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New research from Switcher.ie has found that almost half of Irish consumers (47%) are concerned they won’t be able to save anything in 2018 after paying for essentials and 43% worry they wouldn’t make ends meet if unexpected expenses came up.

Ninety five percent 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.

The research finds that 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.

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.

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%).

Commenting on the research, Managing Director of Switcher.ie, Eoin Clarke 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.”

He added, “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.”