The spending boom of the Celtic Tiger has been altered to a savings bonanza for financial institutions as more and more Irish people opt to put money aside regularly in a bid to increase account balances. According to an EBS consumer savings survey of 1,000 people, up to 85 per cent are now saving with 93 per cent of under-25s now getting in on the savings habit.
However, while the number of people saving has increased and young people are being taught the important lesson of cash being king, the total amount saved continues to decrease. Since August 2008, estimated annual savings have fallen from €4,612 to €3,667, or almost €1,000 over a 22-month period. One in 10 respondents stated that they used to save but find it difficult to afford to do so now.
The survey further revealed that Irish people are now more likely to save before a significant purchase rather than borrowing or using a credit card. One in every five said that due to the recession they will save for a large purchase, while 80 per cent stated that this summer they will save for their holiday rather than borrowing to fund it or putting it on a credit card.
“People are continuing to have to dip into their savings to fund day-to-day expenses but we are seeing this fall off slightly,” Aidan Power, EBS head of marketing, said of the findings. “When we consider the trends over the past two years we see that the country has truly become a nation of savers.”