How to save on your household bills this January - KCLR
In the new year, many of us like to review our bills and reset to see where we can save some money.
Daragh Cassidy, Head of Communications at bonkers.ie, appeared on KCLR to discuss how you can save on your household bills this January with Eimear Ni Bhraonáin. They looked at how you can reduce your mortgage costs and save on your insurance, phone bills and energy costs.
You can listen back to the interview above or take a look at the main points below.
Loyalty is no longer rewarded
At bonkers.ie we always say that loyalty doesn’t pay. If you do want the best deals, you’ll have to be prepared to shop around and look for better value.
If you’ve been with the same provider for at least 2 years, the chances are that you’re overpaying or getting an inferior product.
For example, if you’ve been with the same insurer for multiple years, you may not save money by switching but you could get better cover and better service for the same price.
Save big by switching your mortgage
Mortgage switching has begun to creep up over the past few months, which is really good. The Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) released a report recently that showed switching levels were at the highest level in years.
Your mortgage is likely to be your biggest expense, particularly if you’re living in a populous city like Dublin. However, there are big savings to be made.
If you’re currently paying a rate of 4% and have around €250,000 remaining on your mortgage, you could switch to a rate of 1.95%, saving between €200-250 a month. Discover how much you could save by switching mortgages in this blog.
Switching mortgage is not something you’ll do regularly but we would advise people to do it at least once over their term. Some providers will pay you cashback for switching. AIB will pay €2,000, Avant Money will pay €1,500, and Haven pays up to €5,000 in some cases.
There are some fees involved with switching, as you’ll need to get a solicitor involved. You can review the legal fees involved in switching in this blog.
Can you save on health insurance?
When it comes to health insurance, people are often afraid of moving from their current provider in case they lose benefits or have to re-serve waiting periods.
As long as you switch within 13 weeks of ending your current cover, you won't have to re-serve waiting periods. All of your benefits will still be there if you move to a similar plan.
With health insurance, it’s not always about saving money, but instead getting better cover. Health changes so quickly and if you’re on an older plan, you may not be covered for the most modern type of treatment.
There are experts out there who will do a whole-of-market comparison on your behalf for a fee. We offer this comparison service on bonkers.ie.
How can consumers get the best mobile plan deals?
If you’re on a billpay plan, remember that after two years you’ve likely paid off the cost of the phone, so you’re usually free to shop around. We’d recommend opting for a SIM-only plan.
SIM-only plans can offer unlimited calls, texts and data for as little as €5 per month in some cases. You just buy the SIM card, provide your own phone and you can keep your number. At the moment Virgin Mobile has a deal for €5 a month for six months.
Switching to a SIM-only plan only takes a few hours and is a relatively seamless process. Take a look at the best SIM-only deals on offer in this blog.
Do you have any advice for saving on insurance costs?
We’re obsessed with car insurance in this country and we should bring this obsession to other products too. There are a number of ways to save on insurance:
- Review your excess (the amount you pay yourself in the event of a claim). If you can increase your excess slightly, your insurance costs will likely go down.
- See if you can make yourself a safer bet, as insurance is all based on risk. For example, if you have a garage park your car there and let your insurer know.
- Making modifications to your car or home can bring down premium costs too. For example, installing an alarm system will help reduce your home insurance.
- If you can pay annually in one lump sum, it’ll be cheaper than paying monthly.
- If your premium has increased in price don’t be afraid to ask your insurer why and what needs to be done to bring it down.
- You can also haggle when you get your renewal quotes. Think of your renewal quote as the start of a negotiation, not a set-in-stone fact.
Staggering energy costs
Last year we saw over 35 price hike announcements from all suppliers. It was a year of crisis in the energy sector and some suppliers raised their prices five times. Some people will be paying over €1,000 extra for their energy this year, unless they switch.
Switch and save
Are you looking to save on your household bills this January? Take control of your bills with bonkers.ie!
The easiest and quickest way to save money is by switching energy provider. You can compare the cheapest energy deals and switch today with our energy comparison tool.