New research published today by independent price comparison and switching service, Switcher.ie, reveals the extent of consumers’ financial concerns for 2018.
Rather than looking forward to a happy New Year, money worries look set to remain high on the agenda with little to suggest that consumers’ concerns will be alleviated anytime soon.
Already, a huge 95 per cent of Irish adults admit to worrying about their finances. One in five say they’re always worried, while a quarter say they often are, and just five per cent say they never have any financial concerns.
As we head into 2018, this looks set to continue. Despite talk of a recovery and changes to income tax and USC in Budget 2018, less than three in ten (28 per cent ) feel they’ll be better off than they were in 2017. In contrast, over a quarter (26 per cent ) believe they will be worse off, with almost half (46 per cent ) expecting their financial position to remain unchanged.
The concerns that consumers have about their financial situation in 2018 are varied - one fifth are worried they will not be able to afford essential bills like energy, broadband or groceries, and the same amount are concerned they could struggle to pay their rent or mortgage. Other fears include not being able to afford to go on holiday (23 per cent ), not getting a pay rise (20 per cent ), or losing their job (14 per cent ).
Eoin Clarke, managing director of Switcher.ie, said: “The scale and extent of Irish consumers’ financial woes as we come into 2018 is huge. We’re hearing a lot of talk about the recovery, but the reality seems to be that this hasn’t hit consumers’ pockets just yet.
“It’s likely many of us could be emerging from the Christmas season with a financial hangover that feels hard to shake. Getting a handle on your finances may seem like a really big job, but in fact, making several small changes could start to ease the pressure and make you feel more in control.
“Get started by drawing up a monthly budget, taking some energy-saving measures around the home, and ensuring you’re not paying more than you need to for household essentials like broadband, energy and your mobile phone. This can make a huge difference.”