As the Starks would say, winter is coming. And with the colder weather come higher bills as people bid to keep the chill at bay, battle illnesses, or fork out on a warmer winter wardrobe.
“All told, then, we reckon the cost of winter is going to come in at a fairly eye-watering €6,118,” The Irish Times’ Conor Pope writes in his calculation of winter spending. “And even if we are to move the cost of a summer holiday from the cold rainy column to the sun-kissed one, the additional spend brought on by winter is pretty hefty.”
Budget 2018 was something of a disappointment for most, containing very little relief for quite a lot of hard-pressed people. However, the Irish Independent’s Charlie Weston has got some great tips on how you can cut your expenses even further, ranging from mortgage rates to car insurance.
“In some cases, lower interest rates on home loans are available by simply filling out a form. Customers of Permanent TSB, KBC and Bank of Ireland could all avail of lower rates, but are not asking for them. Some 125,000 variable-rate customers in the three banks are affected. Many lenders have lower fixed rates than their variables,” he writes of mortgage interest rates.
Finally, RTÉ reports that the number of mortgage holders affected by the tracker mortgage scandal has risen to 13,000, according to Central Bank figures. An investigation has revealed that a large number of customers on a tracker mortgage were wrongly moved to a higher rate – some people lost their homes as a result.
“In an update on its examination of the issue, the regulator said 23 mortgage holders have so far been identified who lost their homes as a result of being improperly moved from their low-rate tracker product to a higher rate loan,” says RTÉ.