Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Frugal living

Whether you’re saving for a holiday or simply trying to cut down on your costs, follow these frugal tips and you might just find you’ve got more funds to play with.

Car care

There are lots of ways to cut down on your motoring expenses. When it comes to renewal time for motor insurance, shop around – you’d be surprised at how much you could save by switching providers. And, if you tell your current provider you’re not happy with their quote, they might cave and offer you a lower figure!

If you do a lot of driving, keep an eye on fuel prices in your area with – a saving of 2 or 3c mightn’t seem like much at the time, but it will all add up in the end. And to make your fuel go further, avoid aggressive driving like braking hard or putting your foot to the floor. Drive smoothly, change up once you hit 2,500 revs, avoid carrying heavy weights if you can, make sure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure (check the owner’s manual for these figures), and have your car regularly serviced.

Energy savings

Irish people have become quite adept at making energy savings around the house throughout the recession, and there’s no doubt that being energy aware may save you money on your bill each month. You don’t have to fork out for expensive boilers or solar panels – just turn off the lights as you leave each room and use energy saving bulbs all around, make sure all electronics are switched off and not merely on standby and turn the thermostat down by just 1% to save around 10% off your heating bill each year. Make sure you’re filling the washing machine and dishwasher each time instead of running half loads, close your curtains at night to keep the heat from disappearing through the windows (and tuck the drapes behind your radiators), take showers instead of baths, and use the toaster for bread instead of the grill.

Getting value for your shop

We’ve covered lots of shopping tips previously on You & Your Money, from making a budget and creating a shopping list when shopping for groceries, to searching online for user reviews when buying electronics. Don’t forget to compare prices too – Price Spy, for example, lets you compare prices across a range of product categories like home and garden, phones, audio, computers and much more.

When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.