Glossary: C



The months on the calendar e.g. January, February etc. The calendar months are generally longer than 4 weeks.


The amount of money you originally have, save or invest, before any interest, other return or loss is taken into account. It could also be an amount of money that you have borrowed.


Cash is the simplest way of buying something. It is not a good idea to send cash payments through the post, but you can pay bills such as gas and electricity in cash by using the Giro payment system available through post offices and banks.


Cashcards,or cashpoint cards, are the simplest type of account cards. They can usually only be used at cash machines (with a personal identification number, or PIN) to withdraw cash, check your balance or print out a mini- statement.


record of all the money coming into the business less all the payments as they are made, measured over a particular time.


The receipts of your business. If your receipts are bigger than your payments, you have a net cash inflow.


Payments out of your business. If your receipts are less than your payments,you have a net cash outflow.


Goods are shown in the pages of the catalogue. You can buy them on credit and pay in weekly or monthly installments. The goods will usually be delivered by post. The price of the goods in the catalogue may be more than the price in a shop.


Fees and interest which you have to pay, for example, when you borrow money or buy on credit.


written instruction to a bank. It can be used to pay you money. You can write out cheques to yourself to get money out of your account or to pay other people, if you have your own chequebook with your current account.


plastic card that is issued by a bank or building society and guarantees that the amount of money on any cheque you write will be paid whether or not there is enough money in the account. There is a limit to the amount that is guaranteed - £100 or £250 are common amounts.


local office where you can get help with a range of problems including your finances or debts. To find your local CAB look in Yellow Pages or ask at the Library.


Clearing is the time it takes for the bank to transfer money from one account to another. This is why you usually have to wait a few days before you can take out the money from your account from a cheque you have paid in.


Interest rates are usually compounded - so the amount paid on savings is based on the capital plus the interest paid so far (provided you have not taken anything out of the account). This also works for loans - so the amount you owe can increase dramatically over quite a small time.


Comprehensive insurance is more expensive than a third party only policy because it provides cover for accidental damage to your own car in addition to the third party cover.


When you buy something you are a consumer.


You buy contents insurance to cover your possessions. Some policies will pay for damaged items to be replaced as new – although the insurer may send you a voucher for a set value for you to replace the item with one of your own choice at a certain store rather than give you the money. The amount you pay will depend on where you live, how big your house is and whether you have a lot of valuables.


Tax paid to the local council for local services. For example, libraries, police, local roads etc.


Most telephone bills contain a breakdown of the cost of calls. This may include a list of the more expensive calls – international calls and calls to mobiles, for instance - as well as the date and time they were made. Read the breakdown on your bill carefully. It can help you work out: if a bill is correct; how you may be able to save money by phoning at off-peak times; and even if another service package may be more suitable for you.


An account that is ‘in credit’ means that there is some money in it that is available to be spent. If you obtain goods or services ‘on credit’ it means that someone (for example, a bank or credit institution) has given you the money to make the purchase - they have credited you with the money. You must pay the money back. If you do not pay your credit card on time or have a history of not paying back other loans, this will be shown on your file held by a credit reference agency. When shops or banks check your creditworthiness and see this information has been listed, you may find it very difficult to get a loan.


Credit cards are available from most banks, and allow you to borrow money up to a certain limit. When you buy something with your credit card, the amount you spend is added to your total borrowing. Every month you are sent a statement to show how much you have borrowed and how much you need to repay. If you don’t repay the full amount, you will start paying interest. You can also get money from cash machines with most credit cards, but this is also borrowed money, and will be added to your monthly bill. This can be very expensive as you start paying interest immediately.


If you’ve had trouble paying loans before, or you have any court judgments against your name, you may find it difficult to take out a loan. Your name may be on a list of people with poor credit histories. You may find that the only lenders that will offer you a loan charge very high interest rates.


The maximum amount the store card or Credit Company will lend you altogether at any time.


An agency that holds information on adults. This information includes public records (e.g. Electoral Roll entries), credit account information (e.g. repayment records for loans, credit, mortgage, hire purchase) and records of credit checks that have previously been made.


Your details held by a credit reference agency. It will include whether you appear on the Electoral Roll, your name and address from the Electoral Roll, how you have handled previous credit, and any other credit checks made about you.


The chance that you might not repay your loan or credit.


score given by a shop or credit agency based on your personal and financial circumstances. It helps them to decide whether you are likely to repay the loan you are asking for.


non-profit making co-operative savings association that makes loans to its members at low interest and encourages saving.


creditor is someone to whom a debt is due. This word is often used to describe the person that lends you money.


bank or building society account which helps you to manage your money, pay bills, receive money and keep money secure. It will have more services than a basic bank account, for example, you will get a cheque book.