Compare Home Insurance

If you're like me you'll dread the time of year when your home insurance is up for renewal. See, I don't believe you should just pay up when that first reminder lands on the doorstep. I believe that there are savings to be made and that you should always compare home insurance.

And that's the part that I dread! There is so much to think about and you have to really read the small print to ensure that you're getting the coverage that you require. Especially if you're switching Insurance provider.

You have to think about the two components to home insurance i.e. buildings insurance and home contents. Basically the former protects against structural damage to your home and the latter against damage to or loss of contents.

Of course there's also Combined Buildings and Contents Home Insurance. Apparently you don't have to get both policies with the one company, although you may get a discount by doing so.

I always check that certain unusual events are also covered e.g. fire, storms, flooding etc and a little known thing called Trace and Access. Trust me on this ;-)

Don't forget to mention any additional changes you may have made to your home either since your last renewal , e.g. an extension or any additional expensive contents purchased.  Imagine if your spanking new 50inch plasma TV came crashing off the wall, or was stolen, and you hadn't amended your contents list?!

Always mention any security features or smoke alarms that you may have installed as they could result in a nice little discount.

Keeping both your home and car insurances with the one company can also result in putting more money in your pocket!

The cash is always better in your pocket then in anyone else's....right?!

There's so much to remember when comparing what different insurance companies have to offer you. Don't forget to go back to your Insurance provider with the best quote you receive to see if they can match it. That's always worth a try!

Of course you don't have make the phone calls yourself , you could try a company that will check it all out for you and provide you with the best quote on offer!

That's definitely worth a try!


Note 1: this was a sponsored post, thanks for reading.

Note 2: Image credit ;

Hicky Burpy Valentine's Day #50 Club Bubbles!!

My thoughts for this Valentines Day 2012....

The day that I finally  become a pentagenurian and the day before I retire from my good Government job.... forever.

Delight and relief at reaching these momentous milestones.

Total belief that 50 IS the new 40 and that I'm now old enough to know a lot .... and young enough to still do it. ALL of it!!

A cake, chocolate of course,  with 50 candles on it has to be a very big one.

Happy knowing that the State may believe they got the best of me over the years..... and secure in the knowledge that the best is yet to come!

Very aware of this wonderful opportunity to look back over my interesting life's journey so far and to acknowledge any achievements along the way...

Oh, SOD that.....

I have two great reasons to PARTAAAYY!

Even if I don't like big parties I adore lots of small ones ;-)

Total enjoyment in attending Dirty Dancing last week with my soon-to-be-pentagenurian friend ...

The hilarity, if a tad juvenile, of a meal out with lovely friends last Friday... who knew putting on ones seat belts could be so hilarious??!!

50 IS just a number and is absolutely NO reason that you shouldn't dance your ass off in your local, almost empty pub..... with a fellow #50Club member!!!

Valentines Day is a wonderful time to have a special birthday..

It's been a day of  opening lovely cards, reading lovely tweets and LOTS of facebook messages and has been very heartwarming indeed :-) Thank you all SO much!

I can't lie though.... it's also been a day of opening some fabulous presents and that has been really FUN!!

This momentous 'coming-of-age(ing)' is a time to attempt to be fabulous at 50 and to brave donning that little red dress!!

As fun as sharing this with you has been, it is now time for some pre-pub Hicky Burpy Valentines day #50Club bubbles so....


There may be some more dancing in the local later.... for which I offer NO apologies whatsover!


Let the celebrations continue....


#Silent Sunday


Home Alone

It's with a certain element of shock that I realize that I've been an SAHM for almost 8 years now. The decision to be an SAHM was not a 'lifestyle choice', I liked my job and honestly believed that with job sharing, I had the best of both worlds.

No, that decision was made for me. Life events conspired necessitating a career break.

It turned out to be the best decision I ever made and the results of my new 'job' were evident for all to see today as I packed my boy off to sit his Assessment Tests with all the other boys who will be attending his mainstream secondary school in September.

I can now reflect on how pivotal me being at home has been for my son and for our family. And over the last few years I've also had pause to reflect on how we collectively view the role of the stay-at-home-parent.

Sometimes we make the lifestyle choice to stay at home for our children. Sometimes the decision is made for us by the special care needs of our families, or by financial neccessities. And sometimes it's economic events that force the decision upon  us.

Being at home to raise your children is a tough task, albeit with some amusing and exciting benefits! It can seem thankless and under-estimated at times. Yet it's only when something happens the 'homemaker' that their true worth is realised, it seems.

I've often joked to myself saying that anything could happen when I'm home alone! Axe-wielding murderers posing as innocent strangers calling to door or falling over the dog/cat for example. Talking to oneself can be an SAHM occupational hazard you see! As can doing silly things like almost electrocuting yourself on a broken extension lead, nearly falling down the stairs having tripped over the Hoover or even breaking your little toe!

I had one incident at the beginning of my 8 year hiatus when I was so unwell that Mr Jazzy had to take a last minute day off work to mind WiiBoy. Last December  I again became suddenly unwell one day with what turned out to be a stress induced panic attack and he had to drop everything to come home to take over.  It's at times like this that the job of the stay at home parent is prioritised with the utmost urgency.

It's  not all hard work though and over the years I have come to the conclusion that it is utterly important for the SAHM (or dad) to have interests outside the home, to preserve our sanity and mental acuity, don't you know! You will find that a lot of us will become more involved in the community and in the school our child attends. Some may do class reader, PTA, fund raising etc. Some of us choreograph pantomimes, become a Faith Friend for Confirmation and doss online become very involved in Social Media! Either way some valuable contributions to our communities are made by this group in our society that should never be dismissed or under estimated.

I have also given a lot of thought about how our successive Governments view the role of stay-at-home-parent in our society and it doesn't paint a pretty picture. There now follows a little history lesson from the addled brain of this stay-at-home-mum...

  • In my mothers and grand-mother's generation the dad brought home the bacon, so to speak. If mothers worked at all it was usually as cleaners or dress-makers. Any woman working in the Civil Service had to give up their job upon marriage. That was so up until the late 70's/early 80's until it was changed.
  • In 1980 The Murphys fought a constitutional Tax case (mentioned here) and successfully changed how married people were treated for Income Tax purposes. This case resulted in rate bands being doubled for married people with transferability of unused portions allowed between spouses. It also, I felt, put a value on the status of the SAHM....although the benefits were in the husband's pay packet. I pondered at that time how the fact that staying home to mind our children was now a viable option, that there may be more jobs to go around for those unemployed? Naive perhaps?
  • However, aggregation was then itself thought to be unfair as it prioritised marriage as a family form and ignored co-habiting couples. It was also felt that women were incentivised to' seek economic independance' and a report was furnished  which, it seems to me, couldn't fully come to a conclusion. Mr Charlie Mc Creevey went ahead anyway and introduced Individualisation in Dec 1999 for the Budget 2000.
  • I have always had a problem with Individualisation and felt that it penalised one-income families with children. It seems I'm not the only one, see here...I wonder what Joan Burton would say now? We were coming into boom time then, jobs were plentiful and there was an  economic influx to fill them. How  better to force a section of society (mostly women) back into the work force than to introduce Individualisation? There was a pathetic attempt to placate the home makers by immediately introducing (wasn't supposed to be introduced until later) the Home Carer's Tax Credit. This put a net €770 in the pockets of us Home Carers. We were worth a lousy €14.80 per week. 
  • Despite salary increases and Income Tax decreases over the next 10 years this tax credit remained the only one untouched for many years. It increased slightly only once in that time.

 Now we find ourselves one more in a huge economic abyss. We have high unemployment again so some parents have been forced into being stay at home parents. How does our Government respond? They pander to the Troika and look at Social Welfare payments and see who they can cut back, is what they do. They've recently set their sights on Lone Parents, planning to stop payments once the child reaches 7 years of age. Obviously a child of that age is considered fully reared so the parent can go back to work.

Personally I don't think this is an attack on Lone Parents. I believe if married mums received a social welfare payment we would be similarly targeted. No, this is an attack on women and children. And now they are considering linking (i.e reducing) Carer's Allowance, Disability Allowance and lone Parents in with job-seekers allowance. As the fact that there are no jobs for them to be forced into completely bypasses this Government,  we have therefore no hope of showing them that being a Carer IS a job. So is minding our children ourselves, if we so choose.

I feel that governmental decisions are not made with families best interests at heart. History shows that any decisions are made for economic reasons only and how they impinge on families and their choices for child rearing are of no relevance. Reading the two reports I link to in this piece does nothing to convince me otherwise. Everything is considered insofar as it gets women into the workforce and costs the state less...just look at the figures they have for disbanding the double rate bands and how they viewed it in terms of revenue gain! That must have been what Charlie Mc Creevey saw back in 1999 too.

This may now be a good time for us to consider how we view and value all of our contributions to our society. Let's not value one over the other and let's use this present economic decline to bolster our involvement in Community and to put some value on that too.


Note: Image credit:

Wordless Wednesday (Almost): The Cat, The Budgie and the Fish.


                                                        I'm thirsty.......

                                               And now I'm HUNGRY....

                                's so warm and cosy here......

                                              Aww....Do I HAVE to go out?..... (YES, you do!)

                                                Can I play too?

                                            Um.... I don't think you're doing that right....

                                                   Here... let me show you......

                                                     I taut I taw a puddy tat.....
                                                      I DID....I DID...                                                    

                                          Don't worry Sunny...... The cat's in the bag ;-)