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Personal Finance

Your monthly round-up: January 2019

Your monthly round-up: January 2019
Conor Dever

Conor Dever

Staff Writer

If we were to rank the months, January would come 12th. Sobriety, diets, exercise, isolation, temperature gauges and bank balances in the negative; the first month of the year really is the worst!

However as the first paychecks of 2019 roll in, we wanted to make sure you have everything you need to help you keep hold of as much of that cash as possible.

Lots has gone on this month in personal finance so there should be plenty to sink your teeth into.

So let’s get started…

Personal Finance

We started off the month in earnest by taking a holistic approach to saving you some serious wedge in 2019. We wrote some guides on how to switch your energy supplier, current account, insurance, mortgage, and TV, phone and broadband provider, which could save you as much as €5,000 in a single year.

Even if you have recently switched be sure to check out the articles though as there is a host of information to help you make better financial decisions this new year, and it’s always a good idea to familiarise yourself with the switching process before you start.

Energy

Electric Ireland announced this month that it’s introducing a new ‘Super Saver’ electricity  tariff, meaning the company will now offer an incredibly competitive unit price for electricity as well as a low annual standing charge. So if you just need electricity then Electric Ireland may have the deal for you.

A couple of weeks back you may remember that we were offering an exclusive deal from Flogas which offered a 25% reduction on their standard gas rate as well as a reduction to the annual standing charge, which was only available through bonkers.ie. Well we just wanted to give you a quick reminder that the offer is set to expire on 31st January so if you want to snap up the deal you have to move quickly.

If you are thinking of switching, be sure to compare all deals from all suppliers before you make any decisions to make sure that you’re getting the best deal for your own personal consumption habits.

Banking

January was an interesting month on the banking front as KBC announced it would be allowing multi-banking on its already impressive mobile app.

This means that you will now be able to check the account balance of your AIB or Bank of Ireland accounts through the app. This was made possible due to PSD2, which aims to promote transparency, competition and innovation in the banking sector.

This is just the latest in a slew of additions to KBC’s digital portfolio, as the bank looks to own its own ‘digital-first’ narrative.

Bank of Ireland weren't sitting on the couch after Christmas either, as they announced a partnership with Aer Lingus. This month they launched the Aer Credit Card, a new innovative credit card which offers travel rewards to customers. These benefits include free flights after a threshold spend, passes to lounges, priority boarding, travel insurance as well as points for Aer Lingus’ rewards club.

Mortgages

There was some welcome news this month as EBS announced it would be increasing its cashback offer for first-time buyers, movers and switchers to 3%. This will include 2% at drawdown with another 1% after five years, which matches Bank of Ireland’s cashback offer.

Bonkers.ie National Consumer Awards

With awards season in full swing it’s only fitting that our own awards are due to take place next week.

Every year we go through a tremendous amount of effort to discern the best service providers on your behalf. While the Oscars look lovely on TV, at this stage all we can do is sit agog wondering how long they must take to organise!

Alas with all of this chasing about, judges’ meetings, and counting of votes, hopefully it will be alright on the night as we take to the famous Round Room of The Mansion House, for the 2019 bonkers.ie National Consumer Awards on Thursday 7th February. We’ll update you on all the winners next month!

This month’s deals

Virgin Media kicked the year off with a January sale and it should be good news for existing Virgin Media broadband and TV customers, as they announced their Free Unlimited Mobile Offer. Existing customers can get four months of unlimited 4G data, calls and texts, for free with Virgin Mobile. After that it’s only €25 a month, on a 30-day, SIM-only contract. But you’ll need to be quick as the offer ends on 31st January.

Eir wasn't long following suit as it announced further reductions to its dual and triple play bundles. The further price drops mean you can get Eir’s dualplay bundle (that’s home phone and TV) for less than €30 a month on a 12-month contract. Meanwhile you can get the tripleplay plan, which includes TV, for less than €46 a month, also on a year-long contract. But hurry, these offers also finish on 31st January.

Tip of the Month

If you're like us, you've been spending the last few days staring out the window with a sense of dread, watching the temperatures fall and dreaming about warmer climates. 

If you're thinking about booking a holiday you might like to know when the best time to book flights is. Let's take the following destinations as examples; Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Paris. 

According to research, if you want to take a trip to the Dutch capital, the best time to book a flight is 13 weeks in advance of the trip. If you are traveling to the Catalan city, you will get the cheapest rate five weeks in advance. While a trip to Paris, is gotten at its best rate 12 weeks out.

That's it for this month

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

To get up-to-date news about price changes and tips on how to lower your household bills, join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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