2 January 2020
The thought of having to save sounds daunting we know, especially when you think about all the things you’ll be missing out on. But honestly, the hardest part is deciding you’re going to start and these savings tips might just help you get there in the end!
Soon, you'll be well on your way to sorting out your mortgage savings.
Sadly, you can’t cut them entirely, but you can certainly see if you could be paying less.
So many of us just stick with the same electricity, TV, broadband and insurance providers out of pure laziness but having a search through other service providers’ offerings could save you hundreds of euros on your annual bills.
Right now is the perfect time to see if you can switch or negotiate a better deal. Think about whether to spread payments or pay upfront. Paying upfront for the year is usually cheaper, if you can afford it.
See if there are any discounts for paying online or opting for paperless billing. Does your employer offer a discounted group health insurance scheme? Can you get a multi-policy discount if you take out home and car insurance with the same company? If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
Be honest, be ruthless, and cut any outgoings you can.
That TV subscription you added for the Game of Thrones finale, the gym trainer whose calls you’ve been avoiding — ditch, ditch and save! Here are just a few examples of what you could do:
Turn down the heating (or simply have it on in the room you’re in), turn off your appliances when you’re not using them, unplug your devices when they’re fully charged, switch to energy-efficient light bulbs and wash clothes at low temperatures and at off-peak times. Carry a reusable water bottle and coffee cup too!
Sweet talk your boss into signing up to the Taxsaver scheme and you could save up to a whopping 52% on your rail, bus and Luas costs.
Keeping a diary of your day-to-day expenses could reveal the shocking truth behind your caffeine habit. That morning cappuccino may only cost €3.50 but that adds up to €24.50 a week or a staggering €1,225 a year. Small changes like walking to work or making your lunch can all add up to big savings over time. You can still enjoy your blueberry baked French toast — just opt to make it yourself.
If you want to buy a house, saving is key. You’ll want to show that you are financially responsible so a record of regular savings over time, no matter how small the amounts, can really help.
Instead of having your savings sitting in your current account where you could be tempted to dip in and out, why not open a savings account and set up a direct debit for a set amount to go out as soon as you get paid each month. Don’t wait until the end of the month, when you might not have any money left.
If you pay tax and haven’t used all of your tax credits over the last four years, you might be owed some tax back. They won’t come to you so make sure you go to them. Some companies will check this for you for a small percentage of any money you get back but you can also do this easily and entirely for free on Revenue.ie. You could be due a nice little windfall.
If you’re a first-time buyer and want to buy or build a new home, check out the Government’s Help to Buy Scheme. This refunds tax paid over the last four years up to a value of €20,000 or 5% of the purchase price on houses up to a total value of €500,000. It could be a major boost to your deposit! You can find out more about the scheme on the Revenue.ie website.
But we can’t be good all the time, right? Allow yourself some treats or cheat days but make sure you balance these with savings. Here’s the clever bit — whenever you splash out on a treat, aim to put the same amount into savings. If you can’t afford the savings, maybe you can’t afford the treat.
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