Irish Financial Review

5 things every 6-year old should know about money

Every year, more and more adults make common mistakes when it comes to money. Especially difficult for many are concepts such as investing sufficiently, planning for life needs and preparing for money surprises.

Shining a light on financial education for kids with Ollie

Shining a light on financial education for kids

But as we move faster and faster towards a cashless society, along this money superhighway, it becomes critical that kids are taught the essential elements of money and how the money system works. This can provide them with essential life skills that will pay massive dividends in the future.

For parents and teachers alike, there are a number of core skills that every 6-year old child should know about money including:

1. Planning helps people make choices about how to use their money.
2. There are 2 kinds of sharing – some goods can be shared that do not have to be returned, such as a gift. But there is another form of sharing, like something that is borrowed. And in the case of a borrowed item, this must be returned.
3. People that live in a local community share with one another everyday where they share the cost of services, like the cost of running the local school or paying for nurses in a hospital.
4. Money is limited for most people so it is important to protect it.
5. Money can only be spent once – after it is used, that’s it, it’s gone!

The new financial literacy framework developed by MoneyWhizz is a comprehensive set of guidelines developed specifically to facilitate parents; teachers and communities extend core financial principles.

The purpose of developing the principles and supports is to ensure that kids are better prepared to shoulder the burden of financial responsibility now and in the future. But equally important is that adults are empowered to facilitate the dissemination of the financial knowledge.

MoneyWhizz is proud to support kids learn about money as financial awareness is a core life skill.

Financial Education for Kids in Ireland

Talking Cents with Ollie is a new and innovative financial education programme developed here in Ireland. Its main goal is to teach kids aged 7 – 11 about money and how money works. And it is developed to be fun!

Ollie is the wise Owl that offers all of the money wisdom.

Ollie - the money magazine for kids aged 7 - 11

Ollie – the money magazine for kids aged 7 – 11

Edition 1 of Ollie focuses on the history of money and examines how different people may have very different relationships with money. Some can be positive and others not-so-positive. What’s important is that Ollie leaves it to kids to make up their own minds as to what they think.


Edition 2 looks at the influence of advertisers and how they entice us to spend our cash

Edition 2 of Ollie takes a look at the important issue of Needs and Wants in our day-to-day lives. Ollie defines what Needs are and offers readers some useful examples.  Ollie also poses some important questions for kids and challenges them to consider how some everyday influences may impact their money habits. For instance, examples are provided on the impact advertising has on everyday spending habits and how advertisers are experts in getting people (including kids) to spend their money…just to look cool!

It’s never too soon to start learning about how money works and with Ollie, it’s never been so coooooool!

Only way to keep insurance costs down in shop, shop, shop!

By Gary Sinclair

Across Ireland, families are experiencing car insurance premium increases that run way ahead of official inflation.


10 tips to avoid bank fees

Putting time aside to shop for the best insurance deals can pay dividends.

The annual cost of car insurance is extremely important; the more people that carry it protects the viability of the overall market.

But taking a look at the cost of my own car insurance from 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010, I have actually seen very little difference in the overall cost of the annual premium. This is despite the fact I continue to drive the exact same car (same make and model) with the exact same engine size (1.4litre) which I usually trade in every 2 – 3 years.

What I am certain of is that without my annual ‘insurance outing’ where I really put insurers to the test and get the best price, I WOULD be paying a lot more!

For example, in 2012, when the cost of my car insurance shot up from €398 to €610, I could have chosen to accept the new premium. However, putting some time aside, I eventually got the premium down to a very reasonable €300. I did this by calling my insurer directly (they offered a reduction to €550), calling a broker (they got it down to €500), the competition (they quoted €450) and then, re-contacting my existing provider. When they were about to lose my business, they quoted €300. The only sting in the tail was that the broker charged non-refundable fee of €40 for comparing the market.

2017 has started off with some sticker shock; my existing provider quoted an annual premium of €590, up from €432, a rise of 37%!

So, it was back to my ‘insurance outing’. I beat the bushes for the best price. But this year, things do feel different. Insurers appear a lot less willing to negotiate; some quoted higher prices (€620) and were not willing to do a price match. But perseverance eventually paid off. I settled on one that quoted €480. I have used the company in the past and their excess and other ‘conditions’ were in line with my existing provider. Finally, I returned to my existing provider. Yes, they would reduce their price from €590 to about €560 but that was it. So, I bid farewell and moved on. Thank goodness for competition!

Rolling premium cost for over a decade

For me, my rolling annual car insurance premium for the last 13 years is €462 so 2017 represents a 4% increase on that. Not too shabby!

Combined value

On home insurance, the picture is a lot more positive.

During the great recession, I managed to track the replacement cost of the home and manage the insurance cost in the process. But in general, I have seen my home insurance costs decrease significantly. I still live in the same home and now pay 34% less than I did in 2007. In fact, when I look at the rolling average of my insurance for the last 12 years, I pay 33% less. In fact, the worst year for home insurance costs was 2010, where I paid €468 (my 2017 premium is €238), that is a 49% discount.

When I compare my rolling average cost of both car and home insurance for the last 12 years, I pay 5% less in 2017 than I have done on average for the last 12 years and this cost is still 16% less than the average combined premiums in 2009 – 2011.The combined cost in 2017 is also 16% lower than the combined cost in 2007.

Tackling claims

Hopefully, Government plans to challenge some claims culture issues will have a positive impact for policyholders everywhere, especially, when it comes to premium costs.  But there is no doubt that consumers still have a vital role to play in keeping insurers in check. Shopping around for the best deal does work, it forces insurers to sharpen their pencils and keep costs down.

Three steps to better prices

So, when it comes to home and car insurance, there are a few things I do every year that seem to have paid off:

  1. Start early – do not leave your insurance outing to the last minute. Start as soon as the renewal notice arrives.
  2. Compare like-for-like. I stick to my guns on this point. I write down the primary insurance needs (level of cover, type of cover, excess limits and so forth) on a sheet of paper and use this to get the best quotes. If I want to add on any extra insurance items later (such as various types of no-claims protection on car insurance or additional items to be covered on home contents), I can do this separately.
  3. Give a final call to your existing provider. Sometimes my existing provider has come back and matched or beaten a competitor’s price. For 2017, although my existing provider did offer a discount of 5%, it was not enough. The competition was almost 20% cheaper. Overall though, I am paying 11% more for car insurance in 2017 than a year ago.

I am not sure if happy shopping is the right phrase but shopping-‘till-you-drop can pay dividends and put money back in your pocket when it comes to getting the best car and home insurance deals.

Happy shopping!

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