As another new year is about to roll around again and as we’re all doing our best to cope with the current cost of living challenge, we reckoned it’s timely to consider ways to save money in 2023. The inflation rate for 2022 is expected to come in at a shade under 10%, which has hit hard on our wallets. While the rate for 2023 is expected to be lower, price inflation is expected to continue.
So here are our 6 ways to save money in 2023.
Manage your energy costs
We all know the impact the war in Ukraine and the turning off of Russian gas has had on our energy costs. These escalated costs will continue for the foreseeable future. So, what can you do?
First of all, you should look to minimise your wasted energy – don’t heat the house when there’s no-one home, turn off lights and use night saver rates. Small actions make a difference, so don’t boil a full kettle for a single cup of tea. There are countless actions like these that will make a difference.
Secondly shop around for the best energy rates. Either contact the various suppliers to see what they have to offer or use a comparison site to compare the various plans. Staying loyal to one supplier is often NOT rewarded, with new customers getting better deals.
Can you use Renewable Energy sources?
For some people it still sounds a bit far-fetched but installing the likes of solar panels is now much more mainstream. There are also potentially grants available, so familiarise yourself with the SEAI’s Communities Energy Grant (CEG) scheme, which supports energy efficiency community projects through capital funding and partnerships. There are currently nearly 30 companies across Ireland that will work with you to ensure that your property can reach its fullest energy-saving potential. As technology continues to advance, so too will your energy-saving options. There are many ways to increase the self-sustainability of your home, while also having a positive impact on the environment.
The price of petrol and diesel has jumped hugely over the last year. Is now the time to consider switching to an Electric Vehicle? While the price of public charging has increased in line with energy price inflation, there are still some grants available for the installation of home chargers. Also, for those people with company cars, the BIK rules are far more favourable than those applying to petrol or diesel cars.
It's also worth taking note of the greatly improved infrastructure for cycling. Is it time to avail of the Bike to Work scheme and start getting fitter during your daily commute while saving money? If you don’t feel quite so athletic, the Bike to Work scheme also applies to electric bikes. So, if you have a short commute, is this a viable alternative for you instead of your petrol guzzling car?
Can you save on your mortgage?
Interest rates are climbing again, and mortgage rates are changing. There may be opportunities for you to avail of a better rate than with your current lender. Inertia is a real feature of the mortgage market, with lots of people believing it’s simply too much hassle to move to a new provider. But it doesn’t have to be. A good broker will help ease that pain and there are some good switching deals available.
Review every regular bill
This one is the hard yards of reviewing every regular outgoing. Start with reviewing the services that you’re paying for – are you actually using them? Then consider if you are getting the best rates as again, your loyalty is often not rewarded by suppliers. So, spend a bit of time going through your phone contracts, your car & house insurance, the streaming services you’re paying for (Netflix / Apple TV / Amazon Prime / Spotify etc.) and your broadband contract. Are there savings here?
It is very important to have financial protection in place and to have savings in place for your future, so why not contact us to have any existing plans reviewed and we will ensure you are paying the most competitive premiums on your protections policies, and we will also review the charging structures of your investments and pensions, giving your money a better chance of growing further.
We’re living again in inflationary times. Without a matching income increase, you run the risk of slowly becoming poorer in real terms. Now is the time to take actions and stop that decline.
So here we are again, that time when everyone sees a looming tax bill at the end of October and is digging around for eligible receipts to reduce the bill. Sometimes in the rush to complete the tax return on time, valuable tax-saving opportunities are missed. So here is how you can reduce your upcoming tax bill.
Pension contributions get tax relief at your marginal rate
If you are a higher rate taxpayer, it really is hard to beat a pension contribution or an Additional Voluntary Contribution to your company pension scheme. Pension contributions are one of the few remaining routes to gaining tax relief at the higher rate of tax. Yes, it takes a payment to access the tax relief, but this payment is simply fuelling your future lifestyle. Think of it as a tax efficient investment in your own future. It’s important too to remember that there are several tax breaks associated with pensions,
1. Your contributions qualify for marginal (higher) rate tax relief within certain limits
2. Your pension fund grows free of all taxes – no DIRT or Exit tax applies
3. You can take a portion of your fund tax-free at retirement, with other tax mitigating strategies available in relation to the balance.
Maximising pension contributions can be a very effective way to help you save for the retirement you deserve.
Can you afford NOT to make a pension contribution?
We know money is tighter these days for a lot of people. We’re seeing significant inflation again in 2022 and a somewhat uncertain economic picture. However even with all of this, we all need to keep an eye on funding our later years too. After all, could you survive on the state pension? The current maximum contributory state pension is €253.30 per week (source: www.revenue.ie) – this doesn’t leave a lot of room for luxuries…
Our advice is to go through your financial payments for 2021 and 2022 with a fine toothcomb, to reduce your tax bill whether possible. But alongside this, maximise the pension contribution that you can make. This will further and significantly reduce your tax bill, while building a better life for you down the road.
*Also remember if you have an Income Protection Policy you should be claiming your tax relief from your payments made for this policy too!
Serious Illness Protection is an important benefit to have, and now the illnesses you can be covered for have increased with one provider, Royal London, having added an additional 7 serious illnesses to their policy including Drug Resistant Epilepsy & Severe Sepsis. They ahve also updated their Partial Payment Serious Illnesses by adding 6 illness now including Diabetes Type 1 & Severe Mental Illness - that is not provided by any other provider.
Claiming for an illness under the partial illnesses provides a payment of up to €15,000 and this will not affect your overall Serious Illness Benefit. therefore you will be covered for 40 partial illnesses for free under your policy.
With this your children receive FREE Specified Illness Protection up to age 18, or 21 if in full time education, and they are cover from birth.
For more information on Specified Serious Illness Cover and to get your quote feel free to contact us!
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