According to a recent study published by Retail Ireland, Irish households were predicted to spend an average of about €2,600 during the recent Christmas period.
And separately, according to the Irish League of Credit Unions, half of people borrow money, either by way of personal loans and credit cards to finance their Christmas spend.
With the arrival of 2017, now is a great time to take stock of some major annual expenses and look for ways to keep them under control.
To help you, we put together some useful comparison resources that should make comparing costs a little easier.
For this exercise, we have focused on essential costs, including:
- Health insurance
- Home energy costs
- Home heating oil
- Petrol & Diesel costs
So, let’s begin with a big-ticket expense that impacts the budgets of lots of families all over the country; Health Insurance.
Compare health insurance options at www.hia.ie. Every year, the cost of health insurance rises so it is really important the policy holders understand the exact level of cover they have currently as well as their needs. The Health Insurance Authority is a statutory regulator of the health insurance market. Their website compares hundreds of different plans and allows users to compare an existing plan with comparable products in the market.
Home energy costs – a big expense for many families during the year is the cost of utilities, including gas and electricity. For this, you have a number of options, including www.bonkers.ie and www.switcher.ie. Both websites compare the most popular suppliers of both gas and electricity.
Home heating oil – A great website to compare the best prices on home heating oil is www.cheapestoil.ie. It supplies the best quoted prices from suppliers of home heating oil all over Ireland including a breakdown for 500litre and 1,000litre fills.
Petrol & Diesel – there is no escaping that car fuel costs can really add up during the year. In fact, by the cost difference between many of the lowest and highest prices at forecourts can vary by 10% or more. This can mean paying hundreds of euro more per year if you don’t shop for best value. www.pumps.ie provides a wealth of information from forecourts all over the country. And the best thing is that the quoted prices are supplied by drivers. One thing to watch though is to make sure you check how recently the information was updated. In most of the petrol stations on the busiest routes, prices are updated frequently but petrol stations on less travelled roads may be updated less frequently.
That’s it. I hope these can provide you with a little assistance as you plan your money costs for 2017. In the meantime, happy comparing and Happy New Year!