Big savings are available to those who are prepared to take the time out to review their household expenses.
The easiest money you'll ever earn is the money that you've saved. So what if I told you there was an easy way to save over €7,000 on your household bills? You’d think I was lying, right?
Well there is a way and this article is going to tell you how to do it.
1. Switch your mortgage and save over €200 a month
Your mortgage is likely to be your biggest household expense so this is one bill you don’t want to overpay on.
And according to a report from the Central Bank, three in every five eligible mortgage holders stand to save over €1,000 within the first year alone if they switch mortgage provider, and more than €10,000 over the remaining term.
However some people could save even more!
For example, right now if you’re paying an interest rate of 4% and have €250,000 and 20 years remaining on your mortgage, you could save just over €214 a month if you switched to KBC’s 2.30% fixed rate over three years! What’s more, KBC will pay you €3,000 cashback to entice you to switch. So that's over €5,500 in just one year for switching or over €10,700 over the three-year period.
If you’re already with KBC, don’t worry, as there are great rates on offer from all the other lenders too such as Avant Money's super low 2.20% fixed rate over three or five years, and Finance Ireland's five-year fixed rate of 2.35%.
These rates are all based on someone with at least 20% equity in their home. Those with equity of 40% or more can save even more and get rates as low as 1.95%.
And while the Covid pandemic means those who have lost their jobs or are on the PUP will find it almost impossible to switch, once things return to normal and your employment situation stabilises, you should be able to look into changing lender.
Take a look at our article on how much you could save by switching mortgage to learn more about your potential savings.
How to switch
First find out the following three things: the interest rate you’re currently paying, the number of years remaining on your mortgage, and the amount remaining on your mortgage. This can all be found on a recent mortgage statement or sometimes through your online banking.
Then use our mortgage calculator to find out how much you could save by switching.
If you’re impressed with the savings, then fill in your mortgage application or arrange a callback from a qualified financial advisor to get the ball rolling.
Often the legal fees associated with switching are a key deterrent for some, but many banks are now offering cash incentives to cover switching costs. Learn more about the legal fees associated with switching here.
2. Switch your broadband and TV provider and save over €50 a month
Staying up-to-date with all the latest sporting action, movies and TV programmes isn’t cheap. So you need to make sure you're not overpaying.
Right now someone who is on Virgin Media’s ‘Mix 250’ (home phone, broadband and TV) and is paying €92 a month could move to Eir’s broadband, home phone and TV package with Apple TV for just €39.98 a month for 12 months. Customers with Eir also get Amazon Prime Video for free for a year (usually €5.99 a month) saving another €71.88 a year.
Already with Eir? Well big savings are also available if someone switches from Eir to Vodafone. Its broadband, TV and home phone service only costs €45 a month for 12 months.
How to switch
Head over to our broadband comparison service, input your address or Eircode, and we’ll take it from there.
3. Switch energy supplier and save over €400 a year
Even in warmer months gas and electricity bills can be a source of worry and financial strain for many. but as we move into winter and with more and more of us working from home these days, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re not overpaying on your energy bills.
The good news is that savings of up over €400 a year on average are available right now to those who switch and it only takes minutes online.
How to switch
To switch energy all you need is a recent meter reading and an estimate of how much energy you use either in kWh or in euro. For gas you’ll also need your GPRN and for electricity your MPRN. Both these numbers can be found on a recent bill.
One you have all this information to hand, head over to our energy price comparison service and get going. It’s quick and easy to switch and can all be done online in the space of a few minutes. Around 25,000 people switch electricity supplier every month and over 10,000 switch gas supplier so why not join them!
4. Switch current account and save around €100 a year
Fed up with your bank’s pesky fees and charges for managing your own money? Well the good news is that there are now 10 current account providers in Ireland so there's never been more choice.
For example if you’re an Ulster Bank standard account holder who makes five chip and pin transactions and five cash withdrawals a month, two contactless payments a day, and has a total of 15 direct debits, standing orders and/or lodgements presented on the account a month, you could save around €100 a year by switching to N26, Revolut, or the EBS MoneyManager account.
An AIB standard account holder who switches would save €87 a year.
Learn more about which banks have the best value current accounts here and have a listen to our bonkers.ie podcast episode where we take a deep dive into the current accounts on offer.
How to switch
See here for more info on how to switch current account provider.
5. Switch health insurance and save over €500
We’re great at switching car insurance but for some reason this doesn’t extend to other forms of insurance. As a result, it’s unsurprising that previous research has found that two out of every three health insurance members are potentially on the wrong plan. Older plans in particular are often outdated in terms of what they cover and offer very poor value. As a result, the potential savings for shopping around can be huge with savings of €500 or more on offer.
The following plans, covering each of the health insurers in the market, are examples of poor value schemes that are too expensive relative to other options now available. Any consumer on these plans could see savings of over €500 a year and should review their cover as a matter of urgency;
VHI Plans such as Health Plus Choice (€2,948), Health Access (€1,756), Forward Plan (€3,271), PremiumCare (old Plan E - €4,597) and even Family Plan Plus Level 1 (€1,635)
Laya Plans such as Essential Plus (€3,793), Essential Plus Excess (€2,852), Flex 125 Choice (€2,395), Company Health Plus no Excess (€2,421) and Health Manager (€4,917)
Irish Life Health plans such as Level 2 Hospital (€2,821), Level 2 Complete Health (€3,689), Optimise Silver (€3,973) and Optimise Platinum (€6,605)
How to switch
Head over to the health insurance section of our website and fill in some details about yourself and the health cover you require. Then book a consultation with our expert health insurance adviser. For a small fee they'll go through the more than 300 plans currently available in the Irish market to find the one that best suits your needs.
6. Move to a SIM-only mobile deal and save almost €50 a month
If you're looking to save some money on your phone bills a good option is to look into SIM-only deals, which have exploded in popularity over the past few years,
A SIM-only plan is, quite literally, when you purchase just a SIM card, which comes with an allocation of data, texts and minutes per month.
SIM-only plans are generally much, much cheaper than billpay plans because you don't incur the cost of buying a phone.
SIM-only deals are now available from all the main mobile providers and some operators such as GoMo and 48 focus solely on these deals.
So if you're out of contract and don't need an upgrade, you should definitely check them out.
48 has a deal right now that offers unlimited calls and texts and 100GB of data for just €10.99 a month.
So if you moved from Vodafone's Red Unlimited €60 a month plan you'd save just over €49 a month or €588 a year.
How to switch
Switching is easy and will be managed by your new supplier.
And remember you can keep your existing number. When you buy your new SIM, your provider will ask if you want a new number or to port over your existing one. If you choose the latter option, the process usually only takes a few hours max.
And finally... review your life insurance cover
Reviewing your serious illness, mortgage protection and life insurance cover can also save you money.
And if you’re an ex-smoker who’s been off cigarettes for over 12 months, you can apply for new cover either with your current provider or a new provider on non-smoker rates. These rates are often half the price a smoker is charged. So if you’ve given up smoking for over a year, now’s a good time to review your cover.
Take a look at our helpful guide to learn how to simply lower your insurance premiums across a range of providers.
At bonkers.ie you can easily compare quotes and benefits from Ireland’s main life insurance providers. And once you've found the right policy for you, you can apply online on our site in just minutes. And best of all our service is free, easy-to-use, 100% impartial and accurate.
Get in touch with us
Are you going to try any of the above suggestions to reduce your household bills? We’d love to know how you get on!