Sarah Stack: Make me richer - Building up savings
Month after month we all vow to start saving for that rainy day, or summer holiday. So maybe it's actually time to start. Could you survive on €100 less a month? That would be a nice little sum to have tucked away in time for next year's hols. Unfortunately, with interest on savings being taxed, you're definitely not going to be making a mint in that area. But you might raise enough for a few ice creams when you need cooling down. So what's the annual interest on €1,200?
Best: €22.75 KBC
Avoid: €13 Bank of Ireland
This column wouldn't be complete without a quick peak at another car insurance quote.
This week we look at the over-65s and see how much fully comp cover is for a woman who, reluctantly and recently, became a pensioner.
The driver is from Cork and drives a 2007-registered Seat Ibiza worth €5,000. Her safety record is impeccable as she can boast of having five years of claim-free driving under her belt. Excess €300.
Best: €280 Aviva
Avoid: €837 Wrightway
The one thing we all know is that it pays – and saves – to shop around no matter what type of policy you're after. Protecting your mortgage is just as important as meeting the dreaded repayment itself. A couple, who are both aged 35, are looking for €250,000 mortgage protection life cover over 25 years (meaning the mortgage will be paid off if one or the other dies). Neither smoke. They also have the option of adding serious illness cover on their plan.
Best: €23.37 Aviva (via Low.ie)
Avoid: €30.76 New Ireland
Save: €2,217 over life of policy
Then it comes to insuring that home – another bill to add to that growing pile of monthly or annual outgoings. We checked out the price of covering a home in Buncrana, Co Donegal, worth approximately €180,000.
The property has a standard alarm and the homeowners are a couple, both aged 37.
The policy includes buildings cover of €145,000, with 30 per cent contents cover, and accidental damage. They've no previous claims; excess €300.
Best: €200 Chrome
Avoid: €369 Liberty
Back to our non-smoking couple. They are both aged 30 and are looking for a €200,000 level-term cover on joint life basis over 35 years.
This insures two people for a specified term and in the event of either one dying during the term of the policy, the claim would be paid and the policy would then cease. If he or she died in year 15, €200,000 would be paid out. This is also a level-term policy, which means that the policy will cease after the 35 years if both make it.
Best: €39.79 Aviva (via Low.ie)
Avoid: €46.94 Caledonian Life
Save: €3,003 over the policy
Best Buy...Compact binoculars
Whether it's following the races, bird watching or just being plain nosy, every household should have a decent set of binoculars. And they don't have to cost the Earth either. But just watch out for duds – there are a few about. What are the best compact binoculars you can get your hands on?
NIKON TRAVELITE BINOCULARS 10x25 €140
Waterproof and hardy, these binoculars set the bar for most others in this category. With high magnification, they're ideal for watching from afar.
Slightly heavier than some rival binoculars, they're still small enough to slip into your coat pocket with no fuss.
OLYMPUS PCI BINOCULARS 8X25 €99
Also a worthy companion to the grandstand, Olympus has done the business with these binoculars. They also have a great close-focus feature, making them perfect for quietly spying on wildlife.
Perhaps not as waterproof as you'd like, so if you have a pair you should watch out for rain.
BARSKA BLACKHAWK BINOCULARS 12X25 €88
Don't bother with these. The images are dull, light-starved – and they're not exactly rugged either – which is not so good if you're out and about using them on hill walks or even watching the boats from the harbour.
One slip and they could be all but useless.
Sunday Indo Business