Why it’s more important than ever this year to switch your household bills for a better deal

The twin forces of inflation and rising interest rates created a perfect storm in 2022.

s we start a new year, what is the outlook for these economic ills and how will they affect your household finances?

They are two sides of the same coin: In a functioning healthy economy, inflation should be around 2 percent per year. In fact, the European Central Bank’s only job is to keep them there. At the beginning of 2023, however, it is five times as much. Former US President Ronald Reagan called inflation the “silent robber” and no Irish family needs to be told everything costs more.

Even if they buy less (and CSO stats released last November show we’re at least trying), what we pack in our trolley or gas tank costs a lot more than it used to.

Interest rates are used to prevent us from spending more. This blunt tool, applied to mortgages, loans and other forms of credit, has been foisted on us several times in 2022 after nearly a decade of stagnation. We are told to expect at least two more hikes before this summer.

As we enter 2023, it was therefore more important than ever to find our own ways to keep expenses and family finances under control.

As 2023 begins, finding our own ways to keep costs and family finances under control was more important than ever.

Telling companies with our feet or the click of a mouse that we can do better elsewhere for less money should be our mantra across the board.

It’s not just about the obvious things like making a quick call when your auto insurance renewal quote arrives, but actively seeking out instances where you can make a change. And, as you will find out today, practically everywhere.

If it seems a little overwhelming, take it from us: it’s not, and we’re here to help. Our experts have compiled the best tips, hints, and hacks to make the switch not just easy, but addictive.

But beware! It can become a compulsion. Figuring out how much you can save, but taking simple steps with everything from your utilities to your bank can irk you. You might get angry that you didn’t do it before or didn’t know it was that easy.

A lot of people have sluggishness. For example, you think that changing broadband providers means guys have to drill into your wall, wait weeks for a cable, or stay on the phone until your next birthday. While this may be your experience when something goes wrong with your existing supplier, all companies reserve their best people and energies for their transition teams. Above all, they want new customers. They are most valuable if you are considering switching to them.

Making that call or surfing the web is the only difficult step. Whether insurance, television, mobile phones or banks – every company knows that its best customer is a new one.

But before all that, and especially if you’re still feeling a dose of “Who cares?” then my advice is to weigh yourself. Not literally (nobody wants to do that in January), but financially. If you find out your current position, you will know where you can improve.

I always start making a budget in January. It lists all of my income (a short list) and all of my expenses (a long one!).

There are three elements in it that will help me set my transition habits for 2023:

  1. My weekly (going around) money – this includes groceries, gas, parking, lunch, etc.
  2. Monthly “disappearing” expenses – direct debits and standing orders for everything from my mortgage to streaming apps.
  3. The “Known Unknowns” – I don’t spend this every month, but I will definitely spend it throughout the year on things like doctor visits, hairdressing, window cleaning, NCT and auto services, birthdays, holidays and, yes, next Christmas!

If I write down what I spent on all of these things in 2022 (search for “transactions” under “monthly withdrawals” in your banking app, or mark the different items on a paper printout), I can find out where I’m saving Must.


As 2023 begins, finding our own ways to keep costs and family finances under control was more important than ever. Photo: Getty Images

I usually get scared enough to really want to switch my TV subscriptions (if I haven’t watched more than a series or two in the last six months, they switch it somewhere else or cancel it), insurance (car, house, health – in in that order) and finally gas and electricity. I’ve built in a smart meter so I can see at a glance how much devices are costing me – it’s a game changer.

The switch itself is often easier than you think. In many cases (electricity, gas, TV) it is a phone call.

The switch itself is often easier than you think. In many cases (electricity, gas, TV) it is a phone call.

Larger things like insurance require a form to be filled out, but many have gone online.

The biggest saving of all, your mortgage, may take time and paperwork, but it’s worth it, especially now before the banks are finally dumping all of those rate hikes on us. The central bank says “inattention, current bias and procrastination” are holding back switching and is urging banks to do better for their customers. But no bank will tell you that the competition across the street is cheaper. That’s up to you, the borrower. Those who did saved an average of €1,209 within the first 12 months. And that’s just one product.

So if you’re browsing here and wondering if there’s something for you, then the answer is definitely yes. So, grab a coffee and those last few mince pies (you know where they’re hidden). Continue reading…

https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/switching-saturday/why-switching-your-household-bills-to-get-a-better-deal-is-more-important-than-ever-this-year-42276730.html Why it’s more important than ever this year to switch your household bills for a better deal

Fry Electronics Team

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