Almost half of Irish consumers worry that they won’t be able to save in 2019
The financial worries of 2018 look set to follow Irish households into 2019...
New research from Switcher.ie today has revealed the financial situation of the nation - with a shocking 95% of people admitting they worry about money. Not only that, but half of the population (48%) say they are concerned heading into 2019 about not being able to save next year after they pay for expensive essential bills.
Although the Christmas Bonus was raised to 100% for the first time in a decade 2018 - putting extra Euros into pockets of cash-strapped households - 42% are worried they won’t be able to make ends meet if any unexpected expenses arise over the next 12 months.
And these woes don’t to look set to ease anytime soon with just over four in ten (41%) saying they will be in the same position financially in 2019 as they were in 2018 and a quarter (25%) are less than optimistic, believing they will actually be worse off in 2019.
Financial woes affecting people’s health as well as pockets
Money misery understandably has an impact on people’s lives in more ways than one. The research shows that over half of people believe their financial worries have an impact on their mental health and 44% say it has an effect on their physical health. Personal relationships can also come under pressure with 41% saying their financial woes have an impact on their relationships with their partner and family. When it comes to relationships outside of the home, 44% agree that worrying about money impacts on their relationships with friends as they can’t afford to go out.
The study also reveals that four in ten (38%) agree that thinking about their finances distracts them from work and study and 39% say it keeps them awake at night.
How can you ease the strain in 2019
If you, like many others in Ireland, are unsettled at the thought of your financial situation for the coming year there are things you can do to ease the pressure.
Some quick and easy tips for saving in 2019:
Draw up a monthly budget, including all your income and expenses, and try your best to stick to it. It’s also useful to log your spending as well so you can track any ad hoc expenses. If you can manage to put some money into savings each month, even better.
See if you can get a discount by switching from monthly to annual payments. The chances are you’re paying extra for the convenience of paying things like gym membership or insurance on a monthly basis, so although paying upfront will be a larger outlay of cash in one go, it will save you in the long run.
Implement some energy-saving measures around the home. Simple changes, like turning down the heating by just one degree can knock up to 10% off heating bills, while turning appliances off, rather than leaving them on standby, will reduce the appliance energy use by around 20%.
Switch to LED lightbulbs. One of the easiest things you can do to save energy in your home is to replace your standard bulbs with energy efficient ones. LED bulbs could see an energy saving of around 80%.
Ensure you’re not paying more than you need to for your household essentials. If you haven’t switched your energy, broadband or phone plan in some time, make it one of your new year’s resolutions to take half an hour to do this. It’s quick and easy and could save you some much-needed cash. Currently just by switching your energy alone you could save up to €258.
Commenting on the research findings Eoin Clarke, Managing Director of Switcher.ie, said: “The start of the New Year is usually a time of optimism. Sadly, as our research shows, this good cheer stretches thin once people start to think about their finances. While there has been a small uptick in those who expect to manage their day-to-day expenses and still put money aside for unexpected bills and savings, still only four in ten (38%) expect to be in this position in 2019.”
He urged consumers to take control of their finances now, starting with a few simple steps, to put themselves on the road towards a less worrisome and more prosperous 2019.