As we enter into a new year with lots of us at home, never is there a better time to have quick look at your finances to see if you can save a few bob! 

So, with one eye on the year ahead I decided to highlight just 3 simple money saving tips that all of us can utilise that we often overlook. 

1. Tax 

So, for anyone who pays tax there are some tax savings tips which we can use to reduce or save tax. We can also claim tax back for the last 4 years so if any off the below relates to you then you can claim back to 2016 and get a refund from the revenue for all the years since. 

  • Did you get married? – If you did get married then you can mix and match your tax credits and high rate tax cut off points so if either you or your spouse is earning less than €35,300 and the other is earning more than €35,300 then you can adjust your credits and/or bands and reduce your tax bill. 
  • Medical and Dental Expenses can still be used to reduce your tax bill. You get 20% of the value of your expenses refunded to you if you submit a medical expense’s return to the revenue. 
  • EIIS Investments – These are investments that qualify for 40% tax relief over 4 years. Rental Income and ARF Income can used here too making this type of investment very attractive for anyone with rental/pension income. Tax relief is claimed at 30% in year 1 and 10% in year 4. So, an investment of €20k for example only costs an investor €12k once the tax relief is factored in. 

2. Insurances Costs

The costs associated with your mortgage protection and your life insurance policies should be reviewed to see if you can save on premium. These policies are long term policies so you do not get a renewal every year but that doesn’t mean you can’t change them. Shop around and check it out to see if you ate getting fair value. 

The insider knowledge here is that these providers want more business. To attract more business, they try to either improve their product or reduce their price. For example, Zurich and Royal London are offering discounts on their protection products and these discounts are deducted from the cheapest premium available on the market. 

If you took out your mortgage protection, life insurance or serious Illness cover with your bank its very likely you could save money every month going forward. 

3. Pensions

Pensions, yes you have heard me bang this drum before, but they do make a whole lot of sense and they do save you a whole of money!

Pensions still allow for generous tax relief at your highest rate of tax so either 20% or 40%. Over a career not only will a pension save you a small fortune in tax that you otherwise would have had to paid to the revenue but it saves it for a time when you will need it most, when you stop earning an income!

Pension can be paid monthly or indeed can be paid as a lump sum and against last year’s tax bill so there are no excuses, pensions just make sense. 

Happy new year! Let’s hope this year is a good one for us all!

Written by Nick Lawlor QFA PTP CFP® SIA