One in four expects to be worse off in 2019 amid dire outlook
Huge numbers of consumers are worried about their finances, with many expecting to be worse off in the new year.
A shock new survey has found that 95pc of consumers fret about their finances.
Almost half of those surveyed worry that they will not be able to save in 2019 after paying for essentials.
A large number are concerned they will not be able to make ends meet if they are hit with an unexpected expense, according to the survey by iReach carried out for price comparison site Switcher.ie.
A quarter of respondents expect to be financially worse off in the coming year than they were this year.
People fear job losses, many do not expect a pay rise and a proportion are concerned they will not be able to afford a holiday.
The dire financial outlook is despite almost half of the 1,000 respondents saying they shop around for cheaper utilities, or have switched to a cheaper supermarket as a way to control costs.
One in five say they have had to borrow money from a bank or friends and family in the past to cover expenses, while 17pc have resorted to selling their belongings.
However, a third of people are confident they will be better off in the next 12 months.
Almost four out of 10 expect to be able to cover their day-to-day expenses, such as mortgages, household bills and groceries, as well as putting aside money for any unexpected costs and for savings.
This is an increase on how people felt coming into 2018, according to the Switcher.ie survey. This is despite the possibility of a no-deal Brexit outcome for the deadline of March next year, which is estimated could cost the average Irish household between €900 and €1,400 a year.
The uncertainty that comes with managing household and personal finances is also having an effect on people's health.
The research shows more than half of people believe their financial worries have an impact on their mental health.
Some 44pc say their financial constraints are affecting their physical health, and 41pc their relationships with their partner and family.
Almost four in 10 agree that thinking about their finances distracts them from work and study, while many people are kept awake at night worrying about money.
Managing director of Switcher.ie Eoin Clarke said: "The start of the new year is usually a time of optimism.
"Sadly, as our research shows, this good cheer stretches thin once people start to think about their finances."
He said there had been a small uptick in those who expect to manage their day-to-day expenses and still put money aside for unexpected bills and savings, but only four in 10 expect to be in this position in 2019.