'I wish we had switched our bank accounts even earlier'
KEVIN Farrell says he kept putting off switching his bank account.
But once he did it, he regretted not having done it a year earlier.
He moved his current account from Bank of Ireland to Permanent TSB, where you can avoid fees if you have €1,500 going into the account every month.
"When I got a bill for €40 for three months I said 'to hell with this, I have had enough'," he says.
He says there is plenty of paperwork to be filled out and you have to have a meeting with your new bank.
He had a number of direct debits coming out of his current account, which meant there was some work to be done. But the staff in Permanent TSB did most of the work for him and were good at keeping in contact, he says.
Mr Farrell and his wife Alison live in a village in Co Carlow. The Farrells have three children - girls Mya (6), Eden (4) and three-month-old boy Caolan.
He works in Pfizer in Clondalkin, in Dublin, and Ms Farrell, is on maternity leave from her work in a deli in Carlow town.
Mr Farrell says the family are keen on ensuring they have the best deals and are careful to cut out what they see as unnecessary expenses.
They dropped their landline phone service to save money, cancelled Sky Sports on their television contract and switched electricity provider regularly.
The couple have a mortgage. They honeymooned in Australia and soon after they got married their first child arrived. Around this time Ms Farrell lost her job as a manager.
This meant the bills piled up early on in the marriage.
But the tight budgeting is working and Mr Farrell says they are coming to the end of their self-imposed austerity.
"We have had a rough couple of years, but it is coming to an end now," Mr Farrell says.