Book on Cost Savings

The fundamental rule of personal finance is to spend less than you earn. The two ways to achieving this goal are spending less and earning more. The bigger the positive gap between your earnings and expenditure the greater your financial freedom. This is the essence of the message from Charles Dickens’ character Mr. Micawber in the novel “David Copperfield” when he tells David, “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

Financial Freedom graphic

I have produced a Cost Savings book in PDF formate that concentrates on the first of these strategies with the aim of being of fairly immediate value to a wide range of people. It takes a generalist “something for everyone” approach. It can be read from cover to cover or dipped into randomly at any point.

A given suggestion may seem pointless to one while at the same time be brilliant to another. The value of any suggestion may depend on your personal circumstances at any given time.

Most of the ideas concentrate on saving/avoiding cost but some deal with saving time or effort which in many cases comes back to cost saving again.

Sometimes time is money, at other times it can be what makes the difference between been in control of things or under pressure. In general there are benefits if you can make what you consider better use of the fixed amount of time that is available to you. Again the ultimate saving is totally eliminating the need to do something that takes up valuable time. An example approaching this ideal may be ordering your groceries on line and have them delivered to your door rather than spending a couple of hours driving to the supermarket, filling your shopping trolley and driving home again. Another example may be to go to work earlier before traffic builds up and leave before the evening rush and so reduce the amount of time you spent sitting in traffic during the weekly commute. If your work allows you might be able to eliminate it altogether by working from home.

The overriding message is that being thrifty need not be a chore and if a saving is made on something then there is more available for something else. Life is about choices and it is up to you to decide what you consider worthwhile or not.

The first few pages give a few generalisations as to where one might profitably look for ideas if one wanted to indulge in some brain storming. The rest of the book offers more specific suggestions, many of which can be immediately applied without any great effort or investment.

Total Costs and Savings

The two principle ways of reducing costs are to reduce consumption and to reduce the price you pay per unit of consumption.

Your personal circumstances may affect the value of a given course of action. For example the marginal rate of tax you pay will determine the relative value of before and after tax expenditure or savings.

Once off big savings are usually easy to recognise as being worthwhile. But frequently occurring small costs or savings which can add up to significant amounts over time may sometimes go unrecognised.

After reading this book you may consider sitting down and filling in a chart like that in the appendix to get a better picture of your ongoing costs. You might find a few surprises. Add items to the chart that are relevant to you. Remove items that are not.

We all have to make life choices. Each choice may have positive and negative consequences and each of us has to decide for ourselves what is important to us. You may feel that having a car can give great freedom to come and go as you please. Although the people I know without a car manage perfectly well. On the downside car ownership involves costs such as purchase price, tax, NCT, servicing and maintenance, insurance, new tyres not to mention the ever increasingly more expensive parking and fuel costs. Decide for yourself what is more important to you.

Reduce your annual newspaper costs by €500 and spend on a little holiday instead? You might decide to put an extra €500 into a pension and get further tax savings to the value of 20% or 40% depending on your marginal tax rate. Timing can be important. In the last example you can expect ultimately to get a bigger return if you have twenty or forty years to go to retirement than if you are to retire in five years time.

This “book” is being written to help businesses and individuals cut their expenses or save time or effort. Several of the suggestions offer immediate cost reductions. Some Cost Savers can be implemented merely by changing a procedure or habit. Some ideas will require an investment. Some of the suggestions are generic while others are particular to a given set of circumstances. Reading through these ideas will make you think and should prompt Cost Reduction clues for your particular circumstance.

You can dip in and out of this book and try suggestions that appeal to you, but for maximum benefit over the long term it might be a good idea to systemise your cost control activities. Some costs will reoccur at fixed intervals such as insurance contract renewals. Set up text, email or diary reminders at appropriate times to review various activities. If you enter a 12 month contract for reduced utilities bills and the default action if you do nothing after the 12 months is you pay the higher price without any reminder from the utility company set up an automated reminder for yourself to review the situation a week or two before the concession period expires.

It is important to get to grips with the basics of budgeting, planning and learning how to save cash in all areas of your life, so that you get the most from your money. Savings in one area mean more for something else. This publication is produced to help you on your way to achieving that.

 for €4.99

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Presenting Galway to the World 60 years Ago

Galway past

Galway old and new, is captured in glorious colour in this 1957 Bord Fáilte (now Fáilte Ireland) tourism film produced and directed by Colm Ó Laoghaire.

Situated on the west coast of Ireland, Galway is one of the largest cities in Ireland and boasts a complex history dating back to medieval times. The film highlights the city’s many wonderful historic buildings and points of interest such as market days, picturesque thatched cottages, the Taibhdhearc Theatre, the Galway Blazers hunting club and the electric atmosphere at the world renowned Galway Races.

To see more from The Bord Fáilte Film Collection, click here.

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Booklet of 10 National Love Stamps Offer

Love Stamp

If you have any significant amount of letters to post within Ireland in the near future you might like to take advantage of An Post’s offer of 10 national stamps for the price of 8.

For the limited period between February 1st and Valentine’s Day, February 14th, you can purchase a book of eight for €8 instead of the usual €10.

Every little bit helps.

Buy your Love Stamps today at your local Post Office or at

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Lá Fhéile Bríde Shona Daoibh!

St Bridget's Cross

Its the first of February and the first day of Spring so happy Lá Fhéile Bríde to you all.

Making a St. Brigid’s Cross – an Easy Step by Step Guide – YouTube

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Large Water Outage – West Side of Galway City

Due to third-party works a large watermain has been compromised and as a result, a very large, unplanned water outage will occur in the west side of Galway city.

Galway City Council are assisting the Developer to restore supply.

The outage will affect the following areas: Salthill, Lower Salthill, Dominick Street & west end of city centre, Newcastle, University Rd, St Mary’s Road, Taylors Hill, Kingston & south end of Knocknacarra (South of Western Distributor Road).

NOTE: Supply to UCHG is independent and will remain unaffected.

The earliest return of supply is estimated to be 6pm.

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2021 Starts with Lockdown


Galway City Council acting on a request from the Gardaí have put measures in place to prevent parking in Salthill. The measures have been taken in the interests of public health. Cones and barriers are in place along the Prom, the car parks are blocked off. So is access to the diving tower at Blackrock and the road to Silver Strand.

The virus spreads from person to person so the most effective way to halt its spread is for us all to stay apart. Doing so could save your life or that of someone you care for.

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Salthill Approaching Mid-December

Flower Shop

Site of Finan's house

Site of Finan’s House and site of Warrick Hotel behind it. The former to be built upon with two blocks of apartments. The latter a nursing home.

Site of Finan's and Warwic

Red Flags

No not communist China with all the red flags but capitalist Salthill.

Coffee Shop

Coffee shops the big winners this year.

New bicycle rack

Bicycle racks put up in Salthill car park.

Santa Claus

Some big guy with a white beard.

new seats at Salthill Park

New seats at Salthill Park replacing the old broken ones.

Coffee on the Beach

Coffee on the beach in December!

bicycle rack on Prom

New bicycle racks on the Prom.

The Prom

Where else? The Prom.

Ruined house at Blackrock

Old ruined house at Blackrock to become new coffee shop.

New Lights at Blackrock

New LED lighting at Blackrock.

Cable laid for lights

Cabling laid for new LED lights along walkway from Blackrock, by golf-links to caravan park.

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Top Five Tips for Shopping Safely Online

With more and more shopping being done online it is important to take reasonable precautions to avoid being scammed. Below are five points to keep in mind.

shop safely online

Why not give the gift of education? Galway Maths Grinds online resource packs can be accessed from anywhere and whenever it suits as long as you have an internet connection. Material can be downloaded to your own device to allow you work offline. Courses for Junior Cert or Leaving Cert subjects contain the material for ordinary and for higher level courses so if you change mid-stream you still have the right material.

online maths and physics course

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Salthill in November

So we got a few really wet days. But flowers in the garden, crowds on the Prom, big increase in the numbers taking a daily dip in the sea. Not exactly our typical November.

swimming at Salthill

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Approaching Christmas in Anxious Times

 They started putting up the Christmas lights today,
 although through November we are just halfway.
 We look forward with a mixture of hope and fear.
 Not yet sure what will pass for Christmas this year.
 Can loved ones travel home?
 Or must they stay away; perhaps alone.
 If it transpires that they must,
 because of this virus with which the world is cursed,
 at least we can make calls on zoom,
 send cards or hampers or simply phone to try and lift the gloom.
 Mother's hairdresser phoned in tears,
 to say she is closing her business of many years.
 It is not that she has a choice.
 It is not fair. It is not nice.
 Lifting Lock-down now is too late,
 for her and many others who face a similar fate.
 While there are those that can't survive,
 there are others who not only can, but can thrive.
 Hand sanitisers and take-out coffee are among the winners.
 As are DIY supplies and click and collect dinners.
 For now safety depends on using simple tools.
 For now we follow these basic survival rules;
 isolate, distance, sanitise and mask up.
 Beyond that we await the scientists doing their stuff.
 We await the production of some new medicine.
 We await in hope a new vaccine. 

Noel’s Poetry | GMG (

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