Top Money Saving Tips

After several years of austerity budgets –  many households in Ireland  have seen their disposable income fall and bills rise. With the Property Tax and the new Water Charges  – it is not going to get much  better in 2015. Hopefully we can help you reduce some of your bills with the following tips.

Here are some of our top Money Saving Tips

Switch Electricity Supplier
If you are are an average user still on the old “ESB” standard  rates you could easily save around €230 a year by switching supplier . You could save money by just paying by Direct Debit and opting for electronic billing.  See our  Electricity Price Comparison

Switch Gas Supplier
If you are still with Bord Gais for gas – you could easily save  over   €120 a year if  you switch to Flogas or Energia for your natural mains gas supply. See Gas Prices Compared

Look out for  discount codes and promotional  vouchers for online shopping – See some of the  latest  Discount Codes here.

Get Cheaper Home Insurance :  When your house insurance comes up for renewal – don’t just stay with the same insurer – shop around . Our most recent  Home Insurance Comparison showed that savings of  about €200 a year could be made . Bank of Ireland are currently guaranteeing to beat your renewal quote by €50

Switch Home Phone and Broadband
You could save as much as  €300 a year by switching your landline and broadband  –   see more here about the cheapest phone and broadband   

Switch Your Current Account :
It is difficult to avoid  paying  fees to banks for operating your current account. There are still some ways to avoid or reduce those  fees . In our example we found that savings of as much as €140 a year could be made – read more  here  How to get Free Banking in Ireland

0%  Interest  Credit Cards
If you have a credit card balance that you are finding hard to pay off –  you could try and transfer the balance to a credit card  with a 0% Interest introductory offer. On a balance of €1000 –  going interest free for 10 months could save you as much as €80 in interest charges.  See our list of Interest  Free Credit Card Offers

Reduce Mobile Phone Charges : Move to a cheaper plan with a new network or choose a lower priced option with your current network. Heavy phone users could cut their annual spend by hundreds of euro . See our article on the Cheapest Pay as you Go deals.  

Switch Car Insurance – a recent survey found that quotes could differ by as much as €379 a year  for the same person   – see details here .

Currency Exchange - if you are exchanging large sums of currency don’t use your own bank to do it for you – you will get a better rate from a currency broker. On a transaction of 20,000 euro you could typically save €200  See our page about getting the best exchange rates

Switch Your Savings Account.
If you have savings you should check if you are getting the best interest rate. See our regularly updated list of the Best Interest Rates Here.   Some deposit accounts are paying rates as low as  0.01%  – but you could get a rate as high as 2% . On a balance of €20,000 – that would be an increase in interest of about    €200  a year (after DIRT )

Reduce Fuel bills- by increasing insulation in your home or getting a more efficient boiler. There are grants available of upto €4360 See More Here

Do more Online Shopping  to get lower prices at any of these Online Shops that Deliver to Ireland . Use discount codes and vouchers for online shopping – See some of the  latest  Discount Codes here.

Get cash for your old Mobile Phone
You might be  surprised at how much your old unused phone is worth. See our page about cash for  phones here.  It might not be a lot – but every little helps !

Online Surveys
Don’t waste all your time online checking Facebook – you could try and make a few Euros instead from online  market research surveys .  Register here for  Online Surveys

For regular tips –  keep up to date with MoneyguideIreland on Facebook

Sales Starting December 26th

There was a time when the “Sales”  didn’t  begin until  January 1st  – but they have gradually been starting  earlier and earlier.
The past few years has seen the growing trend of  many shops in Ireland opening on  St Stephens Day. This year – it looks like even more shops will also be opening  on December  26th and starting their Sales – following the the UK trend for “Boxing Day” sales.
Many online shops beging their sales  before Christmas – because the online Christmas shopping ends earlier than in the stores.

There is a list of some of the sales and shops that will be opening on December 26th 2014- and details of sale start dates  online too.

DEBENHAMS – The  Debenhams  sale stars online on Christmas Eve, with 50 per cent off selected items across all departments.

Marks and Spencer :   The Winter Sale  startes  24th Dec online with as much as  50% Off. Plus – get an extra 10% off online when you sepnd €75 0r more.

FIELDS  The Fields sale starts on St Stephens’s Day, with up to 50 per cent off a large selection of watches and jewellery, including branded items.

Amazon have some good “Boxing Day” deals online .

H&M sale is on now, with up to 60 per cent off items from the autumn-winter collection and many items priced at €7 or under

HOUSE OF FRASER  sale starts on St Stephens’s Day at 9am, with up to 50 per cent off in-store, including womenswear and menswear (but excluding beauty). Online  prices are in Sterling and delivery to Ireland is free on orders over €50.

 KAREN MILLEN :   Prices have been slashed by up to 50 per cent on tailored jackets and coats,  printed silk dresses

ASOS   The Asos online sale starts before Christmas, with discounts of up to 50 per cent, which will gradually increase to 70 per cent cuts as the sale progresses.

ARNOTTS – The winter sale at Ireland’s largest department store starts at 9am on St Stephens’s Day, with up to 50 per cent off leading brands in homeware, fashion, accessories and lingerie.

NEXT    are well  known for their early morning opening on Sale days . This Dec 26th  many stores in Ireland will be  opening as early as 6am . Their sales are usually  huge draw for crowds . There’s usually at least 50 per cent off everything in store, from ladieswear to childrenswear. It might not be the latest stock that is discounted though.

SCHUH sale starts 26th December today, with up to 50 per cent off styles from the shoe shop’s autumn-winter collections – think burgundy faux-leather ankle boots and super-sparkly platform courts. schuh.co.uk

URBAN OUTFITTERS

Urban Outfitters online sale begins on Christmas Eve with up to 50 per cent off the shop’s range of vintage-inspired clothing and accessories.

WAREHOUSE   sale is on now, with up to 50 per cent off last season’s stock.

COAST  sale started last week. Discounts are up to 50 per cent on selected styles.

House of Fraser  –   have some  special offers such as free gifts,  buy 2 get 1 free  etc. See more on the House of Fraser Offers page.  Delivery to Ireland for just £3 and free delivery on orders over £50

House of Fraser  -   sale starts December 26th at Dundrum  – but save yourself a journey and shop online  at the  House of Fraser Website Delivery to Ireland for just £3 and free delivery on orders over £50

JD Sports - Clearance Sale – many items 50% off

Curry -  St Stephens day sale  – with many items reduced by as much as 50%.

Sports Direct -See their  special offers and discounts here. Delivery from €1 to Ireland.

John Lewis still have no shop in Ireland – but you can take advantage of their quality products online – with many availabe for delivery to Ireland for £7.50 per order.

Toys R Us : Sale  starts online on Dec 26th .Free delivery to Ireland on orders over £29.99.

The Shops at Liffey Valley shopping centre open from 11.00am – 6:00pm on 26th December

Mandatory Online Income Tax Returns from January

Revenue have announced that all all newly registering Income tax (IT) cases from 01 January 2015 will have to file Form 11 Tax Returns  electronically, using Revenue’s Online Service (ROS). Taxpayers will be notified at time of registration of their mandatory obligations.

Since 2009 the categories of taxpayers obliged to pay and file electronically has gradually been expanding .  From 1st January 2015 all newly registering IT cases will become mandatory efilers.

The penalty for a specified taxpayer not making an electronic payment or filing a return is €1,520.

In some cases Revenue may exclude a taxpayer from their obligation to pay and file electronically, if Revenue is satisfied that the taxpayer does not have the capacity to do so.

Read more on the Revenue site

Electricity and Gas Prices Compared

What are the Cheapest Options For Switching Both Gas and Electricity ?
December 16th 2014:

All price comparisons are  based on “average”  usage  of 13800 Kwh of  Gas and 5300 kwH of Electricity a year .

At the moment you will get the best prices if you switch to separate suppliers for your gas and electricity .

The lowest priced combination for the usage given above is to switch to Energia for gas  (using the online  promo code USWITCH) and to  SSE Airtricity for your Electricity (with €35  cashback online) .
This will be €1029 for electricity and €847 for gas – a  total of €1876 in year one. This beats the best dual fuel offer by €50 .

Dual Fuel
The lowest price deal  for directly switching both fuels to one supplier is by switching  online to Energia  where you can use a special promotional code (“USWITCH”) to get an extra 1% discount off their rates. This would result in a total cost  of  €1926 in the first year for someone using the amounts above.

SSE Airtricity’s bundle  comes with  €35 cashback (online only) . This would work out at  €1934 in the first year.

Electric Ireland’s dual fuel bundle would  cost €1941 in year one for the same usage including their online €30 cashback

To get these lower prices with any of the suppliers you have to pay by direct debit and have online billing. 

See our Electricity Price Comparison

The main message is – if you are have never switched and are still on Electric Ireland’s or Bord Gais’ standard rates – then switching provider can save you significant amounts of money. Even staying with the same supplier and going with payment by direct  debit and electronic billing can get you a reduced price.

Figures  were calculated  to the nearest euro  Dec 16th 2014  using published tariffs and standing charges on suppliers websites and including VAT, the PSO Levy on Electricity  and Carbon Tax on Gas.
The prices given are for new customers only .

You could obviously save even more money on your electricity bills by cutting  energy use . For  example –  switching any halogen downlighters to Gu10 LED  Low Energy Bulbs (Savings as much as 90%  compared to Halogen 50 watt!)

Insulating your home can also cut your energy bills – see our article about grants for insulation.