Irish Financial Review

3 essential tips for smart summer travel

Packzilla!

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It is essential to take care of yourself during the summer travel season

While the days of packing as you please are a distant memory when it comes to airline travel  those days, it doesn’t mean that you have to leave all of your essentials comforts at home. You just have to pack a little smarter. Skin creams, hairsprays, talc and body lotion all devour precious space. Look for travel essential bargains in supermarkets and streamline your routine by packing essentials that pull double-duty like a sunscreen that can double as a moisturizer and sunscreen in one.

H2 UP!

Drink lots of water. This is especially important for flights and the longer the flight, the more you should drink as flying can really dehydrate you. Staying hydrated helps prevent jet lag and general fatigue, and also keeps your body functioning properly through unavoidable changes in climate and local food variations.


Block the rays!

For most Irish people, using sunscreen in Ireland is essential to good skin care and doubly-so when travelling to a sunny climate. Keep your sunscreen in a highly visible place so that it reminds you that it needs to be used as only 10 minutes of strong sunshine can burn you badly. There’s nothing worse than getting a sunburn on your very first day of holiday but getting burned can lead to far more serious skin care issues in the future so take the extra few minutes to protect yourself.

3 Money Tips for Recent College Graduates

With the passage of college examination season, college grads are about to embark on a new phase of their life journey.

 

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It is important that college grads develop positive money habits

And as part of that journey, getting a job and earning an income will feature in a big way. But, since financial education is still not part of the national curriculum in schools or at college, we wanted to share a few important money tips to help you along your way.

  1. Your relationship with money matters…a lot! This is not just about how you manage your money…it is how it can have a big impact on your day-to-day life decisions in the future. Financial services use a credit register to track how you borrow and repay loans and that information is being increasingly used to make employment, property lease, insurance premium rates, credit and even some hospital admission decisions based on your credit score. So, if you borrow money, make sure you make repayments on time and as agreed. If you fail to do so, this can have a major negative impact here in Ireland and beyond!
  2. Income is extremely precious – protect it! Your ability to earn an income is your most valuable resource. But since your time is limited, so will be your ability to earn. So the key is ensuring you maximize your earning ability and protect your income. One way of achieving this is by tracking your spending and having a plan to save. But to make this a little easier, consider the rule of 50:30:20. 50% for life needs (shelter, food etc), 30% for wants (yes, you need to live a little) so have a little fun…but not so much that you forget the last piece. And there is the 20% for savings. Yes, get into a habit of saving. The sooner you do, the sooner you will not miss that extra cash…or spend it!
  3. Pay off student debt quickly – and this piece of advice does not just apply to student debt. Remember, when it comes to all debt, the longer you take to repay it, the more you will pay in interest charges…which means less money for you!

Remember, your relationship with money will be really important. Learning to put your money to work for you instead of the other way around is a proven method of how successful people have built some wealth. Make your money work for you!

5 ways to be smart with money when rates are low

For several years now, the European Central Bank has been driving down the cost of money. This is good news if you have a mortgage, especially a tracker mortgage or a standard variable rate mortgage. But it is not very good if you have a lot of cash on deposit.

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Smart money uses when interest rates are low

So, with rates as low as they are, what might be some other ways depositors can put their money to use.

Here at St. Joseph’s Irish Airports & Aviation Credit Union, we have a few ideas:

1. Pay off high-interest debt – especially if you have credit card debt. Since credit cards charge interest that ‘compounds’ each and every month, this means that your debit will take far longer to repay…and cost a lot more!

2. Pay extra off your mortgage – in case you did not know it, the longer the term on your mortgage, the more interest you will pay. So, regardless of whether you have a tracker or standard variable rate mortgage, when interest rates eventually rise, this will make your mortgage more expensive so if you have the cash, it might be a good idea to pay off a lump-sum amount or pay off a little extra each month. Check with your mortgage provider if they will even accept payments bi-weekly. Also, fixed rate mortgages usually incur pre-payment penalties so check carefully if mortgage lenders offer any pre-payment facilities for fixed-rate mortgages.

3. Consider those tax-free gifts – The first €3,000 of the total value of all gifts received from one person in any calendar year is exempt. For further information, check out www.revenue.ie or www.citizensinformation.ie.

4. Invest in your home – home prices are rising rapidly across many areas in Ireland so keeping your home in tip-top shape is a good way of protecting your most valuable source of personal wealth…and there are tax benefits too under the Home Renovation Incentive (HRI).

5. Enjoy life – and have a little fun!

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