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Your monthly round-up: November 2019
Rob Flynn
Staff Writer

Well that was a particularly fast, not to mention wet month, wasn’t it? And with the festive period well under way it’s only going to get more hectic as the days roll on.

November saw the end of a saga as Maria Bailey was deselected as a candidate for the general election, and the month was equally as comical as we witnessed the pitiful attempt at rebranding the already culturally historic Grafton Street.

With so much happening, from politics to the pews, you might have missed some of this month’s personal finance news and savings tips.

One thing we were all particularly ecstatic about here at bonkers was the decision by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) to accredit us for the 7th year in a row as an accurate, impartial, and up-to-date provider of energy price comparisons - three cheers!

Below you can find a round up of some of the biggest stories that happened in the worlds of energy, broadband, banking and more!

There were some major energy changes this month that could have a big impact on your pocket!

November saw Flogas announce the acquisition of Just Energy’s customer base in Ireland. The deal was accredited by the CRU and will see all customer accounts switch over to Flogas by year’s end.

November also saw the CRU release its quarterly change of supplier update which shed some light on the surge of Prepay Power, which has been steadily gaining customers since the beginning of 2019. With its customer base expanding, is it about time to take pre-pay seriously?

SSE Airtricity has also been bringing the savings this month with an announcement of further discounted dual fuel and electricity tariffs which might see more consumers saving and switching to the provider of 100% green electricity.

Despite Christmas being only around the corner, fear not! We have the definitive guide on how to save money on your energy bills this winter. And unlike deciduous trees, these tips are evergreen! And if you don’t fancy reading the article, check out this video instead.

And finally we also found out this month that Ireland has the fourth most expensive electricity in the EU. But we’ve a simple way for you to get among the cheapest!

The world of broadband and home phone saw a number of hot new deals being announced this month, especially ahead of the marketing deluge that inevitably travels in tandem with Black Friday.

The start of the month saw Eir promote a new and enticing ‘For Life’ offer, a broadband and home phone package for the first 10,000 customers who apply. And for fans of Apple, a reminder that customers can now sign up to Eir’s new TV service which will use the Apple TV device as its set-top box.

At a glance we saw a number of operators getting ahead of the Black Friday curve with Virgin Mobile announcing an unlimited new SIM-only deal for just €5 per month, as well as Sky offering a free LG TV to new customers who sign up to Sky TV.

And as November is synonymous with Black Friday we decided to bring you some of the best broadband deals available to customers.

Netflix and Chill or Amazon Prime and Recline? This month we also reviewed in depth the main streaming services available in Ireland. It's a good'un! 

Finally, November heralded the welcome news that bill payers will no longer foot extra charges for calls made to so-called Non-Geographic Numbers like 1850 and 1890. For the full details read on here!

In mortgage related news, ‘fixed-rates’ was more than certainly the theme of the month, as we witnessed a number of mortgage lenders continue to reduce theirs.

The building society EBS announced a modest reduction in its fixed-rate prices, offering first-time buyers or switchers a reduced rate of 2.90%, and an extension of its ‘Back in Cash’ offer, which you can read more about here.

In similar news, AIB announced a new ‘green’ mortgage deal offering customers a reduced interest rate of 2.50% for those whose property satisfies a particular building energy rating (BER).

With fixed-rates on the tip of the collective tongue for November and with 74% of all new mortgages in Ireland now on a fixed rate, according to latest data from the Central Bank, we took an in-depth look at the meat and bones of fixed rates and why they’re becoming increasingly popular.

November was good news for motorists as new rules from the Central Bank went live, increasing transparency around motor insurance cover.

The changes implemented were many, but among those listed included a change in the notice period for renewals, which will hopefully see an increase in savvy saving among consumers.

If this bit of news somehow passed you by on the inside lane, we highly recommend that you check out the changes before your renewal deadline day comes creeping up.

And on the subject of renewals, with the the New Year fast approaching it'll be a key time for renewals in the health insurance market. So we caught up expert Dermot Goode to get the lowdown on everything you need to know about switching health insurance and how you can save big on your premium. You can watch that interview right here.

In the personal finance space some interesting new research commissioned by Bank of Ireland outlined that almost half of people don’t know how pensions work, despite the fact they are an excellent tax-free way of saving for your retirement.

It’s competition time!

Christmas competitions are the best competitions and this month we’re giving away a pair of tickets for Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas: Live in Concert, taking place in the 3Arena on December 8th.

To be in with a chance of winning just head over to our Twitter or Facebook pages and tell us your biggest Christmas nightmare! From overcooked turkeys to undercooked present ideas, we want to hear your funniest stories!

Congratulations are also in order to this month’s winner of our €50 money card, Han-En Li!

Everyone who switches energy supplier on gets put into a draw that month for a chance to win. For your chance to win, get switching!

This November we recorded episode three and four of our ‘Guide To Adulting’ podcast where in episode three we caught up with the founder of Interview Tutor, Orla Donagher, to discuss the best ways to get a job in today's working environment.

You can also listen to episode four where we spoke to Greg Dixon, a fellow of the Irish Institute of Pensions Management who talks us through savings tips, pensions in general and why it's so important for younger people to think about retirement planning.

You can listen back to all episodes here.

Our Head of Communications Daragh Cassidy joined Shane Colman on Newstalk Breakfast to discuss new car insurance reforms.

He also spoke to East Coast FM's Declan Meehan to discuss new electricity supplier Glow Power entering the Irish market.

Daragh also appeared on KFM with presenter Clem Ryan to discuss how to get the best deal on your car insurance.

Get in touch

We hope you enjoyed your November bulletin. If there are any topics you’d like us to cover on our blog, just tweet us @bonkers_ie with your suggestions.

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