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Personal Finance

Your monthly round-up: April 2019

Conor Dever

Conor Dever

Staff Writer

April has been a pretty hectic month between the return of Game of Thrones, a bank holiday weekend, an Extinction Rebellion protest, and then on Sunday filling our bellies with chocolate. And to top it all off we launched our new in-house life insurance broker service too - more on that below. 

However bills don't sleep and unfortunately need to be paid, and the thing we hate more than anything in the world is you paying more than you need to on your everyday household bills. 

So just in time for payday it’s our monthly bulletin, bringing you everything you need to know from the world of personal finance and consumer affairs. This month’s round-up is packed with news from energy to banking, broadband and more! 

So without further adieu let's get into it...

Personal Finance

Brace yourself because I’m going to say the B-word. Again. If you’re not feeling the fatigue from Brexit you probably have just come out of a lengthy coma. It seems though from recent research we carried out in conjunction with RED C that the exit of the UK from the EU has a lot of people worried. In fact 26% think Brexit will be bad for their finances. 

And on the subject of personal finances, while there seems to be a bit more money in the country these days, we still have some bad habits when it comes to our spending. So we made a list of the top five things Irish people waste money on. 

And finally we wanted to have a look at something that wasn’t related to Brexit, for the sake of our sanity if nothing else. So we decided to revisit an old topic that we thought you might like as we looked at seven more purchases that will save you money in the long term.

Energy

Energy prices have been rising steadily over the last few years and those hikes are starting to take their toll on people's finances so when BEenergy launched a new two-year fixed electricity tariff we’re sure it was music to consumers’ ears. To check if the plan is right for you see here. 

SSE also tried to give a little more back by announcing that it’s increased its cashback welcome credit for new customers. It's increased the cashback on its dual-fuel plan from €200 to €220 while the electricity credit has increased from €135 to €150! 

Although welcome offers like these can be enticing, they don’t always offer value in the long run so remember to compare all plans across all suppliers before you make the switch.

Banking

It wasn’t such a Good Friday for Ulster Bank customers as a whole host of new fees for using its current account came into effect last week. In case you can't remember what effect these charges will have on your account we already looked into it for you. 

The landscape of banking is changing too and there are some really interesting options for where to keep your money. So if you’re fed up with your current bank’s fees and charges and are thinking about moving to one of the new digital banks, we had a look at two of the best, and hopefully answered the question - N26 or Revolut?

Mortgages

The housing market seems to be cooling off a small bit recently. But if you’re looking to buy it’s still important to know your options and get the best deal for your personal circumstances. And this month saw some interesting developments as AIB became the latest bank to cut its mortgage rates. The State's largest bank has cut its fixed-rate mortgages by up to 0.45% while introducing a new 10-year fixed rate. 

With this reduction and others from the likes of Finance Ireland, we decided to have a look again at which bank has the best mortgage rates for first-time buyers.

TV broadband & home phone

April was a big month for broadband. This month we saw Digiweb launching a big offer to get its name out there a little more. Now you can pick up its whippet-fast 1Gb/s broadband for just €10 a month. 

Also as part of our research in conjunction with RED C we looked into public opinion around the proposed National Broadband Plan. Our research shows the majority of the public is in favour of the plan - but only if the price is right. 

Finally, given all the changes over the past few weeks from the main broadband and TV providers, we decided to compare the base packages from the main providers Eir, Sky, Virgin Media, and Vodafone to see how they compare.

This month's top deal

Sky made a couple of changes this month, most notably to its 100Mb fibre unlimited bundle, now offering the product for just €39 a month for 24 months. This makes it one of the cheapest plans on the market over two years. So if you are looking for a bargain on your internet you know where to go.

We need your help

We’re constantly trying to improve our service for you. But we need your help to tell us what we do well and what we could do better. If you could take a few minutes to fill out our survey you can help us improve our service and provide you with better information and a better experience. You can do that here. 

Life insurance now live

After a lot of work here at bonkers.ie HQ our new in-house life insurance broker service has gone live. This means you can now get life insurance, mortgage protection and specified illness cover quickly and easily through bonkers.ie and benefit from the customer-centred and digitally-focussed service that you know and trust us for! Happy days! 

Something different

There has been a veritable bidding war for sporting events of late by media companies, and the way we watch sport is changing because of it. You can now get bitesize chunks of your favourite sports seemingly everywhere but it also means you'll need large pockets if you want to subscribe to all the different channels. 

However, what if you wanted to just watch some of your favourite sporting events on a one-off basis and avoid the hefty yearly subscription fees? Well now you can with pay-as-you-go services rising in popularity. 

So who's offering what and how much will it cost? To help you out, here's our breakdown of some of the most popular pay-as-you-go sport options available right now. 

Listen back

Daragh Cassidy, Our Head of Communications, was on East Coast FM earlier in the month talking about the changes in fees for Ulster Bank customers and on Newstalk to discuss the recent energy price increase from Electric Ireland. You can give those a listen right here. 

Get in touch

That's it for this month.

If you have any of your own personal finance tips or topics you'd like us to cover, then get in touch. You can comment below, or catch us on TwitterFacebook or Instagram. We'd love to hear from you! 

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