Before you move to Ireland, arrange a low
cost checking account. Leave some money behind in this account.
There are several benefits. First, there will always be fluctuations between
any two currencies.
So, keeping open an overseas bank account
allows you to purchase international goods via catalogues, or on the Internet,
and pay for it simply in local funds without exchange rate costs, transaction
fees, or returned checks from retailers who don't accept overseas funds.
And these overseas purchases often cost less than buying the same item in
Ireland, even with mailing costs added. Obviously, you won't be buying bananas
and washing powder overseas. But, big ticket items purchased outside Ireland
will often save major money. This will be particularly true for the first
year after your move when ties to "ye olde country" are still
You can also use this overseas checking account
to pay any overseas credit cards. Though you can pay off your credit card
using Irish pounds, exchange rate fluctuations could leave you a few dollars
or pesos short of the required total amount. This, in turn, will expose
you to credit charges. Credit card issuers usually charge no interest if
you manage to pay off the entire balance owed. But, fall short by even a
penny, and fees are levied on the entire amount billed. Now suppose you
are faced by a credit card bill for $100. If you send a check drawn on your
Irish checking account for, say, €85, by the time the snailmail reaches
the credit card company, exchange rates might have changed and you might
owe €86. A shortfall of a few pence brought about by transaction fees
and exchange rate fluctuations can cost beaucoup bucks.
For lots more on transferring money between Ireland and overseas nations, click here.
Throw a Champagne Party
You might as well!
It never occurred to me that alcohol and tobacco would be treated differently than other personal items. Silly me! Since when has a government ever forsworn "sin taxes". Wine, spirits, beer, cigars, fine cut tobacco and cigarettes are all subject to special import levies. Even when brought in as part of your personal possessions when you move.
I don't imagine anyone wants to bring old cigarettes with them, but vinophiles (oenophiles?) need to know that your well stocked cellar will cost a bomb to import. In the case of wines, there are several rates that apply depending on the type of wine and size of bottle. But, so that you get some idea of the costs involved, here are some key excise taxes.
Still wines of between 5 and 15 percent alcoholic content - €273 per hundred litres.
Sparkling wines including champagne above 5.5 percent alcoholic content - €546 per hundred litres.
Liquour and Spirits - €39.25 per litre of alcoholic content. So an eighty proof litre of vodka with 40% alcohol would be taxed at 40% of €39.25
Cigars - €185 per kilogram even when imported from another EU country.
It's obvious that these are punitive tax rates and unless you have a few very valuable and rare old vintages, you'd be best to sell them - or drink them - before you move to Ireland.
The tips and money saving ideas run the full gamut from furniture to medicines, car insurance to overseas phone calls. Everyone will find something that will save them money, possibly thousands of euro, but surely more than this site costs.