Courtesy of, and with thanks to, Bock the Robber, here is the 15th in our series of Top Tips for Irish Consumers.
- Never buy a new car. Get a big old one. A Merc, a Saab, or a Japanese 4×4 are cheap and indestructible. They’ll cost you more on fuel and tax, but you’ll be paying nothing to the bank. What’s more, if you’re status-conscious, nobody notices the reg plate anyway. They only see the three-pointed star or the big fat tyres.
- Learn carpentry. Frame your own pictures. Make your own mirrors and lamps. It isn’t nearly as hard as you think, and at Christmas you can make sex-toys for all your friends. Don’t pay people to fix things in your house. Use the money to buy the right tools, and find out how to do it yourself. Next time, the job will cost you nothing and you’ll be a better person.
- Drink Beamish. You’ll get used to it.
- There’s no Car Test but the Car Test. It makes no sense to pay for a pre-test. The NCT will tell you what needs to be done.
- Tell junkie beggars to fuck off and get a job.
- Register on the Revenue Commissioners’ website and claim back your medical expenses for the last four years. Ask your doctor to prescribe generic medicines. Find a dentist in Croatia.
- When haggling with a market trader, praise the item you want and say you’d really like it but can’t afford it. Shuffle away reluctantly, come back and offer the trader a third of the asking price and you should get it for about half. That’s what he expected to get anyway, so everyone’s happy. Make sure to show him real folding money while you haggle.
- Buy high-quality goods. They cost more but you’ll have them a long time, so they’re actually cheaper.
- Book an apartment when you go abroad, not a hotel. Bring all your friends.
- Be honest with yourself about smoking. Twenty cigarettes a day cost you the same as the repayments for €40,000 of your mortgage. One cigarette a day is €2,000 on your mortgage. If you say you smoke twenty, you really mean thirty, and it’s actually forty at the weekend. Isn’t it?
The complete series listing of Top Tips for Irish Consumers is now available here.