One in three people in Ireland say they are just about getting by financially, a new report conducted on behalf of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) suggests.
More than 1,500 people were surveyed for the study, which is the first in a series of reports on financial wellbeing in Ireland.
The study and survey, which was conducted by Indecon Consultants and Ipsos MRBI on behalf of the CCPC, found that one in eight people say they would be in a position to cover their living costs for just one month in the event of an income shock.
Lone parents and those living in shared accommodation were most likely to be in this cohort.
The study comes against the backdrop of the cost of living squeeze, as consumers have been forced to contend with higher costs and interest rate increases arising from an inflationary environment, the likes of which has not been experienced in decades.
While 58% said they were ‘satisfied’ with their current financial situation, one in seven said they believed they were in too much debt.
On the savings side, 86% of households said they put money aside, mostly in savings and deposit accounts.
Men were more likely to engage in more risky forms of saving, such as cryptocurrency or stocks and shares, the study concluded.
77% of participants said they had access to the State pension with a similar percentage saying that they planned to use a private or occupational pension to fund their retirement.
While the study captured a good understanding of broad financial concepts, key gaps remain in areas such as contracts and the impact of risk.
Around a quarter of respondents said they did not shop around before purchasing a financial product and one in three said they had been the victim of some kind of financial fraud or had queried a financial transaction that they did not recognise.
“This first report in our Financial Wellbeing series has some very positive findings. It shows a population making sound financial decisions, saving, budgeting, and drawing on information from a range of sources before choosing a mortgage or loan,” Kevin O’Brien, Member of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, said.
“There are also areas of deep concern. One in three people feel they are only just getting by financially. One in seven feel they have too much debt. There are significant differences between age groups, with those over 60 showing greater financial resilience than those under 30, while lone parents and people with lower levels of formal education have the lowest levels of financial wellbeing in Ireland,” he added.