The remake of sci-fi action movie Total Recall starring Colin Farrell is coming to big screens around Ireland shortly. The Castleknock actor gets to whoop bad guys on Mars while saving the world. It could be Farrell's first box office hit in a decade. Or not. Financing a trip to Mars might be a bit above the pay grade of your local bank manager, but a loan of €3,000 might be doable to cover the cost of a trip to Central America. Loan over two years. Total interest over term of loan below.
Best: Ulster Bank (fixed) €350.57
Avoid: Bank of Ireland (fixed) €455.90
Saving: €105.33 over two years
contact: www.ulsterbank.ie or local branches
Gas and electricity bills
The worst storm in 26 years was a bit like the summer -- non-existent. You'll have noticed that your energy bills are still humungous when they usually drop over the summer months. This is because you've had to use the tumble dryer non stop and watch lots of telly because there wasn't much point in going outside. Now is the time to dump expensive gas and electricity suppliers for someone cheaper. For someone using €100 per month in electricity on the normal ESB tariff and another €100 per month on gas from Bord Gais. Both paid by direct debit.
Best: Airtricity direct debit/ebilling €1,064.58
Avoid: ESB standard €1,200
Saving: €135.42 per year
contact: www.airtricity.com or 1850 81 81 10
Best: Flogas direct debit €1,043.45 per year
Avoid: Bord Gais standard €1,200
Saving: €156.55 per year
contact: www.flogasnaturalgas.ie or 1850 306 800
Combined savings: €291.97
Oil prices are totted up in dollars. They haven't hit the highs last seen in July 2008. However, when current oil prices are translated from dollars into euro, we're actually paying more for oil than we were back in the height on the commodities bubble. Petrol prices could rise to as much as €1.70 per litre in coming days, making it even dumber not to shop around for the best deals. Even a cent or two per litre makes a massive difference over a year. For somebody filling up with 50 litres every week in Cork city, the savings over a year could top €150. Figures from pumps.ie from last week.
Best: Texoil, Ballincollig 161.9 cent per litre
Avoid: Texaco Westside 167.9
Saving: €3 per tank
While BlackBerry Messenger and other online "texting" will ultimately kill off the traditional text message, it hasn't done it yet. There are still plenty of texts whizzing around the ether. For a teenager using 1,200 texts per month and a modest 100 minutes of calls -- half to landlines, with figures from the telecoms regulator. We've picked the best offer from the operators on the market. Postfone is a bit rubbish for this type of user.
Best: 3Pay €20 top up €23.63 per month
Avoid: Postfone 100/250 tariff €85.50
Saving: €742.44 per year
contact: www.three.ie or local stores