House keyring and keys

Saving for a mortgage? Save an extra €1,500 in a year with Switcher.ie’s top tips

Getting together a house deposit can be really hard, but these tips can help you to boost your savings with the minimum of effort.

Anyone who has saved up for a house deposit knows how much of a struggle it is. When you’re in that position, every little really does help.

So, take a look at our top tips - some of them could save you hundreds of euro for just a few minutes of work.

1. Take some energy-saving measures around the home

Summer is just around the corner, so use the warmer weather to make some energy-saving changes at home. Seal off any draughts, swap out your normal light bulbs for energy efficient ones, and turn off the radiators in rooms that aren’t being used.

You could also turn your thermostat by one degree - this shouldn’t have a big impact on the heat in your home, but could reduce your heating bill by 10%. Given that the average household spends approximately €1,000 per year heating their home*, this change alone could save you €100 per year.

2. Make a list when you’re going to the supermarket - and be realistic

For a couple of weeks, review your habits when it comes to the food you buy and use, and make appropriate changes to your grocery shopping using this information so you don’t end up throwing out food and wasting money.

Even if you don’t waste much food, you could still make savings by switching from branded to own-brand products - for example porridge, tea, coffee, milk, ketchup etc.

At a conservative estimate, a more realistic shopping list could save you €10 per week, or €520 per year.

3. If you have TV and broadband, review your deal

According to research from Switcher.ie, only 28% of people switched their broadband provider within the last year. If you’re amongst those who didn’t switch, it’s very likely that you could be missing out on big savings.

Think about your usage - do you actually watch TV or do you mainly use your broadband connection to stream content from the likes of Netflix? Switching from a high-end TV and broadband package to a broadband-only deal will definitely save you money if so.

Alternatively, if you have broadband, TV and phone - and you need all three - you could save up to €300 by bundling these products - i.e. getting them all from the same provider.

Compare broadband, TV and home phone deals

4. Pay banking fees? See if you can go fee-free

Most banks have re-introduced fees on current accounts in recent years, but some still have accounts that offer fee-free banking once you meet certain criteria - like making a specified number of payments using the account each month.

Have a chat with your bank and see what they can do for you on this - fees can be as high as €4 per month on standard current accounts, so avoiding these fees will save you up to €52 per year.

5. Switch from a standard gas and electricity deal to a discounted plan

The CER has said that over 80% of us are on standard energy tariffs.

This means the vast majority of us are missing out on huge savings, when it only takes a few mintues to switch to a better deal - you can do so using Switcher.ie’s free gas and electricity comparison tool.

Switching from standard tariffs to the cheapest deals on the market could save a standard dual fuel customer up to €402 per year.

6. Have lots of monthly subscriptions? Think about what you really need

Examine your bank account and see what regular payments you have going out each month.

You might be surprised to see you’re paying for music or TV streaming services that you signed up for a ‘free trial’ of months ago. Or maybe you pay a gym membership or a cinema subscription you no longer use?

Cancelling one of these things alone will save you at least €10 per month, or €120 per year.

*According to the AA - ANNUAL COST OF RUNNING A HOME RISES BY 2.47%