Survey Reveals Two-Thirds Of Respondents Expect Grim Times To Worsen

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Cost Of Living Crisis via Canva

More than 6 in 10 people believe their financial situation will get worse in the next 12 months.

That’s among the findings of a CSO survey, which also noticed more than 40% of renters are thinking of leaving the country.

Over 9 in 10 have made cutbacks in the past year to deal with the cost of living – with more than half of parents cutting back on food.

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Around 63% of respondents believe their financial situation has worsened since last year, while a further 64% believe their situation will get worse over the next 12 months.

Utilities, healthcare, and having no savings/pension are the three biggest financial worries.

96% respondents are concerned about the current cost of living, with 56% being very concerned.

Some 35% of people said they are just getting by financially while 19% said they are short money every month to cover their expenses.

Around 80% of people said they have experienced a decrease in disposable income in the last 12 months.

Almost every respondent (96%) said they had made cutbacks, with 62% cutting back on utilities (electricity, heating, etc.), 51% buying less fuel, and 49% not buying as much food.

The biggest cutbacks to non-essential costs were socialising (72%) and takeaways (62%).

Commenting on the results of this publication, Aoife O’Neill, Statistician in the Social Data Collection division, said: “More than half or 56% of respondents to the ‘Our Lives Our Money’ CSO Pulse Survey said they are very concerned with the current cost of living. When asked what they are most worried about, 76% said utility costs are of greatest concern. Other areas of concern respondents highlighted from a maximum choice of three include healthcare (30%), no savings or pension (31%), credit card loan (19%), and mortgage/rent (24%).

Financial Situation

When it comes to people’s financial situation, 63% of respondents believe they are in a worse financial situation now than they were a year ago, and a similar percentage, 64% believe their situation will get worse in the next 12 months.

More than 35% of people said they are just getting by financially while 19% said they are short of money every month to cover their expenses. Some 80% of people said they have experienced a decrease in disposable income in the last 12 months.

Of those who are in full-time employment, men (30%) were more likely to ask for a pay rise than women (20%) as a way to counteract the cost of living increases. More than 40% of part-time employees said they went to work unwell to avoid any potential loss in wages.

Cutbacks

When asked if they had cut back on any essential cost in the last 12 months, 62% of people said they had reduced spending on utilities (electricity, heating), while 51% said they were not buying as much fuel. Around 54% of households with children reported making cutbacks on food.

When asked about non-essential costs and cutbacks, 53% of all respondents had reduced their trips to the cinema, theatre, or concerts, and 58% had reduced their expenditure on clothes, hairdressing, and beauty.

Around four in ten (41%) reduced their spend on media subscriptions on the likes of Spotify, Netflix, and newspapers, with nearly a quarter (24%) no longer spending as much on club subscriptions such as gyms and social clubs.

Age Differences

Different age groups had different concerns: 45% of those aged over 70 said healthcare was their biggest concern, whereas those aged 60 to 69 were most likely to cut back on fuel (60%). Younger adults were concerned they couldn’t afford to start a family, with nearly three in ten (29%) of 18-29 year olds selected this option. More than 57% of respondents aged 18 to 29 said they would consider emigrating to lower their cost of living. Those considering emigrating to lower their cost of living was similarly high among renters (43%).

Inflation

Results suggest respondents are conscious of the current rate of inflation at 9.2%, with 72% estimating the rate of inflation to be between 7% and 11%. Almost all (97%) of respondents had seen an increase in their weekly food shop, with a median or mid-point increase of €30 being reported by people. The median increase for respondents with children in their household was €40 for their weekly food shop.”