Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Consumer watch

Consumer watch

Car costs

With the school run back on the horizon, you may be facing higher fuel bills as you ferry the kids to and from school, not to mention additional wear and tear. Once you add those costs to the steep figures that accompany a new school term, your bank balance can be severely depleted.

But fear not – Melanie May,’s motoring expert, has got some tips on reducing the cost of school runs, from reading the road ahead to taking a trip on foot once a week.

“AT 8:50am, almost one in five cars on the road are on the school run,” she writes. “Most of these journeys are less than 1.6km (one mile), and these congested short journeys can cause quite a bit of wear and tear on your car.”

NOW TV review

Elsewhere, sets its sights on Sky’s NOW TV this week, a streaming service launched earlier this year that provides access to sports, box sets and films for a set amount of time depending on the pass you purchase. There’s no subscription or lengthy contract available, and it’s available across a range of devices.

Robyn Hamilton weighs up the pros and cons of the various packages and passes available, comparing it to rival service Netflix. “The great thing about NOW TV is that there’s no contract so if you purchase a monthly pass and then decide that you don’t like the service, you can cancel it with no questions asked,” she notes.

Rent a room

Finally, Irish homeowners are being asked to consider renting rooms in their own home to third level students in the wake of high demand and low availability. Rent-a-Room relief means that annual income of up to €14,000 received from renting a room or rooms is exempt from tax, which could net you an additional tax-free amount of €1,166 per month.

Almost 2,500 students were accommodated by the renting of spare rooms last year,” says Charlie Weston, writing in the Irish Independent this week. “This is a direct result of the Union of Students in Ireland campaign promoting the option. A target of 4,000 students in digs accommodation has been set for 2019.”

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.