WHAT is the difference between a wish and a goal? A plan! No more than a horse owner needs a trainer to get the best out of the horse, we can all do with some help, some financial coaching to create, implement and actively apply our plans. That is where a good financial planner comes into their own. Planning is a great first step, enacting a plan and making it happen is even better, but the real determinant of success is sticking to the plan religiously and ensuring that the plan goals are achieved.

We outline below some useful everyday tips that you can incorporate into your financial planning endeavors that will save you money and help you achieve your financial goals.

Stop adding to your credit card

  • Look at reducing your credit card limit
  • Ring your bank and ask for a lower interest on your card if you are a long-standing customer and pay off your bill on time every month
  • Transfer your outstanding balance to a competitor who will give 0% interest if the balance is paid off on time. Ensure any outstanding transferred amount is paid off on time with your new provider.
  • Use your debit card instead of your credit card.
  • Mortgages

    There are more than 220,000 households in Ireland on high variable rates of up to 4.5%. Fixed rates are currently lower that variable rates and are at their lowest in circa twelve years. There is an expectation that they will start to increase with certain lenders. Some have increased already their longer-term fixed rates. So now might be a suitable time to fix! Chat to a mortgage broker.

    Look at your utility bills home and on the yard

    Review all your utility bills such as heating oil, gas and electricity. Our electricity costs are the highest in the EU even prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

  • Get three quotes for your oil once you need a fill.
  • Log onto e.g. Bonkers.ie and shop around for your gas and electricity once your contract has expired with your current provider. Take a note of your new contract renewal date.
  • Yard and home insurance – shop around

    Get three quotes at renewal date for all motor insurance and house/yard insurance. You will be surprised how much you can save!

    Switch banks personal and business

    Failure to consider switching your current account to one of the digital banks is likely to be costing you a lot of money. Scope the non-traditional online only banks like N26 to see if they can satisfy in a cost-effective manner your banking needs.

    Look at generating more income

    Consider renting out one of your rooms in your main private residence. Up to €14,000 can be earned in tax free rent from this extra source of income.

    Health Insurance

    There are three providers of this insurance currently operating in the Irish Market (Laya, VHI & Irish Life). The cost of this cover has increased across the board over the last few years for most policyholders. Check out to your renewal date and shop around for the most suitable pan prior to your renewal date. Ask for corporate rates. Check out also the health insurance comparison website: www.hia.ie

    Budgeting app

    A budgeting app is a useful tool to have for both work and business if you are a poor money manager. Downloading a budgeting app can ensure you are more disciplined with your hard-earned money or business income. For example, AIB bank customers MyMoneyManager spreads and displays spending patterns and habits once it learns your spending history. Mint & Spendee are also decent apps, the latter linking in with AIB, BOI, An Post and Avant.

    Assess your outgoings on an ongoing basis

  • Give up smoking and drink less alcohol.
  • Stop buying bottled water
  • Cut down on the number of takeaways you buy
  • Mobile TV & Broadband package: Take 10 minutes out and ring your mobile, TV & broadband provider to establish that you are on the most competitive package that they can offer for what you require. Sky, Virgin & Eir are the main providers. Take a note of your contract renewal date and shop around for the package most suitable to you when the contract expires. Do you really need Sky Movies?
  • Feel free to contact Niall on 091 520608 E-mail: niall@citylifegalway.ie