Personal finance advisor Eoin McGee is a new ambassador for Champion Green, Ireland’s ‘Local Support’ campaign. Here he writes about the overreliance on global markets, the cost of living and quality of life in Ireland, and the vibrancy of Irish towns and communities.
Inflation is in our face right now. We turn on the radio, television or social media and there you have it, the curse of inflation. It’s especially painful when it hits us at checkout.
Overall, costs are rising. As we move from a pandemic closed world to a post-pandemic open economy, demand has increased. Likewise, the global unrest of the war in Ukraine, apart from the dire humanitarian crisis, is impacting global supply.
When it comes to inflation, there are some things we just can’t control. We cannot, as individuals, resolve the situation in Ukraine. We cannot control the cost of gas or oil coming into the country, nor can we control the cost of wholesale food.
But there are things we can control. Although we cannot decide the wholesale price of gas, we can control who we buy our personal gas and electricity from.
CRU.ie, a government website, lists licensed ‘switching’ companies you can use to help you shop for gas and electricity. It is not uncommon to save €300 by switching providers, and often more than double that by switching providers.
Just make sure you don’t get caught for a fee if you prematurely terminate a contract with a current supplier!
There’s a whole pile of household essentials that, if you scratch your head a bit, you can change out and save some cash. Try your auto and home insurance, life coverage, mortgage protection, health insurance and most importantly, the mortgage! Pull out a bank statement and go through it line by line. You’ll identify both Switch savings and costs like streaming services and that music or gaming app or club membership you haven’t used in ages.
And what about the less obvious choices we make with our money? Often we don’t think about the ripple effects of how or, more importantly, where we spend. Every time we support local, it helps create jobs, helps Irish families and injects money into local communities.
We don’t control the price Ireland pays for oil, but we do know that it is global demand and market forces that drive up the price of heating oil, petrol and diesel.
When we buy something online from a distant place, it has to be transported to us. The cost of oil for the truck, train, boat and/or plane adds to the world demand for oil. This, in turn, drives up the prices we all pay at the pump.
There are also other non-financial costs. If we all made the decision to support local, it would reduce the cost of transportation overall, the global demand for oil, and of course we would reduce our carbon footprint.
Buying something from a local store, regardless of where it comes from, is always better from an environmental and wallet perspective than buying from an overseas-based company.
Intuitively, this makes sense, and it’s also the right thing to do. Supporting the local means that we create a better community, a community in which we live within ourselves and from which we benefit directly.
If you have a local shop, restaurant, cafe or service provider on your doorstep and they are locally owned and operated, I can guarantee there is no one in Berlin, Milan, Toronto, Tokyo who will order from them. . The people they have to rely on for custom is you. So if you value them, if you want them and the jobs and services they provide to continue, it’s up to you to support them.
Online or in person, if more of us make a concerted effort to spend our money locally, we not only keep that money circulating in our own community, but we facilitate growth and competition and more and better services. better quality locally, which ultimately drives down costs.
When shopping online locally, check that the .IE domain you are on is indeed an Irish owned and operated website, otherwise you are not just shopping from a foreign company, but you also risk unwanted customs and import duties on your purchase. !
Local also means less depletion of global resources. Less dependence on global resources strengthens our self-reliant economic power here in Ireland. We are helping to create a richer economy, where our children can take good, well-paying jobs here, if they choose, rather than moving abroad.
Local support is much more than a nice concept that we should pay attention to.
If we stand up for green and support local businesses this year, we’re helping our towns and cities recover and stay vibrant.
It’s good for the global demand for natural resources; it’s good for our carbon footprint; it’s good for the Irish economy; it’s good for the local economy and, above all, it’s good for you!
ChampionGreen.ie is full of great advice on great local brands and businesses and how to support them.