Two-thirds of survey respondents ‘struggle to pay bills’ with their income

Motor insurance is bill reported to put most people under financial pressure

According to the research, one in four consumers said they paid bills with their credit card. Photograph: iStock

According to the research, one in four consumers said they paid bills with their credit card. Photograph: iStock

 

Almost two-thirds of Irish people struggle to pay all their household bills with their regular income and use savings or borrowings to make ends meet, a new survey suggests.

The research from price comparison website switcher.ie finds that 38 per cent of consumers dipped into their savings to pay household bills on at least one occasion over the previous 12 months with one in four saying they paid bills with their credit card.

A further 21 per cent said they had to borrow money from either friends or family or a bank to cover everyday costs.

The reliance on savings, credit cards and other borrowings reflects the pressure households remain under when it comes to the cost of living. That pressure was underlined by the survey’s finding that almost 40 per cent of consumers are in debt with 14 per cent describing their financial position as a worry.

Wellbeing Financial pressure can have a knock-on effect when it comes to people’s mental and physical well

being. Additional research from switcher suggests 54 per cent of people say their financial worries have an impact on their mental health and 44 per cent say they have an impact on their physical wellbeing.

Motor insurance is the bill which appears to be putting most people under financial pressure with the cost of rent or mortgage payments, broadband, television and electricity also causing consumers strain, the survey indicates.

“With costly everyday expenses always knocking at the door, for many consumers it can be a constant battle to comfortably cover these household necessities with their regular income,” said the managing director of the price comparison website, Eoin Clarke. “Sadly, this research reveals that our efforts to scrape together cash are solving the immediate issue, but are also leaving no space for future savings,” he added.

He pointed out that relying on credit and borrowing money was “only a quick fix to a problem that can easily snowball out of control. It should be used only as a last resort, otherwise you run the risk of piling up your debts rather than paying them off.”

The research was carried out by iReach Insights, involving 1,001 online interviews with Irish adults with the total sample representative of the national population.