The difference between Sky and UPC is negligible in terms of content. Sky's cheapest package has 38 channels of utterly mind-numbing pap, while UPC's basic digital value package will give you 50 channels of eyeball-rotting fare. Sky's Entertainment package includes the all-singing and dancing Hindi channels Star, Star Plus and Life OK Star. How's that for a good deal? Three out of your channels are in Hindi, with another one in French and TG4, according to the Sky website. UPC has some real crackers too. Viewers will be flocking to watch the biggest selection of "plus one" or repeat channels ever assembled with the ever popular EWTN and Alibi? Truly, it makes you weep uncontrollably. Quotes from bonkers.ie for first year.
Best: Sky €300
Avoid: UPC €363
Saving: €63 in year one
Contact www.sky.ie or 0818 719 852
Some of the bigger insurance players are really taking the mickey with their inflated prices. Go online for humungous savings. Cover for a €350,000 detached house in Arklow, Co Wicklow. €200,000 rebuild and 20 per cent contents. No points or claims. Usual locks and alarms. For two 50-year-olds.
Best: Chrome Insurance €289.00
Avoid: Axa €515.00
Saving: €226.00 a year
Contact www.chromeinsurance.ie or 1890 247 663
Credit card cash
You'd need to be completely bladdered to even consider taking cash out of an ATM machine using your credit card. If you listen very closely, the machine actually laughs at you when it gives out the money. The interest rate charged by the credit card firms for cash withdrawals is poisonous. You can pay almost 20 per cent to borrow the cash on your credit card, which is just silly. For someone taking out €500 in cash to buy kebabs and champagne for everyone.
Best: NIB Mastercard platinum 9.75 per cent
Avoid: Bank of Ireland Classic 21.36 per cent
Saving: Up to €58.05
Mortgage protection will pay off the remains of your mortgage if you get zapped by a death ray or eaten by a shark. And other less dramatic but just as fatal exits. Life cover of €250,000 over 30 years for a near 35-year-old couple of non-smoking, cheese-eating scrabble players. Canada Life is pretty awful value for a policy like this. The market is beginning to shake up with the arrival of Hello.ie from the guys that brought you 123.ie
Best: Hello.ie €26.44 per month
Avoid: Canada Life €40.50 per month
Savings: €168.72 per annum
Contact: www.hello.ie or 1890 940 920
Learner driver car insurance
Cover for an 18-year-old male named driver, driving his 51-year-old mum's €18,000 valued 2010 Opel Zafira 1.7l. No points or claims (there's a bit of a scratch but he's hoping she won't notice). The car is parked off road in Newbridge, Co Kildare.
Best: AXA €1,807
Avoid: Aviva Broker €2,437
Saving: €630 a year
Contact www.axa.ie or 1890 247 365
Sunday Indo Business