Managing your money

Budgeting made easy

A budget is an easy way to see how much you spend and on what. Working out your budget doesn't have to be a daunting task, it's a simple matter of discovering where your money is going each month and how much you should have left over at the end. All you have to do is add up all your income and subtract your bills and other outgoings.

It's best to work out your budget monthly, even if you are paid weekly, as that is often how most regular bills need to be paid.

 
  • Before you start

    Having your online account or monthly statement in front of you, or having household bills to hand, can save time, as you won't have to stop half way through to search out amounts and charges.

    1. Income
      Your income is usually your salary from your job and that of your partner or spouse, but it could also include extras such as mortgage interest relief or child benefit.
    2. Outgoings
      Your spending will fall into several different categories, from household bills to those that are for leisure. Just be sure to include everything.

    Once you've finished

    Your budget will give you a quick insight into your finances. If you feel that you need to spend less, or you need to spend differently, here are a few tips to help you do so in a painless way:

    • Keep a diary of what you spend and you'll quickly spot what is essential and what you can do without
    • Use 365 online or phone banking* to keep an eye on your finances
    • Shop around for bargains, you never know where you'll find a better price
    • Pay bills by Direct Debit so you'll never miss a payment and incur unnecessary costs
    • Make a plan and be definite about what you want your finances to do for you

    *Terms and conditions apply to 365 phone and online services.

    This advice is of a general nature and should not be relied on in relation to a specific issue without taking appropriate financial, insurance, investment or other professional advice. All opinions constitute best judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

  • Borrowing Sensibly

    Managing your overdraft

    An overdraft offers the flexibility to smooth-out irregular expenses across the year and help you manage your cash flow better. An overdraft also avoids unnecessary fees and charges for customers where they accidentally go overdrawn. As well as this, the application process is also easy and convenient.

    No matter what you are borrowing for, it's important that you choose an amount and term which you can comfortably afford.

    1. If you have an overdraft facility, ensure you know your agreed limit and stay within this to avoid incurring overlimit item charges
    2. If you have any difficulty paying back your overdraft then talk to a financial adviser early, they will try and help you to find a way to manage your payments that you can afford

    Find out more about Overdrafts available online from Bank of Ireland.

    Managing your credit cards

    Credit cards can offer a convenient and flexible way to buy things when you need to without having to carry cash. However it is important that you keep on top of your spending so your balance does not creep up on you. Here are just a few tips to help you manage your credit card with ease:

    1. Set up a banking 365 online account* and keep a close eye on your card usage
    2. Remember you usually have 56 days interest free credit so make sure you pay off your balance before interest is due
    3. Set up a direct debit for your minimum payment and avoid late payment fees and penalties
    4. Ensure you know your credit limit and stay within this to avoid incurring overlimit fees
    5. Credit cards are a convenient and secure way of short term borrowing but if you find that you are unable to clear your balance over the long term talk to us and we will work with you to find a solution

    Find out more about the range of Credit Cards available online from Bank of Ireland.

    *Terms and conditions apply to 365 phone and online services.

    Managing your loans

    A loan can help to smooth out the gaps between what you earn and what you spend and can also be useful to buy larger purchases such as a holiday or a car.

    But no matter what you are borrowing for, it's important that you choose an amount and term which you can comfortably afford.

    1. Work out exactly how much you can afford to pay each month and then choose an interest rate that suits your circumstances:

      • Fixed rates will ensure that you pay off the same amount each month.
      • Variable rates will go up and down, but they will allow you to pay your loan off early as you can pay off lump sums as you wish

    2. Consider your flexible payment options. Design your payment schedule to suit you and if necessary take advantage of any payment breaks to help you manage your loan*
    3. If you have any difficulty paying back your loan then talk to a financial adviser early, they will try and help you to find a way to manage your payments that you can afford

    Find out more about the range of Loans available online from Bank of Ireland.

    WARNING: YOU MAY HAVE TO PAY CHARGES IF YOU PAY OFF A FIXED RATE LOAN EARLY

    * Deferred payment options are only available to customers who repay their loan monthly. Deferred payments are spread over the term of the loan and must be applied for and agreed by us prior to drawdown.

    Terms and conditions apply to loans and overdrafts. Applicants must be 18 years or over. There is an annual overdraft facility fee (currently €25).The current variable overdraft interest rate (including the fee) is 15.9% APR (this is based on a representative example of €1,500 over a 12 month period. Total cost of credit is €208.85); the rate quoted is correct as at 25th August 2011 and is subject to change. Overlimit item charges are payable where an account exceeds (or further exceeds) the agreed overdraft permission or goes overdrawn (or further overdrawn) where no agreed permission exists. Full details of these overlimit item charges are available from any Bank of Ireland branch. In addition, an interest surcharge of 0.6% per month (7.2% per annum) (minimum €2.54 per month) will apply Where accounts do not revert to credit for 30 days during a 12-month period, an interest surcharge of 0.75% per annum will be charged.

    This advice is of a general nature and should not be relied on in relation to a specific issue without taking appropriate financial, insurance, investment or other professional advice. All opinions constitute best judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

  • Saving for a rainy day

    A holiday, a new car, a rainy day. There are plenty of reasons to start saving and no doubt you know them all, but when it comes to actually putting the money aside, most people find other things to spend it on.

    Here's a few tips on how to make saving easy and painless.

    • Don't go with the first savings plan you see, look for one with terms and an interest rate that suits you
    • Do save early. Putting your money away as soon as you get paid will ensure that your savings are never forgotten
    • Do think of saving as prepaying for something, rather than putting away money you'll never use
    • Do consider taking advantage of interest rate changes by paying extra into your mortgage, if possible. This will save you thousands in the long-term. Check out our mortgage overpayment calculator to see how much you could be saving
    • Do start today. Stop putting it on the long finger, the sooner you start saving the better
  • Insurance Just in case

    There are a number of different safety nets, which can help you to steer clear of big financial difficulties, if you were to fall ill for instance, how would your family cope? Here are just a few insurance options which could be of benefit should an unexpected difficulty arise.

    • Life Insurance Cover* -This will ensure that your family are provided for in the event of your death
    • Critical Illness Cover* - In the event of you suffering a specified critical illness, this cover will provide you with a lump sum payment
    • Disability cover* - This type of cover will provide you with an income in the event that you are unable to work due to a serious illness or accident
    • Mortgage Repayment Cover* - This will cover your mortgage repayments in the event of you being unable to work due to involuntary redundancy or illness

    *Terms and conditions apply to insurance and protection products - benefits are subject to underwriting and acceptance by the insurance company.

  • Planning your Pension