Sunday 19 May 2019

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Interest rates

How to protect yourself from looming threat of rate hikes 

Homeowners could see their mortgage bills soar by a few hundred euro a month in a few years' time - if, as expected, European interest rates start to rise in late 2019 or early 2020. The extent that mortgage bills will increase by will largely depend on the size and cost of a borrower's mortgage - but a series of rate hikes could easily see many paying hundreds more to repay their mortgage each month in the early 2020s than they are today.

Cover for alternative and complementary therapy however varies widely between insurers and plans

Pay alternative therapy health bills with conventional plans 

Many of us turn to alternative therapy at some point and it ends up costing us more than it needs to - it is, in fact, possible to claim back a good chunk of the cost of the treatment on our private health insurance. Strides made by private health insurers in recent years in relation to the coverage of alternative therapy mean that the cost of a visit to a homeopathist or acupuncturist might be covered just, or almost, as much as a trip to your GP.

Interest rates are typically increased when the economy is improving and inflation is rising. Stock image

Where now for investors as low-interest era finally ends? 

Rising interest rates are changing the rules of the game for investors. Over the last decade, investors have largely been operating in an environment of record low interest rates - but these days are now coming to an end. European interest rates are expected to increase at some stage next year. Although it could be well into 2019 (if they do), any rate hike next year would be the first rise in almost seven years and most likely the beginning of a series of increases.

The New Year is shaping up to be a mixed bag of financial fortunes

Five ways to spruce up your finances in the New Year 

The New Year is shaping up to be a mixed bag of financial fortunes. There are more jobs and higher wages on the cards, according to various economists. However, the New Year is also likely to be pricier for many consumers due to soaring costs in some areas, a series of price hikes in others - and the threat of more to come. So even if you're feeling more upbeat about your money, it is important to stay on top of your finances - and to do what you can to make the most of any extra money you might have. Here are five ways to spruce up your finances in the New Year.

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This is how you can save thousands on the cost of your commute 

Commuters could knock thousands of euro a year off the cost of their travel to work by leaving their car at home and taking up tax breaks and other deals available on public transport. With traffic returning to boom-time levels and rising house prices pushing more house buyers into the commuter belt, it is time to seriously consider taking these steps if you take the bus or train to work. Otherwise, your daily commute will soon hit your pocket even harder.

Your last-minute lesson on how to cut big back-to-school bills 

With only a week to go before schools around the country start to reopen after the summer break, many parents are facing bills of almost €2,000 to put one child through school for the year. A new survey by has found that parents can expect to pay €1,834 to put a child through secondary school. That bill includes the cost of uniform, sports gear and footwear; school books and classroom resources; the voluntary contribution; technology support; school trips; and fundraising. The typical bill for parents of primary school children came to €716.

Careful research of the most suitable career options can pay off in later life. Stock image

Pick a well-paid career to start off on the best financial foot 

Jobs in accountancy, retail management, computer programming, law and science are amongst some of the best paid in the country - and so amongst the careers which should be seriously considered by the Leaving Cert students who receive their results this Wednesday. Although these 56,000 students must wait until August 21 to find out if they have enough points to secure entry to various courses, the results received this week should give them a good idea of the career choices open to them.

Bridging the gender pay gap

Your Money: Five ways women can close the gender pay gap 

It could take another 15 years for Irish women to get paid the same as Irish men for the same job - because of gender inequality in the workplace, according to a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). It found, on average, Irish women earn 15pc less than men each year. So, with women in the workplace - or those just starting out in their careers - facing such a wait before the gender pay gap is bridged, what can they do to get fairer pay in the meantime? Here are five ways you can help close the gap:

Your Money: Six scams to be on the alert for in 2017 

Car insurance fraud is costing insurers hundreds of millions of euro a year - and pushing up the cost of motor insurance for drivers. With car insurance premiums already soaring in recent years, such fraud is an extra financial headache which motorists could do without. Fraud has already pushed up the cost of a typical car insurance policy by about €50, according to estimates from the insurance industry - and it may be driving up the cost of a policy by even more than that, according to Robert Smyth, fraud manager with Aviva.