Irish consumers cutting spending as cost-of-living crisis bites

Consumers cutting back on grocery bills and eating out, PayPal survey finds

Eating out less often, cutting down on food shopping bills and buying cheaper brands are among the top changes being made by Irish people as the cost-of-living crisis continues, a new survey has found.

PayPal’s Thrills & Bills study found 60 per cent are worried about the cost-of-living crisis, with younger people even more likely to worry at 65 per cent.

Almost a third of people said they were planning to buy second-hand items, while 37 per cent said they would shop around with utility providers to get a better deal.

But despite rising prices, almost half of Irish consumers said they would continue to save, and almost half would be willing to split the costs with friends, family or housemates to enjoy more group experiences. Younger people in the 16 to 24 age group are most likely to do this, at 58 per cent, with those in the over-55 age group less likely to share expenses.


The digital payments company surveyed 1,000 people across Ireland in September on their spending habits and planned changes as a result of the rising cost of living.

A third said they would turn to online shopping in a bid to limit temptation, while 32 per cent said they would entertain at home rather than going out. The gym membership is also expendable for more than a quarter of people, with 27 per cent planning to take up outdoor exercise instead.

But the majority of people — almost 80 per cent — said it was still important to spend money on a treat, with women outnumbering men on that view at 83 per cent to 68 per cent. That includes occasional meals out, takeaways and cinema trips, with 30 per cent saying they would not give up beauty and grooming treatments.

The survey also revealed the money management tools that people are adopting, with 39 per cent planning to track their spending habits via banks, card accounts and digital wallets. More than 50 per cent said they would create budgets to stick to, and 65 per cent said they would seek out discounts, coupons and promotions.

“The cost-of-living crisis is impacting everyone. Without a doubt, it’s a challenging time and people are adapting quickly and making changes. While some are taking more ownership of their spending, others are sharing expenses to enjoy shared experiences,” said Maeve Dorman, senior vice-president of customer success at PayPal.

“Splitting bills appears to be the perfect antidote for a lot of people because it allows them to manage their budget and still do the things they love. At times like these, it’s about people being able to have control of their money day to day and being better prepared for the future.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist