This where we are now!
Unemployment to ‘surge to 17%
New figures are set to indicate unemployment has reached 17% – higher than at the peak of the last financial crisis. This sudden return of mass unemployment is pushing tens of thousands of households and businesses to the financial brink.
Thousands of people are now contacting their bank daily to seek debt repayment breaks for their mortgages or businesses.
So, what is the advice.
Cut back on spending where you can.
We have all hear about the businesses conserving cash, we all need to do this now where we can.
- See below for tips on areas to have a look at to save a few quid.
- Do take a mortgage repayment skip, if you need to. Peace of mind is paramount.
- Review all your outgoings including your Life Cover policy and Mortgage Protection. See below for more on this.
- If you are paying into a Pension you can suspend payments for a few months until things normalise and you can start paying it again then. Speck with your advisor first though.
Things not to do!
- Don’t panic. There is help available.
- Don’t cut back too hard on the spending. Remember to live a little as well.
- Don’t cancel your Life Cover policy. Unfortunately, when you need the cover later you may not be able to get it again. You can review your policies though to see if savings can be made.
We have always advised clients to compare prices and switch across a range of energy, broadband, banking and insurance providers. This has never been more important than now.
So, here’s our guide on how to compare prices, switch provider and save big on your most common household bills.
Compare and switch gas and electricity suppliers
Energy prices in Ireland are higher than ever so it’s important that you’re on the best rate. And the good news is that you could save almost €400 a year just by switching your gas and electricity provider.
That’s because most of Ireland’s energy suppliers offer discounted rates to brand new customers as a sign-up incentive. However, these deals usually expire after 12 months. At this stage, if you don’t switch, your supplier will revert your plan to standard pricing and you’ll pay more for the exact same service.
Switching gas and electricity supplier is quicker and easier than you think. All you need to switch is your GPRN and MPRN (which can be found on your gas and electricity bills), a recent meter reading and an estimate of how much energy you use each year.
Around 27,000 people switch electricity supplier, and 11,000 switch gas supplier, every month, so why not join them! It’s quick and easy to switch and can all be done online in a few minutes.
Some suppliers have recently announced price reductions which is welcomed.
Switch broadband, phone & TV provider
With the average monthly bill close to €100, staying connected online and up to date with the latest TV shows is by no means cheap. However, there are huge savings to be made by shopping around and switching every few years.
That’s because broadband, phone and TV providers save their best deals for brand new customers and regularly offer half-price incentives for six months or more to entice customers to switch.
The good news is that it is easy to compare speeds, prices, channels and offers from all of Ireland’s main providers. You can also search for broadband-only deals or packages with phone and TV, whatever best fits your needs. And once you’ve found the right deal for you, you can place your order on our site in just minutes.
So if you’ve been with your current provider for more than a year or two, see what great offers are out there right now and put some more money back into your pocket.
Change current account
Think all the banks are the same? They are most definitely not.
Have a look at the new kids on the block. There are few online banking facilities now like N26 & Revolut
Current Account from N26 & Revolut
- Mobile & app banking
- Online account access
- Apple Pay & Google Pay
- Monthly cost: €0.00
Some banks will charge you as much as 35 cent every time you withdraw cash from an ATM and 20c for every chip and pin transaction, while others will charge you nothing. Equally, different banks offer different extras such as mobile payments (like Apple Pay and Google Pay) or access to emergency cash. With this coronavirus crisis most banks have now waved the charge on tap transactions for now.
This current account comparison service lets you easily compare the different account features and charges from all of Ireland’s banks and will quickly show you what your monthly fees would be. Right now, you could save up to €145 a year by switching to the bank with the lowest fees.
Worried about the hassle of switching? Rest easy – the Central Bank has in place a code of conduct for switching to make the process as easy as possible which all banks must comply with.
Switch your mortgage
Your mortgage is likely to be your biggest monthly expense for years so this is one bill that you don’t want to overpay on!
This mortgage calculator lets you easily compare interest rates, offers and cashback incentives from all of Ireland’s mortgage lenders and will quickly show you what your monthly repayments would be. And once you’ve found the right deal for you, give us a call and one of our qualified mortgage advisors can arrange your new mortgage for you.
So, whether you’re a first-time buyer, a home mover, or looking to switch mortgage, we’ll take the hard work out of finding the best deal and could help you save hundreds of euro a month on your repayments.
Right now a mortgage holder who’s on a standard variable rate of 4.5% for a €250,000 mortgage could save almost €300 a month by switching to the best rate. It’s a no brainer!
Right now, if you are currently out of work, switching will not be possible until you get back to work. You can have the groundwork done though. Understand want is possible and when things get back to normal you will be ready to go.
Get cheaper mortgage protection insurance.
This is where you could get immediate savings.
Mortgage protection is compulsory for mortgage holders, but many people are paying more than they have to. And remember, you don’t need to take out insurance with the same bank that gave you your mortgage!
Allot of people put this in place with their mortgage and haven’t looked at it since. Now is the time to dig it out and let’s have a look at it.
Advice First can easily compare prices from Ireland’s main insurance providers. Whether you’d like a single policy, a joint policy, or a policy with added benefits, we’ll search a wide range of policies across multiple insurers and produce a quote for you.
And because your policy must run for the length of your mortgage, even a small saving of €5 or €10 a month would still add up to almost €2,500 over the lifetime of a 20-year mortgage. Not bad!
Transfer your credit card balance
We all know that we should pay off our credit card bill in full at the end of every month. But nobody’s perfect! So that’s where switching comes in…
Some credit card providers have special introductory offers for those looking to switch, such as 0% interest on balance transfers for the first six to 12 months, which can be a great way to help you clear your existing credit card debt faster.
So check out this credit card comparison service. It lets you easily compare interest rates, balance transfer options, and card features from Ireland’s main credit card providers and will quickly show you where you can find the lowest interest rate and best switching deals.
Get cheaper life insurance and serious illness cover
Having adequate life and serious illness cover is all part of good financial planning. But that doesn’t mean you have to pay more than you need to! So, if you’re looking to save money on your insurance costs, we can help.
Again lots of people put policy in place years ago and haven’t looked at it in years. Well now is the time..
With our personalised comparison service, we can quickly and easily compare quotes from Ireland’s main insurance providers. Once we have found the right policy for you, we can make the application for you. Saving you the hassle
And remember if you used to smoke and have been off the cigarettes for at least a year, you can apply to your insurance company to be put onto non-smoker rates, which could see the cost of your premium halved in some cases. Another reason to kick the habit! We can check with your current provider for you, if don’t want the hassle.
The easiest money you’ll ever earn is the money that you’ve saved as they say.
So, start switching today and enjoy spending those new-found savings!
Talk to us now and make an appointment with one of our Letterkenny team of QFAs. We are here to help with your Financial Planning Concerns. Ask us questions on Retirement & Pension, Life Insurance & Protection, Mortgages, and Investment Advice. Get in touch here or give us a call at 074 91 03938.
Financial Services firms in Ireland are regulated by the Central Bank.
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