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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Has Covid-19 Permanently Changed the Work Landscape?

The government says so. In a time where so many people in Ireland and across the globe have switched to remote working due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, employers and employees alike have been forced to adapt. With more than a year of remote working under their belts, people have been able to observe the many benefits and drawbacks that come with remote working.

 

Now, the Government’s National Remote Work Strategy aims to encourage remote working after the pandemic. The government says its main objective is to “ensure remote work is a permanent feature in the Irish workplace” in the future.  In this strategy, the government breaks down what it believes to be the benefits and challenges that come with working remotely during a pandemic. There are several benefits, including improving work/life balance, more time spent with children and family, and reducing the amount of time spent commuting. However, there are several challenges, particularly when it comes to mental health of employees. In a virtual workspace,  employees  often experience feelings of isolation, loneliness, and stress. Another benefit is the …

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How credit card fraudsters are adapting to the Pandemic, and how you can be safe

While many businesses had to adapt during 2020, including a major shift from physical to online retail, payment card fraudsters also had to adapt. COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, especially in the first two quarters of 2020, dramatically changed the way shopping was done around the globe. 

 

Payment card fraud numbers from the first two quarters, according to BPFI, are quite concerning. The latest credit and debit card fraud losses for the first half of 2020 amounted to €12.2 million across more than 143,000 fraudulent debit and credit card transactions. While consumers dramatically changed their shopping behavior from physical retail to online, fraudsters followed suit. Because of this, there was a 21% increase in ‘card not present’ fraud transactions. These transactions occur online when a fraudster uses the details of a credit or debit card they have stolen without the card being physically present. Following the trend from in-store retail to online, there was also a parallel decrease in physical instances of fraud. In-store, or point of sale, cases of fraud were down 52% in the first half of 2020, when …

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The Rise of Income Inequality in the United States Part 3

Now that we’ve assessed how wealth inequality started and how to improve wealth and saving data, here are some ideas about how to further reduce wealth disparity:

The top 1% savings rate is much higher than both the next 9% and bottom 90% savings rates. One idea that is radical is to encourage long-run savings. The United States government could directly invest in these savings accounts so that they earn great rates of return. The other aspect of this plan would be to have interest in borrowing savings so as to encourage people not to borrow from their savings. Encouraging saving of the bottom 90% would reduce wealth disparity.

Other ideas to reduce wealth disparity include the following:

Increase progressive income taxation to decrease wealth disparity. Increase estate taxes in the United States to decrease inherited wealth Increase access to education and health benefits cost controls. Improve minimum wage policies. This will in effect shift power from shareholders to workers. Create better laws protecting consumers (such as predatory lending) and increase financial regulation to increase middle class wealth. Educate the bottom …

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Pensions

Pensions in Ireland is paid to people from the age of 66 who have enough social insurance contributions. People who qualify for a state pension are also allowed to have other incomes and still receive the State pension. The State pension is taxable, but if the pension is the only source of income it is not likely to be taxed.

In order to qualify for the State pension an individual must have started paying social insurance before the age of 56 and have paid at least 520 full rate social insurance contributions. An individual must also have at least 48 paid or credited full rate contributions from the year they started insurable employment until reaching 66 years of age.

Recent research has shown that only 32% of people would like to continuing to work after the age of 66. This is concerning due to the increasing financial pressure leading to delay in retirement. Another recent statistic gathered from 1,000 employers revealed that only 61% of employees believe that they will have no choice but to work past the age of …

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Ireland market basket prices reach EU heights

As of late, Ireland has been flagged as one of the most expensive countries in the EU for food. A market basket is a list of foods, convenience items, and services that are supposed to be representative of an average household spending which is used by economists to compare the consumer price index of each country. In general, this index also allows unflation to be recorded and compared from country to country.

Using this tool, Eurostat has found that prices of food an alcohol in Ireland are 20% higher than the average country, making it the fourth most expensive in the EU. This is surprising, given Ireland’s background as an agricultural nation.

For food alone, Ireland’s prices are 1.2 times more expensive when compared to the other 28 nations in the European Union. These high prices are harmful to consumers, but a definite draw for other EU based grocers. German companies Lidl and Aldi have begun expanding into Ireland, reducing prices below that of their Irish competitors. This business tactic is still effective, given that these discounted prices …

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First communion offers many financial firsts

Ireland is a country with every town founded around a religious center. Although in recent years faith has substantially waned, there are many sacraments that still hold a lot of cultural value. One of these is the sacrament of first communion, which commonly takes place in second class with the applicants usually around the ages of 7 or 8.

This widely celebrated day usually brings together families, all ready to celebrate the child’s initial steps towards being fully immersed in the catholic faith. These celebrations do not come without a price; in recent Ulster Bank surveys, parents have reported spending close to €900 to finance every detail of the big day. This number is significantly higher than previous years.

This hefty number is composed of a multitude of spending outlets: clothing fit for the occasion, party decor, prices of food and drink, and general entertainment for the after-communion party. As one could imagine, there prices add up quickly and can make this holy day one that parents fret having.

1 in 10 people throwing a communion …

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Talking Money on New Years Resolutions, 5th January 2015

This was our first time to do ‘Talking Money’ on RTE’s Drivetime Show, we looked at financial resolutions, how to make them simple, and most importantly, how to set them up so you actually implement them, the key is to take small steps and form habits rather than trying to do it all at once. Listen in to the clip to find out more!

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TV3 The Morning Show: Health Insurance, Car Insurance, Credit Unions

We were talking about health insurance, car insurance and credit unions this month on TV3’s personal finance slot. On health insurance in particular we highlighted that you don’t have to go from ‘having cover’ to having zero cover, instead you could opt for the likes of the Hospital Saturday Fund which is a cash plan (pays out on health related spending but isn’t like regular insurance).

Car insurance was also a topic – the new EU ruling will make it illegal to rate men and women differently based on their sex alone from 21st December this year.

Credit Unions were (and are) in the news because of problems they are having. We’ll be back with TV3 next month for more!

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