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08 Mar 2017

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Saving money is tough. Some people seem to have the knack for it but some of us really struggle.

And sure, you have that one cousin Mary who still has her communion money, but saving money doesn’t have to mean a life of sacrifice.

No to worry - we’ve looked at seven simple steps you can take to get a few extra bob in your pocket at the end of the month. It’s not impossible but it might take a bit of creative thinking!

1. Don’t blow your money away

This won’t apply to everybody, but if you’re a smoker, consider putting the fags away for good.

Quitting lends itself to better health, but there’s also a hidden benefit like cheaper life insurance.

If you smoke 20 cigarettes a day in Ireland, you are literally blowing a whopping €4,015 per year. If you put that money into our great EBS Family Saver Account, after 10 years you could be walking away with a life-changing amount of money.

If you need more convincing, think about it in terms of work. If you earn the average industrial wage of €37,000, 19% of your after-tax income would go on the smokes. That’s the equivalent of working an extra day a week for free!

2. Don’t be too worried if you’re a late bloomer

Maybe you’re like Henry Ford. He once said that: “Old men are always advising young men to save money. That is bad advice. Don’t save every nickel. Invest in yourself. I never saved a dollar until I was 40 years old.”

It’s useful to start saving early, but you don’t need to psych yourself out of the game if you’re that little bit older. It’s important to give yourself some breathing room, and when you do start to save, make sure you’ve sat down for a relaxed chat with a local specialist. They’ll make sure you’re making the most out of every cent.

3. Channel your inner Warren Buffet

Warren Buffet is the world’s third-richest man. He once said “someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” As with most things, he’s right. A bit of forward-planning never did any harm – especially when it comes to pensions.

The Irish state pension is €222. If you think you might want a bit more than that to get by, why not get in touch and see how we can help.

4. Get a second job if you need it

Jay Leno* might not be too famous on this side of the pond – but he was the host of the Tonight Show in the US. Given that he has a net worth of around €300 million, it’s safe to say he’s not short of a few bob.

But he’s never spent a penny of the money he earned from presenting the Tonight Show for the best part of 20 years. Instead, he relied on the money he made from doing stand-up gigs as a comedian around the US.

While most of us won’t be able to emulate Leno’s million-dollar savings, we can borrow from his habits. Long before he was famous, he worked in a Ford dealership cleaning cars – but he saved that and spent the money he earned while working in McDonald’s.

So if you have a skill that could earn you something extra – whether that’s writing, playing or teaching music or even dog-walking – it could provide you with a tidy little nest egg.

5. Kill bills

Shopping around for the best gas and electricity prices can save you €321 a year, according to Bonkers.ie. The price comparison site reckons you can cut another €300 off your bills for broadband/TV deals. Not bad at all!

6. Say goodbye to your coffee habit

If you buy one coffee a day at €3 a pop, that would be €15 a week. Or €780 a year. We’re not saying you need to give up coffee altogether. You could buy a pretty nice coffee machine for €100 and buy enough coffee for the year for another €80. That would still be an extra €600 in your pocket – which isn’t half bad.

At least it’s only coffee. We’re not going to tell you to bring in your lunch to work every single day.

That’s just a step too far. Try to bring your own a few days a week but you need to treat yourself a little too.

7. Pay off those pricey loans

There's little point in saving money if you're paying 10 times more in interest to service a long-running credit card debt. Outstanding loans or a credit card deep in the red will do you no favours if you’re planning on making a mortgage application too.

If you're indebted with expensive loans, try to pay them off as soon as you can. Paying off a €2,000 credit card debt (at 22.7% interest) would save you €434 in the long-term.

At the end of the day, saving is a long game and it’s most effective if you integrate it into your day-to-day life. Think of it in the grand scheme of your life and it becomes that bit more manageable!

Thinking of starting a savings plan?

To find out more about the EBS Family Savings Account just click here. Why not book your free financial review with EBS now to take the hassle out of your finances? We’ll look at your personal goals and help make your future a lot brighter.

The content of this blog is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS d.a.c.

EBS d.a.c. neither accepts nor assumes any responsibility in relation to the contents of this blog and excludes all warranties, undertakings and representations (either express or implied) to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.

EBS d.a.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

*If we mention celebrities, we're not saying they love us. They secretly might, but it doesn't mean they endorse us.

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