Monday, 22 September 2008


Making the Most of Your Euro

With the challenging times posed by the current economic climate, it makes sense to ensure that you are getting value for your money, in both investing and spending what you have wisely. It can pay to sit down and take a look at what you are earning and spending and what your saving needs are, e.g. if you have two children who are hoping to go to college. It can seem that we are too busy or we don’t have the skills to plan our finances effectively, so it might be useful to call on the professionals.

Some €39bn of savers’ money is earning an average interest rate of just 1.48pc, which represents about half of the money households have on deposit. This is at a time when many banks are offering in excess of 5pc, even for demand deposit accounts.

Switch your mortgage
Your mortgage is probably your biggest monthly expense, yet many people are not aware whether they are getting value for money. If your mortgage is based on a standard variable rate you are probably paying much more than you could do. Lenders have been increasing rates on standard variables in excess of the European Central Bank (ECB) Rate. Switching your mortgage could have you thousands over the life of your mortgage.

At this time of year, you will hear many people extol the virtues of pensions, the main reason for their popularity is tax relief on contributions. You should also focus on the purpose of a pension, to replace your earned income on retirement, the tax relief is an added benefit. Choose a provider who you can rely on and who offers a wide range of investment options that suit your needs .

Claim your entitlements
Make sure there is no unclaimed money from the tax office, you could be entitled to a rebate on any money spent on medical or dental bills, bin charges, trade union subscriptions, employment and rental allowances, donations etc.
Ensure you are getting your full entitlement to mortgage interest tax relief. A married, first-time buyer couple can get €4,000 a year from the State in tax relief on their mortgage. For those couples with older mortgages, relief of up to €1,200 a year is possible. Getting expert advice is the key.

Professional Financial Services
Professional Financial Services in Buncrana offers a unique opportunity to review your existing financial status. They will assist you in finding the best provider for savings, mortgage and pension, and help you claim tax relief and other entitlements. They have a qualified accountant available to assess the information and access to 19 lenders on the market including all the major banks. They offer a friendly, confidential service and advice delivered in plain English.

Looking for Bargains
Discount shops like Borderland in Muff are at the cutting edge of money thriftiness as they stock good quality, brand name clothing that is well below the manufacturers retail prices. European supermarkets are also increasing in popularity as we tighten our belts and look for cheaper alternatives to our weekly products.

Another way to save is to only buy what you really need? Before you go shopping, make a list of necessities and stick to it.

Did You Know?

When you buy that bargain, endorphins are released which can become addictive.

If you are in debt, don’t ignore it. MABS (Money Advice and Budgeting Service) will help you take control of your finances.

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