Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Consumer watch

Consumer watch

Golfing gifts

Looking for a gift for the golfer in your life? The Irish Examiner’s Kevin Markham has put together a handy shortlist of golf-related gifts ranging from 2018 Ryder Cup gear to the best magazine subscriptions. Useful if you don’t have the first idea about the sport!

“If you’re like me, you go in a cycle of gifts for the family golfer in your life,” he writes. “My dad gets wine one year, some clothing the next and then a golf gift of some description. It’s a three- year cycle.”

Switching current accounts

Writing in the Irish Independent this week, Sinead Ryan tackles the topic of current accounts and how you can switch yours to save money on various charges. Switching accounts is no longer an arduous task thanks to Central Bank stipulations, and she discusses the various ins and outs of the offers and fees from Ireland’s banks.

“Another myth is that it’s too expensive. It isn’t – in some cases it’s free, and you’ll end up saving in the long run. Running a current account costs around €90 a year. Switching to a low-cost one might return at least half, or more of that,” Ryan notes.

Festive spend

Finally, consumer spending is set to rise to €4.5 billion in total this Christmas according to Retail Ireland. The average household will spend around €2,654 during December, a rise of €870 on the previous 11 months.

“Rising disposable incomes, more people at work, and falling prices will raise consumer spirits and enable greater spending power over the busy Christmas period,” said Retail Ireland Director Thomas Burke.

Online shopping is proving the biggest challenge for Irish retailers, as is shopping across the border. AA Ireland notes that around one in ten shoppers plan on heading to Northern Ireland to do some Christmas shopping, though the savings may not be as pronounced as expected.

“While the euro is still performing strongly against the Pound Sterling, the immediate aftermath of Brexit may have encouraged more people to make the journey last year despite the transport costs involved in doing so often negating any savings you may make,” said Conor Faughnan, AA Ireland’s Director of Consumer Affairs.

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.