5 Ways to save for a Deposit

Saving up to buy a home can seem like a big challenge. Your home is likely the biggest purchase you will ever make, and unlike saving for retirement, this payment is a large sum of money that you will need to access soon. This may seem challenging, but with a solid savings plan, anyone can save enough to put a down payment on their dream home. In this article, we’ll cover 5 easy ways to start saving for your down payment today.

 

Budget your money wisely

The first and most important step in any savings plan is budgeting. To build your budget, examine your bank statements and credit card payments to see where your money is going. Make sure to keep track of how much you spend on necessary payments, such as rent, utilities, and student loan payments if you have them. Next, consider how much you spend on eating out, entertainment, and other nonessentials. While you are saving, it is a good idea to set limits on each of these categories and stick to it, setting aside the …

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Costs you Should be Aware of before Buying a House

There are more costs associated with buying your first home than just the 10% deposit. There are many additional fees, duties and taxes that you should be aware of before buying your home. 

 

The first fee you should be aware of is the stamp duty. The stamp duty is not included in your mortgage, so it’s a good idea to save this fee up in addition to your 10% deposit. The stamp duty is calculated at 1% of the selling price on a home or residential property of up to €1m, and 2% of the selling price on homes and residential properties above €1m. This stamp duty may change however, and full details are available on the Revenue.ie website. 

Legal fees are another hidden cost of buying a home that you should look out for. There are a lot of legal aspects that have to be accounted for when officially transferring ownership of the property to you, so you should find a trusted real estate lawyer to take care of this transfer. Legal fees will vary depending on …

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4 Easy Ways to Improve your Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is one of the most important and underrated skills that anyone can have. Understanding basic financial concepts such as mortgages, inflation, and interest rates is critical for financial success. Once you unlock this knowledge, you will be better equipped to effectively manage, save, and invest money for you and your family. This knowledge, combined with other good financial habits, is the key to financial well being and freedom later on in life. While everyone has varying degrees of financial literacy, there is an overwhelming amount of resources available to expand your knowledge on financial topics.

 

Read Personal Finance Books

If you enjoy reading, there is no shortage of finance books that cover a broad variety of topics, from eliminating debt to saving for retirement. One book recommended by Forbes magazine that covers the latter is Rewirement: Rewiring The Way You Think About Retirement!, by Jaime Hopkins. This book tackles common misconceptions and bad habits that prevent people from having flexible and successful retirement plans. For a variety of books on many topics, check out Insider’s …

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Types of mortgages and lending rules

Irish law has specialized sets of lending rules depending on the type of mortgage application. Types of applications are split into three different categories: first-time buyers, remortgaging or switching, and buy-to-let buyers. Depending on which of these categories an application falls under, different loan-to-value (LTV) and loan-to-income (LTI) limits will be used. The former refers to the minimum deposit a borrower must have on a home before getting a mortgage loan. The latter refers to the maximum amount of money borrowers can receive in relation to their yearly gross income; while this is normally capped at 3.5 times one’s income, lenders can provide additional allowances of varying amount depending on the type of application.

Firstly, there are first-time buyers. These applicants are those buying a house for the first time, so the deposit required by LTV limits is understandably less steep. They will need to have a minimum deposit of 10% of the home’s total value. For example, if the price of a home is listed as €250,000, a 10% deposit would amount to €25,000. Lenders are allowed to have …

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KBC latest in Irish bank exodus

Belgian-based KBC has become the latest lender to announce its intent to leave the Irish market. The announcement came on the morning of Friday, April 16, and is part of a broader exodus of retail banks from the country. Just weeks prior, NatWest, the UK-based owner of Ulster Bank, stated that it would scale back its operations in Ireland considerably over the course of the next year. KBC is also in talks with Bank of Ireland to sell its existing loans and deposits.

Why have banks been so keen on exiting the Irish loan market? In the case of Ulster Bank, it had been struggling to make returns on investment deemed acceptable by NatWest. KBC’s chief executive, Johan Thijs, stated that talks with Bank of Ireland were being conducted in light of “…the challenging operational context for European banks…” One potential explanation for this trend is the relatively low interest rate environment of Ireland making it difficult for banks to see adequate returns. Further, the market saw a general trend downward from 2015 to 2020, with an average industry …

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What does Ireland truly stand economically compared to other European powers? (pt. 1)

Ireland may not seem to one of the most powerful countries in Europe, but there are also many misleading statistics that surround the State. This leads to a misconception of what the residents of the country truly experience and how life in Ireland plays out. Statistics such as per capita GDP, the Human Development Index, and GDP per head are skewed because of international relations within Ireland. Many times people look at one of the previously mentioned statistics and assume everything about a country on that one number. But you cannot presume that off of one indicator. Multiple accounts and indicators will have to be taken into account when determining the overall status and standing of a country.

Looking at Ireland, many individuals are inclined to believe that the numbers do not show the country as prosperous, but if the small city-state of Luxembourg was taken out of the GDP, Ireland would have the highest GDP per head in all of Europe. When looking at the composite representation of a country, GDP and GNI may not be enough to have …

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Negative Rates the Banks are enforcing

In 2020, Irish citizens managed to put nearly €13.4 billion into banks and credit unions, looking to take advantage of savers. This has driven the household deposit total to up to an all-time high of €124 billion. The build-up in these deposits will stay, but banks are continuously looking to pass on charges they face from the European Central Bank.

The reason why banks are looking to charge negative interest is that banks have been paying the European Central bank to hold their excess funds. In a sense, the money earned from these accounts is not being used to lend out to borrowers and generate revenue for the banks themselves. In addition, the ECB rates have become vegetive as a result to encourage more lending in the market to combat the lull in activity in the market due to COVID. This means that you’re essentially paying your bank to hold your savings, but not getting any return by doing so.

Currently, the only organizations that will be paying negative rates would include businesses, pension funds, and credit unions. The rates …

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Ireland’s automatic stabilizers impact on the recovery from COVID

After the 2008 global financial crisis, Ireland’s tax and welfare system aimed to reduce income inequality within its citizens and succeeded in doing so. A research was done by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) found that the automatic stabilizers implemented created a reduction in tax and an increase in welfare payments from the State. This all led to an offset in the rise of income equality.

These automatic stabilizers, which are usually considered a country’s economy’s first line of defence in a financial crisis, reduced inequality at more than just the governmental policies level. Even during the COVID pandemic, many governments have gone a step further with the implementation of the automatic stabilizers by using them as a buffer against the financial shock, and in doing so have introduced a system of direct wage supports to combat the fallen employment rate experience globally.

Recent studies have looked further into the impacts of the tax and benefit policy on income equality in five of the euro zones that were hit the worst economically in the COVID pandemic. These zones …

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Tax Relief methods that you may be looking for

Taxes have and always will be the stress of most people’s adult life. And there are two sides of the same coin in terms of feelings you may receive when getting your Revenue yearly about your taxes. And last weeks, there are many people who are either ecstatic and relieved and then there are others who are scrambling around to find some way in order to lessen their tax liability.

Either way, you have most likely in one way or another been affected by the wage subsidies that the pandemic has caused. But there are still some things you can do to lessen that tax bill just a little. Of the following hints, if you have not claimed any of them since 2017, you can still be eligible for that period of time.

1: Tuition Fees

With children in third-level education, tuition can cost a fortune. But you can also benefit from tax relief on fees paid for undergraduate programs, postgraduate, IT, and foreign language courses. The relief starts at 20%, meaning that 20% will be returned to your pockets.

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Financial steps you can take in quarantine

As quarantine drags on into 2021, and there is no certainty when restrictions will start to lift as the COVID vaccines roll out, there are still many actions you can take just to less your bills and spending a little. With how volatile the market and economy is currently, as countries scramble to create and distribute the vaccine. You can create just a little bit of order in your everyday lives by seeing if any of these tips will help your financial situation.

1: Check up on your insurances

If you are one of nearly two million citizens in Ireland that are about to enter your renewal period for your private health insurance, this tip is just for you. Of that two million people, around 75% just allow their policies to be renewed without looking over the fine print or asking their provider any questions. And if you have been doing exactly that for over the last three years, you can almost certainly save some money by looking at alternative options currently. It will require a bit of research and …

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