Pets and your wallet
Are you the proud owner of one of man’s best friends? Dog ownership can be a costly affair, ranging from forking out on licences to the newly introduced microchipping laws. Conor Pope tackles these costs in The Irish Times this week, noting that annual costs (including food, treats and visits to the vet) could reach into the thousands, depending on what you’re willing to spend.
You shouldn’t just count the cost though – dogs bring benefits that you might not have considered, such as invaluable company and friendship, reduced levels of anxiety, healthier hearts and an increased sense of security.
In other news, Irish consumers are too “apathetic” in terms of making savings on their home energy costs, according to OneBigSwitch.ie, which uses group buying power to generate better discounts. According to a poll they conducted of the first 6,000 households who joined their campaign, 42% of those yet to switch have been reluctant to do so as they don’t believe the savings to be worthwhile, 18% couldn’t be bothered, and a further 14% believed the process to be too difficult.
“Apathy around switching and fear of the unknown are two of the biggest issues we face when trying to convince Irish consumers to shop around,” said One Big Switch senior campaigner David Liston. “By not shopping around, consumers are essentially paying a loyalty tax, which is rarely rewarded. If you haven’t switched before, it’s more than likely you can save.”
Health insurance hikes
Finally, in more bad news for Irish consumers, the Irish Independent reports that families will experience further price rises for health insurance, with VHI, Laya and GloHealth all increasing their costs. Charlie Weston notes that an average annual increase in the region of €300 is expected in the near future, though for some plans this could rise to as much as €700. More hikes are also expected later this year.