LESS than three in ten Irish consumers believe they will be better off financially in 2018.
That’s according to research carried out by independent price comparison and switching service, Switcher.ie, which revealed the extent of consumers’ financial concerns for 2018.
Eoin Clarke, managing director of Switcher.ie, said: “It’s likely many of us could be emerging from the Christmas season with a financial hangover that feels hard to shake.”
Switcher.ie’s top tips for tackling your finances in 2018.
Draw up a monthly budget, including all your income and expenses, and try your best to stick to it. If you can manage to put some money into savings each month, even better.
If you have long-standing credit card debt that you’re finding hard to shift, think about switching to a card with a 0% balance transfer offer, making sure to pay the balance off within the interest-free period.
Ensure you’re not paying more than you need to for your household essentials. If you haven’t switched your energy, broadband or phone plan in some time, make it one of your new year’s resolutions to take half an hour to do this.
It’s quick and easy and could save you some much-needed cash – switching energy alone could save you up to €335, while savings of up to €432 are available on some broadband packages.
Take time to review all of your monthly payments – be it for the gym, a cinema membership, or a streaming service – and cancel any you no longer use.
Make the most of any tax reliefs or benefits you’re entitled to – for example, you can claim tax relief on some medical expenses that are not covered by the State or by private health insurance. There’s loads of information on benefits and taxes on the Revenue website, so take some time to check these out at the start of the year.
Take some energy-saving measures around the home. 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 the appliance’s energy use by around 20%.
See if you can get a discount by switching from monthly to annual payments. The chances are you’re paying extra for the convenience of paying things like gym membership or insurance on a monthly basis, so although paying upfront will be a larger outlay of cash in one go, it will save you in the long run.