 

Other things you need to consider…
Unlike some interest paying accounts bonuses are not guaranteed and depend on how the Society’s investments perform. However, we have paid bonuses in every year the Income Bond has been available (since 2006).

If you choose to take a higher percentage rate of income withdrawals than the bonus rate paid, the value of your bond will of course reduce year-on-year. This is because your lump sum will reduce faster than your bonus ‘pot’ is growing. But even if you take the maximum 5% income per annum, you will still have your bonus ‘pot’ to cashin at the end of the term, plus the possibility of a final (terminal) bonus.
If you need to cash-in the bond during the first 5 years you will be charged a surrender penalty and you may receive back less than the lump sum invested less your income
withdrawals. However, the bond’s value would not be reduced in the unfortunate event of your death, so your next of kin would not be disadvantaged. The money you invest, less income withdrawn, is also guaranteed after 5 years.

Income Bond informationincome bullet 2

This information is designed purely to help potential investors understand how income is paid from the Income Bond. You should also study the product brochure, Key Features and illustration before deciding whether to invest.

THIS BLOG PROVIDES GENERIC INFORMATION AND OPINIONS OF THE WRITER AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON FOR MAKING INVESTMENT DECISIONS. NO ADVICE HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY SHEFFIELD MUTUAL. IF YOU ARE IN ANY DOUBT AS TO WHETHER A SAVINGS OR INVESTMENT PLAN IS SUITABLE FOR YOU, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER CONTACTING A FINANCIAL ADVISER FOR ADVICE. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A FINANCIAL ADVISER, YOU CAN GET DETAILS OF LOCAL FINANCIAL ADVISERS BY VISITING WWW.UNBIASED.CO.UK. or WWW.VOUCHEDFOR.CO.UK ADVISERS MAY CHARGE FOR PROVIDING SUCH ADVICE AND SHOULD CONFIRM ANY COSTS BEFOREHAND. ANY REFERENCE TO TAXATION IS BASED ON THE WRITER’S UNDERSTANDING OF CURRENT TAX LEGISLATION AND PRACTICE, WHICH COULD CHANGE IN THE FUTURE.

Posted in Focus on product, Lump Sum Investments, Saving, Useful | Leave a reply

Cash ISA rates continue to fall

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The Bank of England voted to keep its base rate at an historic low of 0.25% on 02 February 2017, despite expectations of rising inflation and slower wage growth squeezing household budgets and spending this year.

The Bank is forecasting an acceleration in economic growth but has predicted that inflation, currently at 1.6%, could move in either direction to ensure a sustainable return of inflation to the 2% target.

So what does this mean for investors?
Savers will continue to suffer with inflation threat and progressively falling interest rates on cash ISAs for the foreseeable future with no end in sight. You may be left scouring the market for another cash ISA but with average rates at 0.46% at the end of 2016, you may want to consider an Investment (stocks and shares) ISA.

Average Cash ISA Rates

Avg Cash ISA Rates

 

 

 

 

 


Source: Bank of England, January 2011 – August 2016

Why consider an Investment ISA?
With current cash ISA rates extremely underwhelming, you could boost your returns over the medium / long term without exposing your money directly to the stock market. We’d class this as a low to medium risk investment so it could suit you if you have a cautious approach to investing.

Sheffield Mutual’s ISA has produced consistent returns over the last 5 years through its with-profits fund*. The fund uses a process known as ‘smoothing’ to iron out the ups and downs normally associated with investing so it doesn’t carry the same volatility risk as a unit-linked fund that would track the stock market’s performance.

You can transfer your cash ISA to an Investment ISA without effecting your current tax year allowance and you will retain all your ISA tax benefits. You should, however, consider holding sufficient cash elsewhere with instant access to cover any emergencies and be mindful that stock market investments can go up as well as down and you could, in some circumstances, get back less than you paid in.

Click here for a guide to Sheffield Mutual’s with-profits fund and historic bonus rates.

THIS BLOG PROVIDES GENERIC INFORMATION AND OPINIONS OF THE WRITER AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON FOR MAKING INVESTMENT DECISIONS. NO ADVICE HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY SHEFFIELD MUTUAL. IF YOU ARE IN ANY DOUBT AS TO WHETHER A SAVINGS OR INVESTMENT PLAN IS SUITABLE FOR YOU, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER CONTACTING A FINANCIAL ADVISER FOR ADVICE. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A FINANCIAL ADVISER, YOU CAN GET DETAILS OF LOCAL FINANCIAL ADVISERS BY VISITING WWW.UNBIASED.CO.UK. or WWW.VOUCHEDFOR.CO.UK ADVISERS MAY CHARGE FOR PROVIDING SUCH ADVICE AND SHOULD CONFIRM ANY COSTS BEFOREHAND. ANY REFERENCE TO TAXATION IS BASED ON THE WRITER’S UNDERSTANDING OF CURRENT TAX LEGISLATION AND PRACTICE, WHICH COULD CHANGE IN THE FUTURE.

* Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

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Ethical Investments…

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Sheffield Mutual seeks to adopt an ethical approach to investing and it is our policy not to invest knowingly or directly in industries relating to armaments, tobacco, gambling and pornography.

What is ethical investing?

Definition – Using one’s ethical principles as the main filter for investment selection. Ethical investing depends on an investor’s views; some may choose to eliminate certain industries entirely (such as gambling, alcohol or firearms) or to over-allocate to industries that meet the individual’s ethical guidelines.

A good way to start thinking about ethical investing is to list the areas you want to avoid and where you’d like to see your money invested. From there you can come up with an asset allocation plan and begin researching individual securities and funds. Some funds and policies can be quite complex. Sheffield Mutual’s fund is one of the easier to understand and it requires no input from you as the investor, it simply states that the fund does not invest knowingly or directly in armaments, tobacco, gambling or pornography… other funds give you the options as to where you’d like your money invested and require much more input from you as the investor.

The first ethical fund was launched in 1984. There are of course many different ethical funds available so you may need to contact a suitably qualified financial adviser (which may incur a fee) to assist you in finding the right fund.asset allocation

Sheffield Mutual’s ethical fund is also a with-profits fund. It is a way of pooling the money of hundreds of investors into a single fund with ethical values. This is then invested in a mix of assets, such as stocks & shares (equities), property, commercial mortgages, gilts, bonds, fixed interest and cash. This gives members access to a wide range of different assets without directly exposing their funds to the stock market, but offers greater potential growth over say a straightforward cash investment. Sheffield Mutual’s balanced with-profits fund is managed with a view to providing a low to medium risk investment.

If you were to invest directly into the stock market your funds could fluctuate as the stock market rises and falls, which can be quite “risky” as there is a chance that you could lose your capital, but this option also has the potential for greater growth. By investing in a with-profits fund the risk is spread out over the different types of investments which reduces the risk. Sheffield Mutual also implements a smoothing process, whereby money is put aside in the “good” years to compensate for the years when the market is volatile, therefore being able to smooth out the returns.

So now it’s down to you! Where is your money currently invested? Are you happy with your returns? Have you considered investing ethically? Maybe you have not considered where your funds are invested?

Some food for thought…

THIS BLOG PROVIDES GENERIC INFORMATION AND OPINIONS OF THE WRITER AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON FOR MAKING INVESTMENT DECISIONS. NO ADVICE HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY SHEFFIELD MUTUAL. IF YOU ARE IN ANY DOUBT AS TO WHETHER A SAVINGS OR INVESTMENT PLAN IS SUITABLE FOR YOU, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER CONTACTING A FINANCIAL ADVISER FOR ADVICE. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A FINANCIAL ADVISER, YOU CAN GET DETAILS OF LOCAL FINANCIAL ADVISERS BY VISITING WWW.UNBIASED.CO.UK. or WWW.VOUCHEDFOR.CO.UK ADVISERS MAY CHARGE FOR PROVIDING SUCH ADVICE AND SHOULD CONFIRM ANY COSTS BEFOREHAND. ANY REFERENCE TO TAXATION IS BASED ON THE WRITER’S UNDERSTANDING OF CURRENT TAX LEGISLATION AND PRACTICE, WHICH COULD CHANGE IN THE FUTURE.

 

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PRESS RELEASE: Local Mutual and their staff’s chosen charity celebrate together!

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birthday

This year is a massive milestone for Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society and Support Dogs, as they join in celebration for their 125th and 25th birthdays respectively. Sheffield Mutual has been in collaboration with Support Dogs for over 4 years, donating over £25,000 via various schemes and staff fundraising.

Support Dogs is a national charity based in Sheffield who provide and train dogs to assist people with disabilities and autism. They also train seizure alert dogs to provide a 100% reliable warning of up to 50 minutes prior to an oncoming seizure – essentially they are giving people their lives back.

Sheffield Mutual is a local friendly society who has its members’ best interests at heart, and being a mutual, likes to be involved with local community groups and charities. It specialises in tax-free savings and offer various regular premium and lump sum investment plans including ISAs and plans which include life cover. The Society has extremely high service standards and knowledgeable and friendly staff to answer your questions about its services and its products.

Business Development Manager at Sheffield Mutual Dawn Gregory said

 

“Having been around for 125 years, you’d think most people would have heard about us, but the fact is we remain a well-kept secret!

 

It is fantastic to be working for a Society that puts it’s members first and supports the local community. This year we’re also asking members and the general public to nominate charities to receive Community Fund donations and to nominate and vote for a charity to win a £5,000 charity award. Working with Support Dogs has been highly rewarding for me personally and I’m pleased we’re able to celebrate together this year.”

 

Sheffield Mutual is donating a further £2,500 to Support Dogs during 2017 – that’s £100 for every year they’ve been running so far but they do need more and have lots of ways you can help.

dogs-17

For further information please contact Dawn Gregory on 01226 741000 or email enquiries@sheffieldmutual.com or visit www.sheffieldmutual.com / www.supportdogs.org.uk

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Know a charity / community group or good cause that could benefit from a donation from our community fund?

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This year the Society has funds available for donations to smaller local charities, community groups and voluntary organisations from the Sheffield Mutual Community Fund. Sheffield Mutual started a community fund back in 2014 and they have helped 44 charities/community groups and good causes so far donating nearly £15,000.INGCHYSS0404

Know a charity / community group or good cause that could benefit from a donation from our community fund?

Download complete and return the simple form below to request a donation. Requests must be in line with our Donations Policy as outlined below.

COMMUNITY FUND APPLICATION FORM (391.4K, .PDF)

Donations Policy

In addition to supporting our staff chosen charity as outlined above, further donations up to £1,000 may be awarded to local charities, community, and voluntary and self-help groups in line with the following criteria:

  • it must address a community issue or need
  • it must come from South Yorkshire or from elsewhere if nominated by an existing member of the Society
  • priority will be given to projects or initiatives aimed at relieving hardship, poverty or suffering
  • recipient charities and good causes will be required to use their best endeavours to promote the Mutual Friends scheme and must agree to participate in publicity photos etc. if required

All applications will be considered by a selection panel made up of staff and committee members. The panel’s decision will be final.

There are a few standard exclusions to be aware of:

  • Donations will not be made to individuals, companies, political parties or religious groups (unless the project will benefit the wider community)
  • Donations are not normally available for the benefit of overseas communities
  • Donations are not normally available to cover general running costs, but must be for specific projects, initiatives, services, facilities or equipment
  • Donations are not available for statutory services, such as libraries and hospitals
  • Charities or groups who have received a donation within the last 12 months should not apply
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Dates for your diary!

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Sheffield Mutual’s office will be closed on the following days in 2017diary-2017-bevel

14 April Friday Good Friday
17 April Monday Easter Monday
1 May Monday Early May bank holiday
29 May Monday Spring bank holiday
28 August Monday Summer bank holiday

The office will close at 3pm on Friday 22 December 2017 and re-open on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

Other Important dates.

WEDNESDAY 5th APRIL 2017 – Have you used this year’s ISA allowance of £15,240? If you haven’t invested this by 5th April you’ll lose it! #USEITORLOSEIT

Thursday 6th April – a brand new tax-year – you can invest up to £20,000 into your ISAs by the 5th April 2018

W/C 27/03/2017 – All Non ISA/JISA bonus statements will be posted

W/C 10/04/2017 – ISA / JISA bonus statements will be posted out

W/C 08/05/2017 – Posting out of Newsletter / Notice of Annual General Meeting

Saturday June 10th – Our Annual General Meeting at 11am

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PRESS RELEASE: Do you know a charity that could benefit from a £5,000 donation this year?

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dogs-17Local friendly society Sheffield Mutual has launched a charity nomination scheme for 2017. They are asking the general public to nominate their favourite charity via their website www.sheffieldmutual.com . Nominations will close on 31st March 2017.

Once nominations have been made, a panel consisting of staff and Committee will choose 10 charities to put forward for the public vote. Charities will then have until 31st July to get as many votes as possible. The successful charity will be announced in August 2017.

Sheffield Mutual also supports other charities and good causes via their Community Fund and Mutual Friends® scheme.

Criteria for charity nominations.

  • Charities nominated must be registered charities on the gov.uk website
  • Priority will be given to charities aimed at relieving hardship, poverty or suffering
  • We favour charities that are perhaps less well known and where a donation of £5,000 would make a considerable difference
  • Recipient charities will be required to use their best endeavours to promote their relationship with the Society and must agree to participate in publicity photos etc. if required
  • Charities will need to engage with their supporters in order to gain votes

There are a few standard exclusions to be aware of:

  • Charities nominated must not be related to companies, political parties or religious groups (unless the project will benefit the wider community)
  • Charities should be UK based
  • Donations are not available for statutory services, such as libraries and hospitals

For further information please contact Dawn Gregory on 01226 741000 or email
enquiries@sheffieldmutual.com

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Pupdate – Society names Support Dog

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Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society has worked with Support Dogs for the last 4 years and we were pleasantly surprised when they asked us to name one of their dogs in training. After lots of help from our Facebook followers and a vote including staff and Committee members, we went with Smurf, and here she is…

Smurf… Sheffield..Mutual..Friendly Society.smurf

Smurf is two years old and arrived at Support Dogs from Battersea Dogs Home, as her previous owner could no longer care for her.

She is currently completing her initial general training stage with the charity before identified as being best suited for a specific programme. The charity runs three programmes of support: Epilepsy seizure alert dogs, Autism assistance dogs for children aged 3 – 10 and disability assistance dogs providing safety and help with day-to-day tasks for those affected by a wide range of physical disabilities including MS, Cerebral Palsy and Spinal Cord Injury.

Danny Anderson, Fundraising Manager at Support Dogs said “Despite her difficult start in life, Smurf is a real people lover. We think she has the potential to be a great support dog and are looking forward to updating you on her progress.”

Please see our other ‘Pupdate’ blogs to find out more about Support Dogs and how Sheffield Mutual is helping them to provide Support Dogs For Autism, For Epilepsy, For Disability.support-dogs-blue_new-strap_reverse-blue-cropped

Posted in Charity/Fundraising/Donations, Members, Mutual Organisations, Pupdate, Sheffield Mutual News | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Reply