As residents in Ireland we have become used to prices increases, soaring inflation and stagnant incomes. But if you are a visitor or a person thinking of immigrating to this great island, you may be unaware of the recent economic fall out and consequences of living in Ireland. From housing to groceries, expenses can quickly add up, making it essential for residents and visitors alike to adopt savvy strategies for saving money. Fortunately, with careful planning and resourcefulness, it’s possible to enjoy all that Ireland has to offer without breaking the bank.

John Lowe of gives an 8 point summary, a précis of what to look out for, consider and take on board especially for those contemplating Irish citizenship.

  1. Budgeting : creating a budget is the cornerstone of effective money management as I have always advocated. Start by tracking your income and expenses to understand where your money is going each month. Allocate funds for essentials like rent, utilities, groceries, and transportation, and set aside a portion for savings and discretionary spending. There are many budgeting apps available that can help streamline this process and provide valuable insights into your financial habits. Email me for a simple to use and easy to understand budget planner spread sheet with all the categories which even tots itself up…
  2. Housing : housing costs can consume a significant portion of your budget in Ireland, especially in the major cities Dublin Cork and Galway. Consider alternative housing options such as house shares or renting outside the city centre to lower your rent expenses. Additionally, websites and social media platforms e.g. AIRB&B often list rooms or apartments for rent directly by landlords, bypassing agency fees.
  3. Public transportation : a cost-effective way to get around Ireland – invest in a Leap Card for discounted fares on buses, trams, and trains, particularly if you commute frequently. Alternatively, cycling is becoming increasingly popular in urban areas, offering a healthy and environmentally friendly mode of transport. For longer journeys, compare prices and book in advance to secure the best deals on intercity buses and trains.
  4. Groceries : save money on groceries by planning your meals in advance and making a shopping list to avoid impulse purchases. Take advantage of weekly specials and discounts offered by supermarkets and consider purchasing generic brands instead of name brands for staple items. Shopping at local supermarkets can also yield fresh produce at lower prices while supporting small businesses in your community.
  5. Eating out : while dining out can be a tempting indulgence, it’s essential to strike a balance and avoid overspending in this category. Look for early bird specials, lunchtime deals, and vouchers offered by restaurants to enjoy meals at discounted prices. Additionally, consider opting for BYOB (bring your own bottle) restaurants to save on the cost of alcohol when dining out with friends.
  6. Entertainment : these expenses can quickly add up, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy leisure activities in Ireland without breaking the bank. Take advantage of free events, such as outdoor concerts, art exhibitions, museums and cultural festivals which are often held throughout the year. Explore the natural beauty of Ireland by going for hikes, picnics, or visiting public parks and gardens, which are typically free or have minimal entrance fees.
  7. Energy efficiency : reducing your energy consumption not only benefits the environment but also helps lower your utility bills. Take simple steps like turning off lights when not in use, unplugging electronics or reducing your heating by 1° to save 10% of the annual cost, using energy-efficient appliances to save on electricity costs. Consider weatherproofing your home to improve insulation and reduce heating expenses, particularly during the colder months.
  8. Healthcare : costs can be a significant financial burden, but there are ways to minimize expenses in Ireland. Register with a General Practitioner (GP) for routine medical care – for the over 70s it is free, as it is often more cost-effective than visiting emergency rooms or walk-in clinics. Consider purchasing private health insurance to cover unexpected medical expenses and avoid long wait times in the public healthcare system. There is a 2% annual premium penalty per year for applicants over the age of 34…

Remember, small changes can add up to significant savings over time, allowing you to live comfortably while living within your financial means. Income is your number one asset and that is why awareness of your financial limitations is so important.

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