- €60 reduction in monthly household income
- Make small changes, find the best value and get up to €85 back
- Time for Irish consumers to stop leaking money and become financially pro-active
Irish households can make up the income shortfall caused by the yesterday’s budget and save an additional 42% by looking for the best deals, according to bonkers.ie, Ireland’s favourite financial price comparison service.
With many households losing €60 or more per month, up to €85 euro can be saved by looking for the best deals on essential services such as gas, electricity, broadband, phones and financial services.
Commenting, David Kerr, Managing Director of bonkers.ie, said: "In a 40 minute budget speech yesterday Irish families had their household finances ravaged with increased taxes and reduced credits. An average family with two kids and a €45,000 salary will lose €60 per month from their income.
Spending just 40 minutes on household finances can help consumers claw some of that money back. Our research shows that an average household can easily save up to €85 per month by taking a few simple steps to find better deals on the services they need.”
With almost all households losing income, bonkers.ie has put together six savings tips that could help offset the budget’s losses. bonkers.ie can be used by households and individuals alike to help claw back some of the reductions in their take home pay.
Switching Gas Suppliers – €8 per month savings
Many households have switched electricity suppliers, but there are also big savings to be made by switching gas. An average household spending €727 per year on the Bord Gáis standard tariff could save €92 per year by switching to the Flogas standard deal.
Saving on the cost of Electricity – €10 per month savings
More than 60% of households are still with ESB for electricity and are leaving over €100 million in potential savings unclaimed. Switching to the best deals from Bord Gáis or Airtricity will save the average household €116 over the course of a year.
Credit Cards – €24 per month savings
For customers with good credit, it makes sense to switch balances to a new card. There are still banks that are open for business, looking for customers and offering good deals. There are 2.27 million personal credit cards in Ireland and the average debt on each one is €1,246. Switching that balance to a six month 0% introductory offer could net €141 in savings over six months.
Current Accounts – €8 per month savings
Switching to a no-fee current account could save up to €72 per year. It’s surprisingly easy to switch current accounts and quit paying fees. There are even rules to make the switch as straightforward as possible; the Irish Banking Federation’s Switching Code requires that all direct debits and standing orders must be set up on the new account by the banks on the customer’s behalf. And with some current accounts paying interest, customers could save even more.
Home Communications – €20 per onth savings
Many consumers are still getting phone and broadband services from separate providers, and paying line rental. Costs for broadband and home phone can be reduced by over €20 per month, with some bundles offering broadband, home phone and free call bundles for as little as €30. With Irish line rental currently the most expensive in Europe at €25.36 per month, it’s worth checking to see if alternatives like cable broadband with phone or wireless broadband with phone are available.
Mobile Phones – €15 per month savings
There are now 8 mobile phone suppliers operating in Ireland offering the greatest choice ever (and possibly greater confusion than ever) to Irish consumers. Costs and plans vary widely, but a basic bill-pay plan with 175 call minutes and 100 texts can be had for as little as €20 per month or as much as €35. Choosing the best bill-pay plan can save €15 per month – or much more depending on customers’ needs.
Now is not a time to neglect savings, particularly for households with lump sums. Easy access accounts and strong interest rates of up to 3.0% are still available from responsible institutions with good credit ratings. For households concerned about where they put their money, there are a number of non-Irish regulated banks operating in Ireland including RaboDirect, Nationwide UK, Ulster Bank, National Irish Bank and Leeds Building Society.
Notes to Editors:
€60 per month reduction in household income – Based on Annexes to the Summary of 2010 Budget Measures, example 3 – Married couple, one income, 2 children, private sector employee taxed under PAYE. Full rate PRSI contributor earning €45,000 per annum. Annexes available at http://www.budget.gov.ie.
Gas – Calculations based on an average annual household consumption of 15,800 kW/h. Tariffs quoted are Bord Gáis Standard and Flogas Standard. Annual cost for above consumption – Bord Gáis €727.20, Flogas €634.74. Calculations include standing charges, carbon tax and VAT.
Electricity – Calculations based on an average household using 5,591 kW/h of electricity per year at a cost of €1,000 with ESB. Savings of €116 available by switching to paperless direct debit year 1 tariffs with Bord Gáis and Airtricity. €100 million estimate based on 60% of 1.469 million Irish households that have not switched. 60% of electricity customers is CER threshold enabling ESB to compete on price. Sources cso.ie & cer.ie.
Credit Cards – Average indebtedness on personal credit cards in Ireland is €1,246, source: Central Bank statistics for October 2010. Cards quoted are AIB "be" credit card with an APR of 22.7% and the Tesco Clubcard credit card with an introductory balance transfer offer of 0% for six months.
Current Accounts – BOI Standard Current Account charges €0.28 per transaction or €11.40 quarterly maintenance fee to include 90 transactions and €0.28 per transaction thereafter. Estimate of €6.00 per month or €72.00 per annum in fees made for comparative purposes.
Home Communications – €20 savings calculation based on switching from an Eircom phone line with 1Mb broadband and talktime chatter €46.79 per month, to UPC 1Mb Fibre Power broadband and home phone €25 per month. €30 wireless broadband and phone bundle quoted is Imagine 1Mb WiMax & Off Peak phone bundle.
Mobile phones – Comparison made between O2 Clear 175 at €35 per month and 3 Mini Flex at €20. Comparison assumes 175 minutes and 100 texts used per month. Data from callcosts.ie.
Savings – 3.0% rate is Nationwide UK Easy Access Savings Account.
Established in November 2009, bonkers.ie is a free personal finance comparison service that allows people to compare broadband & home phone packages, electricity suppliers, savings accounts, current accounts, credit cards and personal loans. Gas and dual fuel comparisons will launch on the bonkers.ie site in December 2010.
The service was established by David Kerr and Simon Moynihan who have attained expertise and a combined 15 years’ experience in the UK price comparison space, the most mature price comparison market in the world.