With the cost of living in Ireland on the rise, many are wondering how they can meet their personal savings goals in 2022 and beyond.
Eurostat data show that housing and energy costs for Irish households were 84% higher than the EU average, and food prices were 20% more expensive, the Irish Independent reported in mid-February. Inflation, higher taxes, and levies are all contributing to a €2,000 rise in costs for the average household in Ireland.
While these trends may be discouraging for those looking to save money in the coming months, there are a few strategic ways you can monitor and manage your finances.
Here are 10 things to do to save €10k this year
1. Get a better mortgage rate
A mortgage payment is the most significant monthly expense for most homeowners. So, it makes sense to work with a lender that offers a mortgage rate that allows you to meet your savings goals.
A financial advisor with Symmetry Financial Management can help everyone from first-time homebuyers to seasoned property investors identify the best mortgage options for their needs.
2. Keep household energy costs in check
Monthly utility costs are unavoidable, but smart consumers know how to proactively manage these expenses.
John Lowe of Money Doctors recommends doing a little research about a month before your utility contracts expire. See what rates and services competing utility providers are offering and consider switching if it makes sense. Sometimes your current provider will be willing to match their competitor’s rate to keep you as a customer.
This is especially important in 2022 when utility prices around Ireland are expected to increase substantially.
A bit of good news: Ireland electricity consumers are slated to receive a €200 electricity credit as soon as March 2022 to offset the rising cost of living, The Journal reported.
In the meantime, consider making upgrades your home to make it more energy-efficient.
Start with small improvements like switching to LED light bulbs and installing a smart thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature based on your schedule.
3. Shop around for the bank with the best interest rate
Avoid sticking your hard-earned savings into an account that doesn’t give you anything in return.
Banks offer different types of savings accounts with competitive interest rates that can grow your money while you’re saving.
Check out Raisin to research and compare savings accounts with the most competitive interest rates across Europe.
4. Choose the right Internet and broadband service
There’s a wide variety of Internet providers and services available in Ireland, but some plans are better than others.
Research the type of Internet and broadband services you want. Then, contact reputable providers to discuss what options they have that would fit your needs. Avoid purchasing plans that include extra services that you’ll never use, and don’t be afraid to ask for a lower rate.
5. Consider letting space you’re not using
If you don’t mind some extra company, consider letting your spare room or living space to a housemate. Sharing your space can generate extra monthly income and help you save on utilities.
If you own the property and are looking to rent a room in your house which you also live then you may be able to avail of tax free rental income up to 14k.
6. Cut down stockbroker fees
Choosing the right investments can help propel you to your savings goals, but you need to be wary about high stockbroker fees that eat into your returns.
Online brokers like DEGIRO are designed to make investing more accessible, and affordable, to the average investor.
7. Cancel and consolidate subscriptions
At least once a year, review your monthly subscriptions and cancel any that you don’t use regularly.
If you don’t need your own account, consider sharing some subscription services with friends or family members.
8. Create a realistic personal budget
Saving €10,000 doesn’t happen by accident. You need to have an easy-to-understand budget that you can stick to.
Sit down and identify your monthly household income and every recurring monthly expense. From there, you can begin creating a personal budget to guide you along your savings journey.
This article gives more detail bout how to create and use a personal budget to manage your spending and maximize savings.
Be sure to leave some room in your budget for emergencies. Ideally, create a special emergency fund specifically for sudden expenses you didn’t see coming.
9. Plan ahead for major purchases
A major purchase can instantly drain your savings if you didn’t plan for it properly.
A new car, updated appliances, or a downpayment for a home are examples of major expenses that you can identify and plan for months or even years in advance.
Consider opening a separate savings account specifically for your big purchase. Contribute to the account regularly until you reach your goal.
10. Divert any extra income to savings
Sometimes you get lucky and receive a generous holiday bonus or find €10 in your jacket pocket.
Any surprise income you receive should go straight into savings where it can earn interest so you can enjoy it more later.