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Personal Finance

Your monthly round-up: August 2019

Conor Dever

Conor Dever

Staff Writer

The jury is still out on the summer; was it good, was it bad, did it even happen? It seems like this summer was like a Rorschach inkblot test - everyone sees something different! Regardless of the weather, time inevitably trudges on...

As we turn the corner into September some familiar feelings start to creep in: apprehension from commuters at the prospect of traffic, impending doom from school kids, and of course dread from parents who have to foot the bill. 

Just in time for all of that though, comes your monthly bulletin packed with tips about how to trim all those costs and lean up in time for the winter. We also have some tips for college students and some nice guides for the sporting season ahead or for getting yourself insured. 

So let’s not allow grass grow under our feet, and let's get stuck into it, shall we...

Banking

One of the most ingrained associations in our collective psyche is that September means back to school. However for some this September is not just daunting, it also really exciting. That's because they will be starting college. College students have enough on their plate, so we decided to do some of their work for them, so here are the best student bank accounts for 2019.

I am about to blow your mind, because for the first time, in what feels like a decade, I am going to mention the EU not even mention the ‘B’ word. Here it goes. September will see a new directive from the EU which aims to increase security and competition known as PSD2. So here is everything you need to know about PSD2 and how to make sure you don't get locked out of your accounts because of it. 

Mortgages

As if we weren’t already blue in the face telling you about the benefits of switching, this month we gave you another reason to switch your current account. Why? Because it could save you thousands on your mortgage. 

70% of all new mortgages here are now on a fixed rate but this still lags behind the Eurozone average of over 80%. But this year we have seen the options for fixed rates increase as KBC, AIB, and Bank of Ireland have all rolled out new fixed-rate offerings. Well, this month there was another entrant, as Haven announced a new 10-year fixed-rate mortgage. 

Staying on the topic of fixed-rate mortgages, this month it was announced by KBC that it would be slashing the rates on some of its fixed-rate mortgages by up to 0.55%. So all in all some good news in the mortgage sector this month.

10 Year Fixed LTV >80-90 % (KBC Current Account Holders)

10 Year Fixed LTV >80-90 % (KBC Current Account Holders)

  • Available to new customers
  • 25% off Home Insurance
Fixed rate
3.20%

Broadband and TV

There has been a lot of chopping and changing of sports rights recently. The Six Nations is on Virgin Media, GAA is on Sky, and soccer is all over the place. One particular rights change that caused a lot of consternation though was when BT Sport left the Eir Sport pack, so it lead us to ask: how can we watch BT Sport? 

Once we finished answering that question we were on a roll as we were titillated about all of the upcoming sporting action this season. So we wrote down where to catch it all and how much it will cost you. This, of course, was before Man United lost to Crystal Palace and Ireland got battered by England. Then we gathered our respective United, Ireland, and Mayo jerseys, tied them to bricks and buried them at the bottom of the deepest lake we could find. 

There were some haggard shafts of daylight though, for instance, while the uncertainty of the National Broadband Plan continues, SIRO along with Digiweb announced that they would be partnering up to give Ireland its first 1Gbps business park, and it was not going to be in Dublin, but rather Dundalk. 

Buoyed by that news we again thought about fresh starts and it wasn’t long before our minds drifted back to those college students setting off into their new adventures as adults, and we thought the last thing they probably wanted to do was figure out which broadband deal was the best for students, so we did it for them. We are awful sound. 

Energy

The good news did not stop there though. Energy customers in Ireland have been getting hammered lately with price increases. This is largely due to the wholesale unit rate of energy increasing so it came as a welcome relief this month that the PSO levy was decreasing by 18% meaning cheaper electricity. 

Personal finance

The most stressed-out people this September will no doubt be parents. Despite the fact you can now dump your kids back in a classroom and tell the teacher - “here, you deal with this” - it is still a borderline extortionately expensive time of the year. So maybe this is the right time to sit down and learn again about 7 ways bonkers.ie can save you money on your bills.

Insurance

Last month we gave you a little taster of some of our new guides and this month we said we would give you two more to satiate your thirst for knowledge! 

This month it is all insurance-related as we talk you through Specified Illness Cover and Life Insurance. That should keep you tied over until next month. 

Deal of the month

If some of you are still excited about the sporting season ahead, and most of you should be as it’s going to be a bumper year - provided you don’t fall into the unholy Venn diagram of being a Mayo, Man United and Ireland fan. 

Our deal of the month has to be Virgin Media offering Sky Sports or Sky Cinema for just €1 extra a month for 12 months, which is seriously great value for sports fans and movie buffs. 

Something different

This month Electric Ireland gave us two tickets to Electric Picnic to give away. The terms were simple: tell us your favourite throwback songs. The response was massive. It seems you guys love two things: nostalgia, and cheese. 

The winner was Daniel Wall. 

However, we got so many entries we thought it would be a shame to waste them so we decided to make a playlist of them all and put it on Spotify for all you guys to check out. 

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