Make me richer: Save money on your pet insurance
Published 09/02/2014 | 02:30
It's big business. Pet owners often treat their prized pooches better than their other half, children or even grandchildren.
Their feline friends can also rule the roost and family, with everyone left worrying when they're feeling poorly or have an accident.
More and more dog, cat and even hamster lovers are insuring their faithful companions so they don't have to worry about hefty vets bills.
Premiums and cover can vary from animal to animal, with huge savings to be made even for a three-year-old King Charles spaniel.
Best: Petinsurance.ie €99.
Avoid: Allianz €172.
MOVIE DATE NIGHT
With the Oscar season almost upon us, movie buffs are flocking to the cinema to catch this year's top flicks, and flops.
The Wolf of Wall Street may not win over your Valentine, but watching a stockbroker's demise into a life of crime and corruption may be particularly close to some people's hearts.
There are huge differences in the admission prices nationwide depending on what day and time you go, and if you want to see your latest release in VIP style, or with add-ons like an extra-wide screen and enhanced sound.
The good news is that it's over-18s, so at least you can be guaranteed to halve your costs on tickets and treats by leaving the kids at home.
So how much is it to take your dearest to see a basic night-time showing of the Martin Scorsese blockbuster, which already boasts a Golden Globe and several Bafta and Oscar nominations?
Best: The Park, Clonakilty. €14 per couple.
Avoid: Vue, Liffey Valley. €25.10 (incl. booking).
Homeowners and insurance companies are bracing themselves to count the cost of the storms that have battered the country in recent weeks. Claims for flood damage are expected to hike premiums in the worst-hit areas, including Cork, Clare and Limerick.
We checked out insurance for a home in Cork city, worth €400,000, including flood cover – depending on exactly where the property is.
Our residents are a couple in their 60s, who live in a fully alarmed property and who have made no prior claims.
The premium includes buildings cover of €250,000, 20 per cent contents cover, and an excess of €300.
Best: Chrome Insurance €313.
Avoid: Liberty Insurance €631.
Saving: €318 a year.
At the other end of the housing market, first-time buyers are scraping for every cent they can.
It's amazing what a buyer – borrowing an estimated €250,000 for a property worth €278,000 on a 90 per cent loan to value (LTV) mortgage over 35 years – can save.
Best: PTSB rate 4.45 per cent, APR 4.50 per cent; €1,175.
Avoid: ICS rate 4.80 per cent, APR 4.90 per cent; €1,230.
Saving: €55 a month/€660 a year.