Sunday 20 April 2014

Smart Consumer 2014: Eight ways to save a bundle in New Year

Aideen Sheehan takes a look at how best to cut your costs without wasting your time

A number of simple financial tips could save you a bundle in 2014.
A number of simple financial tips could save you a bundle in 2014.

It's all over now bar the credit-card bills, so Smart Consumer has taken a look at ways consumers can save money in 2014 with some new year's financial resolutions.

Get tax back

Register on the Revenue's online PAYE Anytime service on and you can claim tax relief on certain expenses going back four years including medical bills and tuition charges.

Also if you were out of work for a period in the last few years, you may have paid too much tax, so with a simple click you can request a P21 balancing statement where the Revenue assesses if that's the case -- and hands the money back if you have overpaid.

Switch energy provider

It's worth checking your gas and electricity options every year because there are big savings of up to €250 available and switching is simple.

There are two accredited websites for doing this, and so it's very easy to assess your options quickly.

Shop around on health insurance costs

Around half a million health insurance customers are due to renew this month and, as premiums rise, it's never been more important to shop around for the best deal.

The Health Insurance Authority has a fantastic comparison site at where you can compare costs and services easily.

Dermot Goode of has urged people to check if there's a cheaper plan from their own insurer, as he said a family could save up to €2,000 in this way.

Get free or cheaper TV offer

To get all the free-to-air Irish and British channels you need both a satellite dish and an aerial and usually a combi-box for each TV.

You can get this system installed from €289 with providers such as Alternatively, check out new deals on subscription TV such as €10 per month with Eircom for 34 channels.

Check your mobile-phone usage

It is really worth analysing your mobile-phone bills over a few months to find out your actual text, call and internet data usage so that you're not on the wrong package that provides too much of what you don't need and not enough of what you do.

Reduce food waste

The average household bins around €700 worth of food a year.

Get in the habit of bringing your lunch to work and you'll save on waste as well as on overpriced shop sandwiches.

Get a taxsaver ticket

You can save as much as €1,134 on your yearly commuting costs by purchasing an annual commuter ticket via the workplace-based Taxsaver system which gives you the benefit of full tax relief on the cost.

Cycle to work

Cut commuting costs while meeting your new year's exercise resolutions.

The Government's cycle-to- work scheme has been a massive success and you can still avail of the opportunity to get up to €1,000 worth of bike and related equipment with full tax relief, saving you 33pc or 52pc of the cost.

If you're spending €25 a week commuting, cycling would also save you over €1,000 a year, but even cycling one day a week could save you €200.

Irish Independent

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