A job in the Civil Service remains an excellent choice, thanks to the range of opportunities it offers. Once you are in post you will also find it has benefits other than the chance to build a long-term career.
Among those you have probably not thought about is eligibility to join a members’ club that entitles you to significant discounts across a range of products and services. While this is not a reason to seek out a position as a civil servant in itself, it is well worth investigating if you already work in the service.
The CSMA Club has been around for almost 90 years and now has more than 300,000 members. It uses that buying power to negotiate attractive deals with financial services, motoring and holiday companies, so members can get better value for money on both essentials and luxuries.
Its eligibility rules are simple; anyone who has ever worked for the Civil Service, any workplace associated with it, BT or the Post Office can join, as can families of current members. You will need to pay a £17 annual subscription, but spend a few minutes looking at the savings on offer and you may well conclude it is worth the expense.
Short breaks and family holidays are things everyone looks forward to, but are also among the first casualties when household finances are tight. Access to some money-off deals will help to make going away for a few days a more realistic aim.
Among the discounted holidays for civil servants available are low rates on self-catering cottages in the Cotswolds, Devon and Cornwall, along with offers on stays at holiday parks in the Forest of Dean and Devon. Club members also have access to deals on entry to a range of UK theme parks that are perfect for days out with the family.
If you wish to travel further afield, there are discounts available on a range of European city breaks, cruises, skiing getaways and package holidays. You can even make a ten per cent saving on travel on the Orient Express, if you want a luxurious trip.
Even if you cannot find the exact holiday you want via the club discount scheme, you can save on other travel-related costs. There are offers on currency exchange, car hire, airport parking and travel insurance.
The cost of insurance has rocketed in recent years and shopping around for the best deals is something all canny consumers have become used to. Having access to some special premium discounts not available to most homeowners and motorists will give you a better chance of getting cover for the lowest possible price.
Club members are eligible for ten per cent off car, building and contents policies from LV= and can increase that discount to 15 per cent if they buy all three as a package. That is likely to be a three-figure saving to start with, and there are also reductions available on breakdown and life cover.
The biggest savings on offer to club members are on cars. A range of new vehicles with up to 25 per cent off list price can be purchased by civil servants and their families, along with a selection of competitively-priced used cars.
There are also deals available on servicing, MOTs, tyres and warranties to help keep down the cost of running a vehicle.