In brief: Lecky bills Pet insurance
Airtricity's deal for gas and electricity is pretty damn good. Investigate it closely. But for those who just use the ESB, it's well worth switching to Bord Gais or Airtricity.
For someone with a €600 annual bill. Most of the savings come from setting up direct debits and getting your bill emailed rather than posted. And the savings only last for up to a year. But hey, it still beats the socks off the ESB, which paid its chief executive €750,000 last year. . . more than Obama, Angela Merkel and Sarkozy combined! Er. . . hello!
Best: Bord Gais (paperless bill and direct debit) €535.57
Avoid: ESB €600
Saving: €64.43 in year one
contact: www.bordgaisenergy.ie or 1850 22 22 55
What would happen if someone chucked your prize moggie into a wheelie bin or something worse? The vet bills could be huge. Cover for a one-year-old pedigree moggie.
Best: Petinsurance.ie € 69.99 per year
Avoid: Argos Silver €101.69
contact: www.petInsurance.ie or 0818 286 454
So, you don't like Anglo Irish Bank. It may offer the best rates, but you just don't fancy it. The National Solidarity Bond pays a market topping 3.96 per cent. . . but it's for 10 years. Permanent TSB has a five-year deal paying 3.71 per cent and Rabodirect has a 10-year one paying 3.6 per cent. It's not much more than you'd get for locking cash away for 12 months with Nationwide UK, the big British building society -- nothing to do with Fingleton. On €10,000 over one year.
Best: Nationwide UK one year fixed 3.4 per cent
Avoid: Rabodirect one year 0.8 per cent
Saving: €260 in interest
contact: www.nationwideuk.ie or 1800 800 310
Car breakdown insurance
Some of the bigger insurance outfits -- notably Aviva -- are already chucking this in for free as part of a car insurance policy. But if you're not covered, head straight for the internet. Basic, basic cover (in which you ring a number and they ring the local garage) is available for 50 cent per week. The AA has a more gold plated service. Not much call for gold plates these days.
Best: www.breakdowncover.ie €25 -- 2 Star Cover level
Avoid: AA Ireland Basic membership €146
contact: www.breakdowncover .ie or call 0818 44 44 48
Share dealing charges
You'd want to be nuts to buy shares through a stockbroker these days. God help you if they offer advice -- remember what good investments they said banks were! Go online to Sharewatch or TD Waterhouse for way cheaper fees. To buy €10,000 worth of Aryzta shares.
Best: Sharewatch €14.95
Avoid: Bloxham €150
contact: www.sharewatch.com or 1890 818 111
Annual travel insurance with wintersports
Why would you give AIB any more money than you have already? Haven't we ploughed billions and billions into bailing them out? AIB's travel insurance is pants too and it's more than double the price of cheapo internet policies. Don't touch it with a barge pole. Annual worldwide cover for an individual with skiing cover.
Best: Multitrip.com €38.49 incl admin fee
Avoid: AIB Travel Insurance €83.00
contact: www.multitrip.com or 0818 44 44 44
Please email Nick Webb at email@example.com if you've any superslick money-saving ideas you're willing to share -- or if you know of any rotten deals that are frightening the horses