Five years into the recession now and although there are signs that growth is returning in the Irish economy Ireland faces more pruning before we face more gentle budgets. This year’s budget was one of the harshest in living memory. Property tax was introduced. Child benefit was cut by €10 per child for the first two children. Many people are struggling to meet mortgage repayments and are in negative equity. It is my aim to share some of my money saving tips. But I would really love you to share yours too so that together we can get rid of our money worries once and for all.
- Rent a room out in your house. You may not have a spare bedroom at the moment. I moved our children into the smaller bedroom to free up some space. Foreign students are willing to pay for bed and board. We just a student stay with us for two months. Call your local TEFL academy and offer your services. They often have enquiries from students looking for accommodation.
- If you find that you want to trade up but cannot afford it consider renting out your own home and renting a larger house. You may be able to rent a considerably larger home without having to deal with the bank.
- Talk to your bank if you are struggling to pay your mortgage. You may be able to pay interest only for a number of years.
- Don’t use your credit card for Christmas shopping. Only use your laser or credit card. Pay off your credit card bill in full every month. The interest on credit cards is considerably higher than other sources of credit.
- Shop around for your presents. I priced a Lego set for €78 on the high Street. It was available on EBay for £38 + £10 postage – equivalent to €60.
- The National Consumer Association advises that you make sure you are getting all of your tax relief benefits and/or social welfare entitlements. See revenue.ie, welfare.ie.
- Make sure you don’t duplicate insurance policies. Nca.ie states that you may be covered for some elements of travel insurance by your health insurance provider.
- Bring a shopping list to the supermarket. This cuts down on the temptation to impulse buy. I try and have a meal before a supermarket shop for the same reason.
- Have a garage sale. Some of the junk in your garage is treasure to others. Photograph the items and sell them on gumtree.ie and on donedeal.ie.
- Consider house swapping as a cheap holiday alternative. You can save on accommodation and car hire. You will also have many of the conveniences which hotels don’t offer in you host home. We house swapped two years ago with 1sthomeexchange.com and really enjoyed it.
I hope you can adapt some of this advice to your situation. Please share your comments and tips.
Check out these books: The Hutchinson Money Minder