Since we’ve been kindly assisted so far by others who’ve provided their Top Tips for Irish Consumers, we thought we’d put together some of our own personal Top Tips. Here is the fourth installment in the series that are some of the items that we follow regularly ourselves:
- Beer Change – Any change of €1 or less is filtered away into a big jar in the kitchen. This is added up about every 6 months and lodged to the bank.
- Monthly Savings – As soon as the pay packet (from the real job) arrives, small amounts are filtered away as savings immediately so that it’s not really noticed. The savings are in “hard to withdraw” places so there’s not much temptation to get at it.
- Public Transport – I’m now a regular bus user after a while of being a car user, and more particularly a car parker (in the city centre, even worse). Wherever possible now with my monthly 30 day Rambler ticket, I’ll use the bus now (even on non-work days) as much as possible.
- Fines for Wasting Money – This is something in our ValueIreland.com Savings Plan and is something that for most of the year, I’ll follow. It’s a system whereby you fine yourself for wasting money, and reward yourself for saving money, but all the time filtering extra money into the savings account.
- Electricity and gas savings – I’ve written before about efforts at home to save money on gas and electricity costs. To see what’s done, read our money saving tips to see more.
- Avoid Impulse Purchases – Particularly when it comes to larger oney purchases, I don’t normally let myself be blinded by the bling when it comes to on-the-spot impulse purchases. If I see something I’d like, I’ll go home and follow point number 7.
- Shop Around – For anything that I’d like to buy, again particularly with larger purchases, I’ll make sure that I’ve completely researched the item before purchasing. That’ll mean checking out the item itself, possible alternatives, and different places where the item could be bought. I’ll make sure that the item I buy is as good as I can get, and that where I purchase it is as good value as I can get it.
- No Debt – As much as is possible, any purchases made will be from cash and savings rather than taking on any borrowing through loans or credit cards. It’s how I was brought up and after a few questionable years when I started work, it’s now the way things are done now.
- Watching Mortgage Costs – In the 3 years that I’ve had a mortgage I’ve always kept a close eye on my own mortgage payments and the potential alternatives available from other providers. Given everything that’s gone on over the past few years, I’m still paying less in mortgage payments than i was when I originally took on the borrowing, and less than I used to pay in rent also.
- Use Personal Recommendations – Wherever possible, whenever I need to get any work done, or need to use a new or different service provider, I’ll do the research amongst family, friends, work colleagues etc to find out who they’d recommend rather than using someone I don’t know.
The complete series listing of Top Tips for Irish Consumers is now available here.