Personal Finance

Your monthly round-up: February 2019

Conor Dever

Conor Dever

Staff Writer

The last couple of weeks have seen a strange sort of metamorphosis. The evenings are beginning to get longer, there are daffodils in the parks, and for a brief moment, it felt like love and spring was in the air.

Things are definitely changing quickly as we bring a close to the shortest month of the year, and realise 2019 is already one-sixth complete.

And as always there was lots of news that could affect your pocket this month. So here’s our round-up of everything important from the world of personal finance and consumer affairs in February.

So let's get into it, shall we?

Personal finance

This month we had a chat in the office about some of the silly things we’ve wasted our money on over the years. And while I think if you asked my dog he’d say that he loves the Darth Vader costume I bought for him last year, we’ve all made some mistakes with our money.

This lead us to dive headlong into common financial mistakes we all make in our adulthood.

So whether you are in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s or 50’s we compiled a list of mistakes that you should avoid.

Energy

Late last year we saw a number of price increases in the energy sector.

Unfortunately, in February we saw Bord Gáis Energy follow suit as it increased its tariffs for the second time since August. If you want to check out that story you can do so here.

Earlier this week we also saw Electric Ireland increasing their prices, which will have a direct affect on 1.1million across the country.

This month also saw a report published by the Irish Wind Energy Association which shows that while wind energy is good for the planet, it’s also kind to your pocket, as we found out it costs less than €1 per person per year.

Banking

KBC bank continued innovating this month as it followed Bank of Ireland by introducing an instalment plan feature on its Mastercard credit card. This allows you to put a purchase of €500 or more onto a separate, lower interest rate, and pay it back in instalments over 12, 18, or 24 months.

Bank of Ireland also announced this month that it’s extending its mortgage cashback offer until 31st December, which gives new mortgage customers 2% cashback at drawdown and another 1% after 5 years. You can read all about it here.

This month also saw Ulster Bank announce a slew of new charges to its current account; much to the chagrin of Ulster Bank customers everywhere. This lead us to ask; who has the best value current account right now? You can find out what conclusion we came to right here.

Mortgages

Earlier in the month, the CSO released data showing that property prices increased by a further 6.50% in 2018. And while the continued rise in house prices might be bad news for those trying to get on the property ladder for the very first time, it could be good news for those of you looking to switch mortgage.

Broadband

It isn’t every month that we can announce a new provider available on bonkers.ie, but this month we can. Bigblu, a satellite broadband provider who claim 100% coverage, is now available on our site.

This should be especially interesting to those in rural areas struggling to get a good connection. So if you are currently being let down by the National Broadband Plan you can find out more about it here.

Something fun

We are positively gaga about podcasts here in the bonkers.ie HQ.

Whether we’re cleaning the house or getting the train to work there is a podcast that’s perfect for every occasion. And we wanted to share this obsession with you too.

So we have composed a list of 7 enthralling podcasts we think you’ll love for a Sunday drive or for any occasion where you want to sit down and be entertained.

This month’s top deals

Bord Gáis Energy had more news for us this month as it announced that it’s offering its dual fuel deal to both new AND existing customers, which should be good news for all Bord Gáis customers who are happy with their service and don’t want to have to switch to get a better price.

Tip of the month

With the changes coming to Ulster Bank current accounts we decided to take a look at all of the things you can do to save money on your current account transaction fees. From using contactless to avoiding cheques there are some great tips to save you some cash.

Listen back

Daragh Cassidy, our Head of Communications, was talking to Tommy Marren of Midwest radio, to talk about rising house prices and the effect it could have on your mortgage. You can give that a listen right here.

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