Tuesday, 24th April 2018
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New research shows that it might not be such a happy New Year for Irish consumers when it comes to their finances in 2018. Many admit to feeling less than optimistic about the year ahead, with money concerns and financial woes weighing heavily on people's minds.

New research published 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% of Irish adults admit to worrying about their finances. One in five (18%) say they"re always worried, while a quarter (25%) say they often are - just 5% 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 the USC in Budget 2018, less than three in ten (28%) feel they"ll be better off than they were in 2017. In contrast, over a quarter (26%) believe they"ll be worse off, with almost half (46%) expecting their financial position to remain unchanged.

Sadly, only 29% of consumers are confident that in 2018 they will be able to meet all of their day-to-day expenses (such as rent or mortgage, energy costs, telecoms and groceries), as well as setting savings aside and being able to cover unexpected expenses. Others (27%) expect to be able to meet their day-to-day expenses but won"t be able to save, while a third (33%) say they"ll manage to meet their day-to-day expenses, but will struggle to do so.

Worryingly, one in ten (9%) say they"ll have to borrow money if unexpected expenses crop up in 2018. However, the fear is that the number resorting to credit could end up being even higher, with almost half (47%) admitting that saving anything at all after paying for essentials could be a problem, and a similar number (43%) worried they wouldn"t make ends meet if they were hit with an unexpected expense.

The concerns that consumers have about their financial situation in 2018 are varied - one-fifth (21%) are worried they won"t be able to afford essential bills like energy, broadband or groceries, and the same amount (20%) are concerned they could struggle to pay their rent or mortgage. Other fears include not being able to afford to go on holiday (23%), not getting a pay rise (20%), or losing their job (14%).

And many people feel that these financial worries could have an impact on their health, relationships and career. Over half (54%) say these fears impact on their mental health, with 45% concerned about the effect on their physical health. Over four in ten (43%) say their financial worries impact negatively on their relationships with their partner or family, while 38% say thinking about these things distracts them from their job or study. The same number (38%) say worrying keeps them awake at night.

Eoin Clarke, Managing Director of Switcher.ie , said: “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. Not only will addressing these issues save you money, reducing your stress about these things could also have a positive impact on your health, happiness and relationships in the year ahead.”

For more information, visit http://www.Switcher.ie

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