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Personal Finance

Your monthly round-up: May 2019

Conor Dever

Conor Dever

Staff Writer

May was pretty poor and fairly miserable if you ask us and seemed to go on forever but at least we’re nearly done. But that's enough about Theresa, let's talk about the month itself.

Liverpool and Tottenham shocked us by making it to the Champions League final while Roscommon caused an upset in the Connacht championship by dumping out Mayo.

The Dutch won the Eurovision, and we all know they have no business doing anything other than growing tulips and making clogs. There was the end of Game of Thrones, which was, well...we’re just going to leave that hornets’ nest alone for now.

But fear not, just in time for payday, sliding into your inbox it’s your monthly bulletin to bring you all the news from the world of personal finance and consumer affairs. So let's get to it...

Personal Finance

If you’re anything like us here in the office, you might find yourself watching less and less actual television these days and opting for more internet-based entertainment on the likes of YouTube or Netflix instead. In fact, according to an Irish Times Pricewatch poll a few years back, 70% said they watched between just ONE and 10 channels per week. So we decided to figure out if Saorview Connect, which recently upgraded its service to include pausing and recording live TV, could be a better alternative to spending hundreds on an expensive TV package.

Meanwhile, a ‘Green Wave’ hit Ireland at last Friday's elections with issues around the environment and climate change being at the forefront of voters' minds it seems. One policy that's been discussed a lot since is the carbon tax. So what exactly is it and how does it impact on your pocket?

bonkers.ie Investigates

It’s a fairly widely accepted truth that Ireland is pretty damn expensive. But have you ever wondered why? This month we decided to investigate.

And speaking of widely accepted truths, another is that here in Ireland we pay a lot of tax. However, we found out this month, much to our surprise, that over 60,000 families are not taking advantage of a sizable tax break for home carers.

Energy

There was some bad news for consumers this month in the energy department, as we saw Just Energy announce that it’s leaving the market. Any loss in competition is a loss for the consumer, so it’s a shame to see the company pull out of the Irish market to focus on its core business in the UK and North America.

It wasn’t all bad news on the energy front though as bonkers.ie launched our new business energy comparison service. So if you’re a business owner looking to save on your energy costs, we can help you do that too!

Banking

The last few months have not been kind to customers of Irish banks as a trend of fee hiking seems to be taking hold. Permanent TSB was the latest to announce it would be increasing fees on its current accounts.

Another trend that is visible of late is banks reducing their deposit rates, and unfortunately for AIB customers, they’ve also followed suit, reducing rates and making it even more difficult for those trying to save money.

With so much bad news it wasn't long before we started thinking of things that cheer us up, like shopping. Of course, it was a short hop skip and a jump before we asked; Which bank has the best credit card?

TV broadband & home phone

In the middle of the month from the chic basement of the Greyson hotel in Dublin, Virgin Media announced its plans to supercharge its Wi-Fi for customers with a series of software updates going out to all Virgin Media Hubs. What exactly all that means, you can check out right here.

On the subject of WI-Fi and internet, everywhere you look these days you see craned necks staring down at phones, and most of you are using your data when you are out and about, so we decided to take a look at which mobile provider has the best coverage in your area.

And while you’re on your phone you might see your data is coming in on either a 3G or 4G network, but something that is coming down the track is 5G, so we took a look at the five main things you need to know about this new technology.

As we mentioned above, people are watching less television and choosing to opt for more Internet-based services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube. With that in mind, it's no surprise that more and more people are choosing broadband-only packages, so we took the time to figure out who is best.

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