Living on a Budget in Ireland: How to Save Some Money
As the cost of living continues to rise, it becomes increasingly important to start living on a budget in Ireland. Even though Ireland is known for its high standard of living, living here is pricey. Here is a list of tips to help you live comfortably in an expensive country like Ireland.
As in many other countries, rental prices in Ireland vary depending on their location. While Dublin and the surrounding area are very expensive, the more rural areas are more affordable. If you are not tied to one of the big cities for family or job reasons, it is worth considering moving to a more rural area to save on rent.
In addition to the location of your home, it is important to consider how much space you really need. If you work a lot and are on the move most of the time, having a big flat is not worth it. Maybe it makes sense to downsize, be it through a smaller flat or house sharing, for example.
Even if it does not sound fun, keep track of restaurant visits and take-outs. Instead, check out the weekly offers from cheap supermarkets. Then, you can decide what you want to cook and write a menu and shopping list, but only buy what is really on the list. Aldi, Lidl, and Tesco are among the cheapest supermarkets in Ireland. However, it is always a good idea to compare prices to get the best value for money.
Many supermarkets also offer discounts and coupons. You should always go for it, even if it means buying larger quantities. Buying in bulk is often the cheapest option, as long as you can store the food properly and it does not go bad before you can use it.
While shopping, you should always be attentive. Often food is reduced because the best-before date is about to expire. In many cases, this does not harm the product and you can save some money. Not only will you be doing your wallet a favor, but you will also be helping the environment by reducing food waste.
Another great way to reduce food waste and save money is to use the app Too Good To Go, where restaurants, bakeries, and shops in your area can offer leftover food at much lower prices. This may be an opportunity to enjoy takeout without the takeout price. In addition, you support local businesses through the use of this app.
With electricity prices constantly rising, it can make sense to compare different providers and tariffs, and switch to a more suitable offer. There are also often discounts for new customers, which can save even more money. It is vital to know at what times electricity prices are cheaper or more expensive. During peak hours from 5 pm to 7 pm, for example, prices are higher than at other hours of the day. At night, on the other hand, electricity prices drop significantly.
So it’s worth considering which appliances you run during the day or at night. It is good to run the washing machine and tumble dryer at night to save costs. Try to take advantage of the nightly low price as much as possible. Switch off as many devices as possible when you are not using them or are not at home, especially during peak hours.
Of course, you can’t switch off all devices just like that. Refrigerators and freezers must be permanently supplied with power. Check whether your appliances are efficient or if they are power guzzlers. Next time you buy an appliance, invest in a more efficient one to save electricity.
Another aspect where you can save a lot of money is transportation. If you live in an area with good public transport connections, you do not necessarily need a car. Depending on how often you use public transport, you should definitely get a Leap Card. Find out about the different card models and choose the one that suits you best.
A cheaper alternative to public transport is to walk or cycle as much as possible. If you do not own a bike, you can certainly buy one cheaply. Look in second-hand shops or check out Facebook Marketplace, for example. In cities, there is also the possibility of renting a bike. Everyone ultimately has to ask themselves what suits them best. Do you use a bike often enough to make it worth buying, or do you use it so rarely that renting is the cheaper alternative?
In more rural areas, people are often dependent on the car. If you have a long commute to work, it may be helpful to carpool. If the car breaks down at some point, it is also good to invest in a more fuel-efficient model. You can also often save a lot on car insurance by comparing providers and contracts. Often, you are insured for much more kilometers than you actually drive.
subscriptions & contracts
Last, but not least: subscriptions. People often forget how many subscriptions they have actually signed up for. It is therefore important to regularly check which subscriptions you have and how many of them you actually use. Many subscriptions can also be shared with friends or family. Check which subscription models are offered and how you can best save.
You should regularly check all your contracts and compare them with offers from other providers. You can often save a lot by doing so. It does not matter if it is about WiFi, your mobile phone, or energy providers. If a contract expires and you find a cheaper one, replace the old one as soon as possible.