Pocket Euros

Set yourself up in 2019 with these savvy ways to save

Make it your New Year’s resolution to save more in 2019…

With the silly season now done and dusted for another year, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little flat at the idea of trying to pay off what was spent over Christmas and how to get yourself back on track for the New Year. However, you’d be surprised how easy it can be to save some extra cash over the course of the year to not only pay off what was spent last year, but set you up for the Christmas season this year.

Here are Switcher.ie’s top money saving tips for 2019:

1. Draw up a budget - it’s great to see so many Irish consumers already implementing this savvy money-saving hack which recent research from Switcher.ie revealing 44% are already doing this. However, if you are yet to draw up a budget it’s definitely worthwhile. The best way to do this is to work out your after-tax income each month and then list out all of your expenses for that month so you can see how much you’ll have left after paying for essentials. Don’t forget to always allow a buffer to cover any unexpected payments that may arise.

2. Slash unused subscriptions - Do you have any membership or subscription payments that come out of your account that you don’t use or really need? Such as membership payments for the gym and cinema or subscriptions for music, magazines or TV-streaming services. Ask yourself if you really need each one of these and, if the answer is no, cancel the ones you no longer want as the small monthly costs of these payments can add up over a year.

3. Review your TV package - Do you have a TV package that you rarely use anymore because you spend most of your time streaming on services such as Netflix? If so it might be time to think about whether you could cancel your TV package, or downgrade to a more basic deal if you’re not getting your money’s worth on your current deal.

4. Bundle your broadband - Did you know that many providers offer discounts if you bundle your broadband, TV and home phone into one package? Not only will you save money but you’ll also only have to deal with one provider - and one monthly bill - instead of multiple.

Compare broadband, TV and home phone deals now

5. Make your home more energy efficient - Simple changes, like turning down the heating by just one degree can knock up to 10% off heating bills, while turning appliances off, rather than leaving them on standby, will reduce appliance’s energy use by around 20%. One of the most cost-effective energy-saving products you can buy is an energy-saving light bulb. They use up to 75% less energy than more traditional bulbs, so it’s possible to save over €20 per bulb annually which could go towards something else you need. You can view more energy saving tips in our dedicated guides.

6. Submit regular meter readings - If you notice an ‘E’ on your energy bills, this means they have been based off an estimate, rather than an actual reading. If you get several estimates in a row, you could end up getting a large bill once the meter is finally read. Submitting regular readings will help you to avoid any shocks at bill time, and will ensure you are always being charged for your actual usage.

7. Switch your energy supplier and save - Many people think switching supplier is too much hassle, but the savings that can be made by doing so are well worth it. The average dual fuel customer can currently save up to €258 by switching from standard tariffs to the cheapest deals on the market - and the savings are even higher for larger households. Switching is easy when you use a price comparison website like Switcher.ie. It only takes a few minutes but it could have a big impact on your finances over the course of the year.

Switch and save up to €359 on your energy bills

It only takes a few minutes to find a cheaper deal and start saving

8. Go unlimited and save yourself from bill shock - If you go over your monthly data plan for you broadband or mobile moving to an unlimited plan will help avoid those nasty surprises when your bills arrive. Almost all providers offer these kinds of plans now, and they mean you’ll pay a set amount on your bill each month where you can use all the data you want.

Compare mobile deals now

9. Make a shopping list and stick to it - You’d be surprised how many people overspend on their weekly shop by not writing a list and buying unnecessary items. Sit down and work out what you need that week and try to buy only what is on your list. You can also check out the website of your local supermarket beforehand to see any discounts or offers that could help you save. Also an important tip is to avoid food shopping while you are hungry - your food cravings will make you want to buy additional items so try and shop after you’ve eaten a meal instead.

10. See if you are eligible for fee-free banking - although many banks have reintroduced fees on current accounts in recent years, many 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. Check this out - it could save you a few Euro a month.

It all adds up…

Don’t feel you have to take on all of these changes in one go - that’s why we suggest getting stuck in early in the year so you can try them out and introduce them gradually. Although each one may seem simple, if you introduce two or three changes, you should really notice the difference adding up come the end of the year.