- Donald P McKenna
5 Easy Ways To Save and Start a Savings Habit
Updated: Sep 5, 2022
As the new year begins, many of us have made resolutions. These aren't always about giving something up but often are around changing habits. It can be a good time to review your spending and get into a savings habit. We sometimes overlook how we can save on an ongoing basis by making small changes. You may be surprised at how these little savings add up on a monthly basis and could then be put towards starting a regular savings habit.
Here's a few ideas of things to consider:
1) Energy Supply
Electricity and gas prices have been the topic of much discussion recently with many providers being forced to increase their rates. That being said, there is certainly merit in reviewing your current packages to see if you can obtain better value. There are several price comparison websites that analyse your existing spend and compare it to the open market. It can also be worthwhile contacting your existing provider and enquire of any customer loyalty discounts. Carrying out this exercise could generate savings of up to 20% or more and can take just minutes to arrange.
2) TV, Broadband & Mobile Phone
The process of reviewing your TV, broadband and phone supplier is very similar to reviewing your energy supplier and the starting point could definitely be to contact your existing provider and ask if you are on the most suitable package based on your usage. If you are considering switching phone or broadband provider, however, you should also consider the network coverage and broadband speed in your area. Also, think about your subscriptions to the likes of Netflix, Prime, Disney and ask yourself are you getting the value from them. All these subscriptions add up at the end of the day. 3) Claim your Tax Relief
A commonly overlooked saving opportunity is to submit your medical receipts to Revenue. As a PAYE worker you can recoup 20% (standard rate of tax) of your yearly medical expenses such as GP visits, consultants fees and certain dental treatment. In addition, you can claim back the previous four years if you have not done so before. If you have health insurance you may be used to submitting your medical bills and, in general, insurance companies will pay out a certain percentage of your claim. The unpaid balance can then be submitted to Revenue with the balance being considered for tax relief. For example, if you have receipts totalling €500 - The Insurance Company pays €250, Revenue pays €250 x 20% = €50. For more information from Revenue.ie click here. Also, since the emergence of Covid-19 resulting in many people working from home, you may be entitled to claim tax relief on a portion of your electricity and internet costs. 4) Think About the Environment
Climate action has been the topic of much publicity in recent times. While being more environmentally conscious may not necessarily result in savings, there are a few changes in habit that you can link to saving. For example, single use plastics generally come at a cost like a plastic bottle of water or that daily caffeine fix. Simply switching to a reusable water bottle and making your own teas and coffees will produce considerable savings when you add it all up. And remember, if you do start a savings plan, you can select environmentally friendly (ESG) funds to invest your money in. 5) Grocery Shopping – Loyalty Cards
Most of the mainstream supermarkets now have a loyalty card scheme or offers such as money off vouchers when you spend a certain amount (e.g. €10 off every €40 spent). Some of the loyalty schemes can bring savings in other areas too such as travel discounts or entertainment passes. It is also worth comparing the cost of a weekly shop in the different stores in your locality. It can pay to shop around! These are just a few areas where you could make a potential saving and hopefully put some of that hard earned money back in your pocket. Then it's up to you to make it work harder for you with the right savings plan in place. As the proverb says "Great oaks from little acorns grow"! To chat through your options just get in touch with us.