We all like to be smart when it comes to our finances. At Irish Life, we think its only right to help our customers in any way we can. With our top 10 financial tips we hope to give you a helping hand when it comes to managing your finances.
1. Plan a household budget:
A family budget can help you control your household spending so that you have enough money to pay your bills and cover the basics on an ongoing basis.
2. Start an emergency fund:
Always have some money put by for unexpected events – we never know what’s around the corner. A rule of thumb is to have at least 3 months’ salary saved for emergencies.
3. Get better value:
The Economiser is an interactive tool from the National Consumer Agency that helps you compare your spending against what other people are spending in areas such as mobile phones, broadband, groceries and energy. This is an external website not associated with Irish life.
4. Manage your credit card.
Here’s some handy tips:
- Set up a direct debit; You can choose what percentage you want to pay and thus avoid any unnecessary interest and charges by always paying on time.
- Plan your spend; Make a list and decide what you will use your credit card for to avoid impulse spending.
- Check your statement; Either over the phone or on-line, reviewing your account regularly will keep you in control of your spending and avoid accidentally going over your credit limit.
5. Get protected: Life insurance is not a luxury:
If you have dependents, a life insurance plan is not a luxury, it’s a fundamental need. It helps maintain a family’s regular standard of living if something happened to the main breadwinner.
Our simple Life Insurance calculator can help you understand your family's protection needs.
6. Get your tax back:
Although some tax reliefs and credits have been abolished in the recent Budget, you can still claim tax back on many items, for example
- Medical fees
- Renting your home (Rent Tax Credits)
- Pension and Income Protection plans
- Mortgage interest
- Renting a room in your home to a private tenant (Rent a Room relief)
- Service charges for refuse collection, sewage disposal or domestic water supplies
- Fees paid for approved third-level courses
Why not go to Revenue.ie for a full list of tax reliefs available.
7. Plan for your retirement:
In the future, the state pension won’t start until age 68, so having your own pension plan is vital. Despite the tax relief changes to pensions announced in the Budget, you can still get full tax relief this year - so you should really make the most of this.
In the Governments 4 year plan the tax relief will gradually fall to 20%. This is still very generous! Our pension calculator shows how much you should save in your pension.
8. Become a super-saver:
With credit still difficult to come by, now may be the time to devise a ‘super-savings’ plan to help you get in the habit of squirreling away as much as you can. So instead of opening just one savings account, you could open a number of regular savers, each designed to help pay for things like holidays, new car, third level education costs and home improvements.
9. Be smart with your investments:
Consider an investment that suits your needs by doing a risk profile test to identify what type of investment is right for you. Generally, best advice is to spread your money across different types of investments and assets.
10. Give your finances a regular check-up:
Finally, It’s really important to regularly review your finances with your Financial Advisor, this way you’ll find it easier to keep on top of things. You can set up an appointment to review your finances free of charge with your Irish Life Financial Services Adviser.
It will only take an hour of your time and it will be arranged at a time and place that suits you.