For over 20 years we have engaged the services of Parfrey Murphy (Chartered Accountants) to act as the external payroll provider to our Irish (HQ) operation…. In that period I can attest to Carbery having received an excellent service…. We have no hesitation in recommending Parfrey Murphy as payroll service providers.Colm Leen
Since 2006 we have outsourced our entire accounting function for our 3 locations in Ireland to Parfrey Murphy….We are delighted that we selected PM to carry out the above work…. They are extremely professional…. I would, without hesitation, recommend Parfrey Murphy to any potential outsourcing client.Jackie Gorman
We would like to thank Parfrey Murphy for providing us with invaluable information and assistance in the organisation of our tax returns…Dermot Harrington
I first engaged Parfrey Murphy as my accountants in 2008. This has proven to be extremely helpful to my business. From carrying out my annual accounts and a number of other services during the year they have been both proficient and professional at all timesAndrew Mackin
Spring Cleaning your Personal Finances
The Consumers’ Association of Ireland (CAI) has come up with good advice for managing your personal finances. It recommends ways to dust down your direct debits and put a new shine on your savings.
By shopping around for credit cards, you can save considerable interest and charges. The CAI says it is best to choose a credit card that has a good rate for purchases, rather than for balance transfers.
Here are some tips to avoid excessive costs on your credit card:
- Pay your bill in full by the due date and avoid paying interest.
- Avoid penalty charges (like late payment, over limit, unpaid items) as these can be expensive.
- Most providers do not charge you for failing to make the minimum monthly charge on time.
- Ensure you have enough money in your account to make purchases with your card. Otherwise, it will be costly to have your provider advance the money to you.
- If you have a standard card, see if you are eligible for a gold card as interest rates are lower.
- If you are paying for credit card insurance (card payment or purchase protection) consider if the premium is value for money.
- The Government Credit Card levy means it may be worthwhile to consider reducing the number of cards you have.
- If using your credit card abroad, compare credit card ATM withdrawal charges with charges for using your card for individual purchases. You may save money making weekly lump sum withdrawals, as opposed to using your card regularly.
People are extremely reluctant to switch bank accounts. A survey carried out by the Irish Financial Regulatory Authority (IFSRA) found that just 28% of consumers switched their main bank account. If you identify a bank that offers better value on a current account, you should not be afraid to switch. Despite the initial inconvenience of informing your bank and filling out forms, your switch should save you money and may be offer a better service.
Managing bank charges
You do not need to switch banks to reduce current account charges. Try the following:
- Check if you are eligible for free banking – Students and those over 60 often qualify for free banking.
- Avoid unauthorised payments and charges as these are usually the most expensive.
- Avoid paper transactions as these can be twice as expensive as automatic transactions.
- When making ATM withdrawals, take out large amounts to reduce withdrawal costs.
- If you have more than one Laser or ATM card, cut back to one to lessen the impact of the Government levy.
Overdrafts are one of the most expensive types of credit, so the advice is to avoid them.
Interest rates are charged on authorised overdrafts, while there are also annual overdraft facility fees. Some banks also charge an overdraft set-up fee. When it comes to unauthorised overdrafts, the interest charged can sometimes be eight times that charged on authorised ones.
The necessity to shop around when it comes to motor insurance cannot be stressed enough.
A paltry 6% of people switched health insurers since competition was introduced in the Irish market in 1997, according to research by the Health Insurance Authority. Of those who did, most were under 35 and switched to BUPA to save money. Again shop around.
Home insurance discounts
When it comes to home insurance, the advice is, as usual, to shop around. However, also worth noting is the fact that you may be eligible for discounts.
Discounts are usually available if:
- you have a house alarm
- you have not made a claim recently
- you are over a certain age
- your house is recently built
Consumers are advised to review their level of cover each year to ensure they are not paying for cover they do not need.
The Consumers’ Association says that people could save money in call charges by switching to another operator. Eircom has the majority share of the residential fixed line market, yet it is one of the most expensive of the operators for fixed phone line charges, according to a Consumer Choice survey.
When it comes to mobiles, people would be wise to restrict usage to off-peak times, use text messages rather than voice calls, and make inquiries about discounts.
Consider switching your mortgage to a cheaper lender. After all, mortgages are the biggest and most long-term financial commitment we make.
- Ensure you are getting all the tax reliefs you are eligible for. Tax relief is available for medical treatment expenses
- Move your savings into more productive deposit accounts
- Clear outstanding debts like loans, credit card debts and other bills
- Shop around as much as possible
Related Article: Choosing an Investment Adviser
Please call Seamus Parfrey today on 021-4310266 if you need further information on spring cleaning your personal finances or a free consultation.