Better Budgeting: Save Money and Energy this Spring

  • Over two thirds (67%) of people in Ireland admit there is room for improvement when it comes to enhancing budgeting skills
  • 52% of those surveyed are saving up to €200 a month
  • 8% of Munster residents admit they don’t save any money at all
  • 14% of Irish people reveal they do not always know what bills are coming out of their account.

Almost three quarters (72%) of Irish people have set a savings goal for 2024 but over two thirds (67%) say there’s room to improve their budgeting skills. That’s according to new research from Bord Gáis Energy, a leading energy and services providers.

When it comes to what we’re saving for, 41% say they are saving for a rainy day, over a third (35%) are saving up for a holiday and 14% are putting money aside to carry out some home renovations.

The research was carried out to gain a deeper understanding of people’s budgeting and savings habits to launch Bord Gáis Energy’s new 616 Switch and Save Campaign. Customers can save up to €616 a year on their energy bills when they sign up to Bord Gáis Energy’s new dual fuel online offer.

As part of the campaign, Bord Gáis Energy has teamed up with money saving expert Kel Galavan, aka Mrs Smart Money HQ, to share her money saving tips to help everyone reach their saving goals. From the 12th of March, Bord Gáis Energy and Mrs Smart Money HQ are inviting the Irish public to follow along and join the 616 Challenge throughout March and April. Simply follow @bordgaisenergy and @mrssmartmoneyhq to learn more about how to save with clever switches and simple changes.

Commenting on these insights, Kel Galavan, expert money advisor said; I’m delighted to be teaming up with Bord Gáis Energy to launch the 616 Challenge, empowering people to save money through simple tips and budgeting tricks.

Small changes to everyday behaviours can make a big impact on our savings. Whether you’re at the start of your budgeting journey or you’re well on your way to reaching a long-term savings goal, conserving electricity to lower your utility bills is a great place to start.

The 616 Challenge provides everyone with tips and tricks to kick start their savings through conserving electricity. These range from cold-water laundry, to energy-efficient home cooking, task lighting and more! For an easy win, you can make the switch to Bord Gáis Energy for a limited time only to secure €616 annual savings.”

According to the Bord Gáis Energy poll, 52% of Irish people are saving up to €200 a month while 11% admit to not saving at all. Three quarters of people questioned say they consider themselves savvy spenders and tend to shop around for the best deals, but 14% admit to not always knowing what bills are coming out of their account and 11% say they simply don’t have time to shop around.

For more information or to switch to Bord Gáis Energy to save up to €616 on your annual bills, visit www.bordgaisenergyie. *

*T&Cs apply – see website for details

About the Bord Gáis Energy’s 616 Switch and Save Campaign:

Bord Gáis Energy is committed to helping new and existing customers live more sustainably and affordably. This week Bord Gáis Energy launched an offer to new customers which could see them save up to €616 a year on their gas and electricity bills when they switch to Bord Gáis Energy’s new dual fuel online offer.*  For more information visit www.bordgaisenergyie

*T&Cs apply – see website for details

About the research:

As part of the 616 Switch and Save Campaign, Bord Gáis Energy has carried out brand new research to gain a deeper understanding of people’s budgeting and savings habits. The research was conducted in March 2024, to a sample of n=500 Irish adults aged 35-65 years old.

About Kel Galavan:

Based in Kildare, Kel Galavan aka Mrs Smart Money is a money coach, author and speaker. She helps intelligent, hard-working people who are fed up being on the back foot with money and life. She has harnessed her experience, science and financial background to develop a formula to get your income working for you to take the stress out of money and buy back your freedom and choice, one slice at a time.

In 2018, she walked away from her 16-year career as she felt that her children’s childhood was passing her by, and she wasn’t around to see it. She knew there had to be a better way to build a life; where she could balance work, money and family.

With the household income cut in half. Kel embarked on a mission to make the remaining income work as hard as possible. This challenge resulted in the No Spend Year™ in 2019, where she reduced her family’s outgoings by over €27,000 and had the best year of their lives. She subsequently penned the sell-out book, Mindful Money. Kel has appeared in the Irish Times, Newstalk, Ireland AM, 2FM and the Irish Independent.

About the 616 Challenge:

To support this 616 Switch and Save Campaign, Kel Galavan is teaming up with Bord Gáis Energy to launch the 616 Challenge, empowering people to save money through simple tips and budgeting tricks. The 616 Challenge will be led by Kel on social media platforms, with participation from the general public and other well-known faces. To kick start the savings challenge, Kel is sharing her Top Five Ultimate Savings Tips as well as a selection of at-home tricks for conserving electricity to lower utility bills.

Kel Galvan’s Top Five Ultimate Savings Tips:

  1. Create a Budget: A budget does not have to be complicated. Understanding income, expenses, and the gap between the two for savings will help you track where your money is going and identify areas for potential savings.
  2. Automate Savings: Set up direct debits, to your savings account. Treating savings like a non-negotiable bill helps you consistently build your savings without relying on willpower. This is often called ‘Pay Yourself First’ and ensures that you are moving forward with your money each month.
  3. Subscription audit: Subscriptions have gained major popularity in the last few years. Figure out which ones you use and cancel those that don’t bring value. Each monthly subscription cancelled can add up to a significant sum over a year.
  4. Meal Planning: Plan your meals and grocery shop. It’s a great way to eat well and avoid unnecessary spending on takeaways or dining out. This helps reduce food waste( which costs the average household €700 per year, according to the Stop Food EPA) and helps you stick to your budget.
  5. No Spend Days: A No-Spend Day is any day on which no money is spent other than on essential bills and groceries. No-spend days are a great way to curb unnecessary spending so that you have more money for worthwhile things in life.

Kel Galavan’s tricks for conserving electricity to lower utility bills:

  1. Use cold water for laundry: Washing clothes in cold water instead of hot or warm water can save a significant amount of energy, as heating water accounts for a large portion of energy usage in the laundry.
  2. Air dry clothes: Whenever possible, air dry your clothes instead of using a dryer. This not only saves electricity but also extends the life of your clothing and reduces wear and tear.
  3. Install solar panels: Consider installing solar panels on your roof to generate your own renewable energy and reduce reliance on grid electricity. Many regions offer incentives or rebates for solar panel installations.
  4. Upgrade insulation: Improving insulation in your home, especially in attics and walls, can help maintain a consistent indoor temperature and reduce the need for heating and cooling, ultimately saving energy and money.
  5. Utilise natural ventilation: Open windows and use cross ventilation to cool your home during mild weather instead of relying solely on air conditioning.
  6. Cook efficiently: Use energy-efficient appliances like microwaves and toaster ovens for smaller meals instead of heating up a large oven. Additionally, match the size of your cookware to the size of the burner or heating element to avoid energy wastage.
  7. Opt for energy-efficient showerheads: Install low-flow showerheads to reduce water usage and the energy required to heat water for showers.
  8. Upgrade to energy-efficient windows: Energy-efficient windows with proper insulation can help prevent heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer, reducing the workload on your heating and cooling systems.
  9. Utilise natural insulation: Consider using heavy curtains or blinds to block out sunlight during hot days and retain heat during cold days, reducing the need for artificial heating and cooling.
  10. Adjust fridge settings: Keep your refrigerator and freezer at optimal temperatures (around 4°C for the refrigerator and -18°F for the freezer) to ensure food safety while minimising energy usage.
  11. Install motion sensor lights: Use motion sensor lights for outdoor areas or rooms where lights are frequently left on by accident, ensuring that lights are only activated when needed.
  12. Use task lighting: Instead of lighting entire rooms, use task lighting such as desk lamps or under-cabinet lights for specific activities, reducing overall energy consumption.
  13. Reduce hot water usage: Take shorter showers, fix leaks promptly, and insulate hot water pipes to reduce the amount of energy used to heat water.

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