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Kate Crowe

Becoming a home-school hero

By | Latest News

It almost feels like we blinked and all of a sudden we we’re expected to become, teachers, referees, principals, chef’s, and entertainers all in one night. Along with trying to be a parent and juggling your day job, the stress levels are rising.

Let’s begin by first of all saying, Rome wasn’t built in a day, mastering all tasks won’t happen overnight. The stress of keeping all the balls bouncing will get to everyone! But how do you avoid feeling like you’re turning into Ms. Trunchbull?

The Irish League of Credit Unions spoke to a teacher, who has listened to the feedback from parents in her class and adapted the work she sends to the kids. This ensures there is no unnecessary stress for all involved. Parents and children aren’t expected to follow any formal regime for getting the work done. But this teacher has given us some handy tips that will keep the questions to a minimum, allowing you to get your own work done.

Above all, be kind to yourself. You are not a teacher, and we are all in unchartered waters right now. Some children will need the routine and structure of a school day, others will not. Some children will enjoy the learning and work sent home, others would rather be outside, or playing.

Be prepared!

It is important for parents to be prepared for the next day’s lessons. Setting out a timetable of what order the work is happening and how long you are spending on each subject will keep everyone focused. It is important to split the timings into slots of concentration rather than getting the work done all in one go! If you feel like you will get 40 minutes concentration for one piece of work put that down on the schedule. If kids are older, you may want to extend this time slot to 50 minutes. Work with what you have, there’s no one size fits all!

 Tips for subjects

If you’re finding it hard to wonder how teachers do it, it’s because they have resources! Home-schooling is more than likely just using a book or an online tool. When a lesson takes place in the classroom, practical examples are put into place. This teacher has given us some helpful tips to get creative to help with learning.

  • Maths

The dreaded subject for many. The memories of our own days in school, grasping the methods for adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing would be enough to turn anyone off for life. Maths is difficult, and explaining it may be even harder.

Using resources from around the house can be a useful tool in helping younger kids especially to practice counting or adding and subtracting. Household items like a deck of cards, dominos, dried pasta and straws are all perfect resources for your home class room. Plus, that box full of lego can really be put to use.

For older children, it’s important that we teach them life skills that translate into what they are learning in the classroom. Including them in dinner or baking preparations will allow them to use their maths skills to measure ingredients and add or subtract to make portion sizes fit for all the family at meal times.
Another valuable exercise is to allow older children to help you price an online supermarket shop. This doesn’t mean you are necessarily ordering your shopping online but by giving them a list of things, asking them to price the shop and give you a total at the end allows for classroom learning to take on a real life situation.

There are some excellent online resources that are being offered for free at the moment – I’ve signed my own children up to Carol Vorderman’s ‘The Maths Factor’ (For ages 4-12). It’s topic based, designed by age, with videos for each topic and a short practice assignment with each session. There’s also a games section, which is very popular in our house, again age-appropriate options. Sign up here

  • STEM

Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths – STEM. Now you may be reading this thinking, no way am I participating in any science experience in my house! Science experiments can bring the fun to home schooling. Visuals are always a great asset to have in any classroom, they enhance the learning experience and bring excitement to learning. As STEM subjects become more and more important in schooling life, here are some easy home experiments for any budding Einstein’s!

Building jelly bean structures:

You’ll need toothpicks and jelly beans/marshmallows. The object of this experience is to build a structure that’s stands tall on its own using only two materials. Build whatever you want – but make sure it stands up on its own!

Orange – sink or swim?

What you will need for this is an orange and a clear bowl or vase filled with water. First place the orange with all its skin in tact, in the water and observe that it floats. Next, take the orange out and peel the skin off. Place the peeled orange back in the water and what happens? It sinks of course! This is aimed at younger children and a good way to describe why this happens, is by saying the first orange had its armbands on and so was able to float. The second orange took its arm bands of and so it sank.

Make your own lava lamp:

What you will need for this is a clear plastic or class bottle, some oil and food colouring. Fill the bottle with water. Add some oil and some food colouring and watch your lava lamp come to life!

For some more great science experiments, visit Science Foundation Ireland.

  • History & Geography

A valuable exercise to teach children about both history and geography, is to set children a task of creating a project on the holiday destination they would love to go on when this is all over. This is an exercise that can be tailored to any age. For older children, they must first find out the history of the destination. Then some facts about the landscape, how they would get there, what they would bring with them and finally, what they could get up to when they are there. For younger children, drawing pictures of the place (or places!) they want to visit when this is over, can be their own little project. Why not get them to present it to the rest of the family when finished, you never know, it might be your next holiday planned!

Extra Resources!

You may find that your children are finishing their work in record time, leaving you little or no time to get stuck into your own work. Or, if you’ve more than one child at home, you can be sure that one will fly through the work and the other will drag their heels. A golden ticket of advice is to have early finisher exercises ready to go. These may include, colouring a picture, practicing spellings, practicing writing by writing a letter to their friends or family they can’t see at the moment or indeed, checking out RTÉ’s Homeschool. Another gem is Joe Wicks PE class every morning at 9am. A must do in your daily timetable.

 

Photography Competition

By | Latest News

With so many of our members staying at home due to Covid-19, we’d love to hear how you are coping in isolation? Whether you’re working from home, home schooling, or venturing out for your daily stroll, we want to see your snaps.

There is so much beauty to be found in our everyday lives, in our homes and in our community, so we want our members to get creative and capture some of this everyday beauty.
To be in with a chance of winning €200, post your picture on Facebook or Instagram, tag us and use the hashtag #ccuphotocomp

Closing date is Wednesday 15th April. We can’t wait to see your entries #getcreative #staypositive

Carrickmacross Credit Union is Here to Help!

By | Latest News

In light of these very difficult and unprecedented times, we acknowledge that COVID-19 is causing concern and disruption to some of our membership.
For members who do not wish to present at our counters Carrickmacross Credit Union can take loan repayments over the phone using debit card, we also offer fast-lodge service that can be accessed at the front of our building eliminating the requirement to enter our premises, we would encourage any member in a position to use these services to do so.

Should a member be facing financial difficulties due to a change in circumstances and are concerned about loan arrears, please contact our office immediately on 042-9661937 and speak to a member of staff who will ensure that our Credit Control Officer will contact them in a timely manner to discuss their account in detail and help to resolve their concerns.

Download your FREE Kids Colouring Sheet

By | Latest News

With the schools and creches closed – and parents trying to juggle their normal workload while entertaining small, excited humans who are pinging off walls with all the eagerness of cooped up puppies – we understand tensions could be rising.

The Irish League of Credit Unions have written a blog with ideas for parents to keep the lil’ ones thinking, learning and creating – so their impressionable, sponge-like brains don’t succumb to mindless hours of a particular pink pig – (However entertaining she may be… you know who we’re referring to).

We’ve also decided to share our fun Monster Colouring Sheet which you can download here and print off, giving them one more activity to try – hopefully occupying them for more than ten minutes. Download it here.

Why not also try our online Schools Quiz to test their knowledge?

Covid 19 Update

By | Latest News

Carrickmacross Credit Union Ltd. is open today and will continue to open until we are advised otherwise. We are following safety & social distancing rules at all times. If you intend to come into the office please stay safe & stay spaced, by keeping 1-2 meters from others.
In the interest of our staff and members health & safety we ask that any of our members considered to be in the ‘High Risk’ category do not come into the credit union.

We would like to remind our members that most credit union services are available via online banking and by contacting us by phone or email.
If you have already registered for online banking but have forgotten your details please contact us on 042 9661937 or email info@carrickmacrosscu.ie
To register for Online Banking Services please visit www.carrickmacrosscu.ie to complete the registration process. A PIN number will be issued in the post.

Thanks:

A special thanks to all our staff at the front line doing their bit to serve our members needs, the ongoing & changing situation will be closely monitored and we will follow all government guidance.

Updates:

In the event of a Covid-19 incident preventing public access to our office, please note that all electronic payments e.g. standing orders will be processed as normal. If the situation regarding Covid-19 directly impacts credit union staff, we will provide you with further updates.
We will issue any required updates via our website www.carrickmacrosscu.ie and our social channels, Facebook & Instagram. Please follow these channels to remain up to date.
We would advise all members to keep up to date with the ongoing updates and recommendations in relation to Covid-19.

How Much Should You Spend On A Second Hand Car?

By | Latest News

Saving money means making good choices on the two main expenses in your life: your car and your home. It doesn’t matter if you never splurge on anything else – If you pay more than you should for either of these, you might find yourself strapped for cash in other places.

So – how much should you spend on your second hand car? It is, of course, completely up to you, and depends on variables such as your lifestyle, outgoings, income etc. As much as we would love the all-knowing, all-seeing, forever-wise finance fairy to appear and make all our financial decisions for us with a puff of glittery dust – alas, we must trust our own judgement. We have though, tried to assist your decision by including a very loose, top level spending guide below, some of which is according to MoneyUnder30.

Here at Carrickmacross Credit Union Ltd., we could advise you that you could afford €400 per month for a car loan, based on your monthly income, but it’s up to you how long you spend paying off that loan – which is the deciding factor between a newish BMW or a mid-range Ford Focus. Our staff will chat to each individual person about their needs and ability to repay, so if you have a query, don’t hesitate to drop in and see us, or submit a query online.

So, here are some options to consider:

  1. The general option: spend 35% of income on your car

This is more of a catch-all approach. As it is a significant chunk of your income, it might be preferable to be making average or above average wage, and have a capacity to repay over a longer period, if you were to take out a loan.

  1. The wiser/frugal option: spend 10% of your income on a car

This will be based on life choices, but spending 10% of your income on a car would be the wise choice – and you may still get a car with acceptable mileage for €2,000-€3,000, based on an average income.

  1. The popular option: spend 20% of your income on a car

According to car site Edmund.com, 20% of your wage is their ‘rule of thumb.’ when it comes to spending on a car. This percentage has to include all of the expenses that come with a car as well – so take this into account when planning how long you have to budget/pay back your loan. 

That’s all great, but let’s say I have €7,000 to spend on my car, what do I look out for when spending my money?

In terms of what to know what to invest this money in, just make sure to go for a level up from basic and prioritise the following three things:

  1. Car Mileage

At around 3 years old, or 30k-40k kilometres, this is the first major milestone in the lifetime of a car.  The second major milestone is 60-70k kilometres and is the time you may need to replace parts on a car, and the third is 100,000 kilometres. Check how many miles the car has done, and ascertain how much the car is at each stage. What mileage level you decide on will depend on how far you will drive the car on a weekly basis. You can check a car’s history on sites such as cartell.ie or motorcheck.ie.

  1. Car Colour

If you’re hoping to resell the car, make sure it’s black, blue, silver or grey.

  1. Manual gear box

Apparently, according to Ford, 95% of Irish people would prefer manual over automatic, so better for re-sale.

If you’ve decided on the amount you’d like to spend, and need a little assistance, we’d be more than happy to chat to help you figure out the best finance plan for you.

Loans are subject to approval. Terms & Conditions apply. Carrickmacross Credit Union is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Carrick Aces & Carrickmacross Credit Union Ltd. join forces for the ‘Carrick Aces Credit Union 5k & Family Friendly 2k Run’

By | Latest News

Carrickmacross Credit Union Ltd. is delighted to announce that it has partnered with the Carrick Aces as its primary sponsor for the Carrick Aces Credit Union 5K & Family Friendly 2K Run which will take place on Sunday March 15th 2020.

Speaking about the new partnership, Marian McEnaney, CEO of Carrickmacross Credit Union Ltd. said “The Carrick Aces are a very highly regarded local organisation, with over 466 members it is the fastest growing Athletic Club in Monaghan and we are very happy to have teamed up to organise this exciting event, which all the family can get involved in”.

Martin McCahey, Chairperson of Carrick Aces also commented “We are delighted with this partnership with Carrickmacross Credit Union Ltd. Their ethos of social responsibility and community development is very much in line with our own core ethos here at Carrick Aces. This is the first time that we have included the 2K Family Run, and we are looking forward to seeing lots of new faces participating this year”.

The 2K Family Friendly race starts at 10am sharp, with the 5K race kicking off at 11am. Both races will start at the Carrick Aces grounds on Oriel Road. You can complete registration online at www.carrickaces.ie  or Pre-Registration takes place on Saturday 14th March in the Credit Union from 10am – 4pm. Registration on the day will also be available from 9.15am.  

The Family Friendly Run is €5 entry and all runners will receive a medal.

For the 5K Run the entry cost is €15 and for this you will receive:
• A locally designed medal
• T Shirt (for the first 300 entrants)
• Chip timing
• Great Prizes
• Refreshments afterwards

For more information please see Carrick Aces or Carrickmacross Credit Union Facebook Page.

 

Carrickmacross Credit Union Ltd. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Reg. No Cu 141.

10 Reasons A CCU Car Loan is Better than a PCP Agreement

By | Latest News

In recent years PCPs, or Personal Contract Plans, have become a popular way to finance a new car. Many dealerships can offer you a very attractive-sounding deal on the spot – affordable deposit, low monthly payments, trade in the car after 2-3 years… What could possibly go wrong?

Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as all that and there are a number of pitfalls to be aware of when entering into a PCP agreement – most of which can be avoided completely by taking out a car loan with Carrickmacross Credit Union Ltd instead.

Here are some reasons you should talk to us rather than enter into a PCP:

Ownership
A PCP is a kind of hire-purchase agreement, where you don’t actually own the car until you make the final payment. This means if you want to change cars or encounter difficulties during the term of the contract, you can’t sell the car without the agreement of the finance house/dealer.

With a car loan from Carrickmacross Credit Union Ltd you can drive it like you own, because you do!

Flexibility

Because PCP monthly payments are fixed over the term of the agreement, you can’t pay extra each month to finish up early and you will be charged a fee if you need to restructure the agreement in any way.

With us there are no penalties for paying off a loan early, so you can pay more than the minimum each month if you wish.

Balloon Payments
A PCP is broken into three parts – deposit, fixed monthly repayments and a large final payment, often called a balloon payment, that can be anything up to 50% of the value of the car. You won’t own the car outright until you pay off that final amount.

With a loan from us there are no nasty surprises left at the end of the term – your payments will stay the same throughout.

Mileage
As part of a PCP agreement, there is usually a restriction on how much mileage you put on the car. Going over the agreed maximum mileage can affect the final value of the car and end up costing you more money.

Here at Carrickmacross Credit Union Ltd we have no interest in how much driving you do in your own car.

Maintenance
PCP providers often insist you have the car serviced on a strict schedule by someone in the official dealer network. If you come to the end of your term and you’ve either missed a scheduled service or had it done anywhere other than one of their specified locations it could end up costing you a fortune.

Carrickmacross Credit Union Ltd just hope you drive safely and look after your car so you can get the most value out of it.

Negative Equity
When you buy a car it immediately begins to lose its value to depreciation, very quickly at first, but it does slow down. This is normal and with a credit union loan it isn’t an issue, because as depreciation slows down your payments catch up and it all balances out.

With a PCP, especially if you’ve paid a low deposit, you may never actually catch up with the car’s depreciation. This really only becomes a problem if you need to change cars or if your financial situation changes and you need to exit the PCP early, because even selling the car won’t be enough to cover what you owe the dealer.

Costs
PCPs are attractive because they consist of a relatively low deposit and low fixed repayments, which makes them seem very reasonable and manageable at the outset. However, you need to look at the total cost over the term – bearing in mind that the car isn’t even yours until the final payment is made – and it may work out more expensive than a car loan from us.

Community Based
Carrickmacross Credit Union Ltd is made up of people from YOUR local community, who all share a common bond – whether it’s where they live, the industry they work in or an association they belong to.
Saving with us contributes to the loan fund, which directly benefits other members and helps develop your community.

Not for profit
Carrickmacross Credit Union Ltd is run for the benefit of our members, not to profit from their needs.
Unlike commercial lenders, where profits go to third party investors, any surplus income generated by Carrickmacross Credit Union Ltd is returned to members as a dividend or else invested in improving and expanding the service.

Interest Rebate
Not only does Carrickmacross Credit Union Ltd offer fair and reasonable rates on personal finance, but we also offer a loan interest rebate at the end of the year – making a Carrickmacross Credit Union Ltd loan even more appealing!

If you’re planning on buying a new car, don’t get sucked into the first shiny-looking PCP offered by the dealership. Talk to the team at Carrickmacross Credit Union Ltd today about a flexible car loan that suits you.

Carrickmacross Credit Union Ltd is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Reg. No CU141. 

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