Three-quarters (74%) of Irish householders are either “a bit worried” or “very worried” about their personal finances for the coming year, with six out of 10 (64%) reporting that they have seen no increase in their spending power over the last three years.
Findings such as this suggest that Ireland’s economic recovery is yet to materially benefit the majority of citizens.
Nearly a quarter (23%) of those surveyed report that they generally have no money to spare on the day before payday. However, the majority of respondents (63%) claim to have enough disposable income for leisurely pursuits, such as dining out and socialising.
The 2018 Budget is unlikely to bring peace of mind to Ireland’s worried consumers.
It is expected that USC cuts and tax band changes will add about €200 to annual household budgets in 2018, but eight out of 10 (83%) consumers say that this amount of money would have “little impact” or “no impact” on their spending power.
Half of the respondents (50%) say they would use their extra €200 to help cover their regular household expenses, such as utility bills.
Other findings further suggest that household bills are a cause of concern for many, with a large majority of billpayers (78%) reporting that they are either sometimes or always surprised by how expensive their bills are.
The 2018 Budget is likely to bring a marginal benefit to households, but it appears that many consumers will remain worried about their personal finances over the coming year.
Billpayers should aim to take full advantage of the savings opportunities available to avoid overpaying for their regular household expenses.
Simple actions like switching energy providers, cancelling bloated TV subscriptions and reviewing health insurance premiums can add up to hundreds of euro in savings over the course of a year - much more than is ever going to be handed out in a national budget
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