It's not quite so funny when the skateboarding cat on YouTube suddenly freezes. Despite what the telecoms companies say, getting broadband through a dongle is still pretty rubbish. Cheapest entry-level package from the top operators below. The 3 package has moderately fast 21mb download oomph with 1gb of capacity per month. And an 18-month contract. The eMobile package has a solid 10gb in capacity per month but just 10mb in welly – and a 12-month contract.
Best: 3 Broadband lite €124.88 per year (incl set-up)
Avoid: eMobile Mobile Broadband €242.04
contact: www.three.ie or local stores
CHILD SAVINGS ACCOUNTS
Yes, they smell of wee and are usually covered in jam, but is it fair to penalise them for that? Most children's savings accounts are pants of the highest order. AIB and Bank of Ireland pay really sucky rates on special kid accounts than they do compared to normal grown-up ones. Bank of Ireland will hand over 25 cents in interest for every €100 saved. Wow. Its Teensaver isn't much better. AIB will pay a whole euro for every €100. This is half of the best rate available at the bank. Run a mile from these accounts. They may be one of the most awful things ever offered by Irish banks. On €500 over a year.
Best: EBS child saver 2.52 per cent
Avoid: Bank of Ireland Child Save 0.25 per cent
Saving: €11.35 in interest
contact: www.ebs.ie or local branches
Banks won't lend you money unless you take out insurance. Never, ever, ever get mortgage insurance from your bank. The insurers make big money from mortgage protection – which pays off your loan if you go under a bus. Caledonian Life is starting up a bit of a price war and are now offering to 'Price Match' the lowest quote from across all providers, with a further 10 per cent discount off that lowest premium for the whole term. Bite their hand off. Cover for a couple, aged 32, non-smokers, for €300,000 over 25 years.
Best: Caledonian Life €23.91 per month
Avoid: Aviva €30.25 per month
Saving: €76.08 per annum (total savings over the term €1,902)
contact: www.lifecover4less.ie or 1890 443 443
IPHONE 5S COVER
Your personal finances will go all Pete Tong, if you have to replace a new iPhone. Given the amount of skangers wanting to rob phones or the ability of iPhones to fall apart if you bang them hard enough, getting insurance is no bad thing. But it is expensive. You'll pay about a tenth of the value of your phone every year. That is a mad amount of money. It might be cheaper to superglue it to your hand.
Best: Gadgetinsurance.com €63.69
Avoid: Carphone Warehouse €179.88
contact: www.gadgetinsurance.com or 0818 286 456
Flogas was the good guy in the great Irish gas consumer squeeze. Flogas had the best prices by a mile. But now it's whacked up prices like all the rest of them. Boo. Hiss. It's still the cheapest player in town, which shows how the other companies are creaming it at our expense. Quotes based on a family spending €100 a month on the standard Bord Gais tariff, already paid by direct debit with ebilling. Quotes from bonkers.ie
Best: Flogas Optimiser €1,042.33 per year
Avoid: Bord Gais Standard €1,200
contact: www.flogasnaturalgas.ie or 1850 306 800
Clarification: Last week's column suggested that the cost of a teenager's mobile with 2,000 texts and 30 minutes of calls with Tesco Mobile Anytime was €536.09 and most expensive. This figure is way wrong. Tesco Mobile's "€15 top up" is miles cheaper.