Thousands still paying for splashing out at Christmas
Thousands of cash-strapped householders have still to pay for their spending in the run-up to Christmas.
A third of consumers say they are still burdened by bills built up months ago during the festive period, according to a survey carried out by One4All vouchers.
The average Irish person spends an average of €1,000 on Christmas, one of the highest levels in the Western world, director of One4All Jock Jordan said.
And most people use their credit cards to pay for the spending splurge instead of saving.
The high spending on Christmas leaves many people struggling to pay off their credit card balance in full before being hit with high interest rates.
Mr Jordan said consumers should ask their employers to set up a savings club for money for Christmas. One4All, which is partly owned by An Post, has a scheme where employees can save through the payroll.
The findings that one in three are still paying for the Christmas splurge come as a separate survey found that one in four people say they are now saving regularly.
This is up from 35pc in February, according to the Nationwide UK (Ireland) savings index.
The rise in the numbers saving regularly is despite banks continuously cutting savings rates, and deposit interest retention tax (DIRT) of 41pc on any savings interest earned.
According to the latest index, a third of respondents believe now is a good time to save, the highest level recorded since May 2014. Managing director of Nationwide UK (Ireland) Brendan Synnott said: "This month the index has followed the underlying trend observed throughout 2014 with more people saving regularly."
But he said there was evidence of some discontent with the amount being saved, as people would like to be in a position to put aside more money.
Meanwhile, another survey shows that large numbers of householders are planning home improvements in the next year to 18 months.
Many of these people are planning improvements to their homes instead of moving house, the research conducted on behalf of KBC Bank shows, with the majority planning to spend up to €5,000. The bank, which has launched a home improvement loan, said the research found consumers were house proud and prepared to shop around when having work done.