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2 million have less than €100 left after bills paid

ALMOST two million Irish adults have less than €100 left at the end of the month once their bills are paid, a new survey has revealed.

According to the Irish League of Credit Unions' (ILCU) 2013 "What's left" tracker, an average of 1.7 million adults had only €100 or less to spare during the last quarter of 2013 once their mortgage or rent, food, clothes and other essentials were paid.

But the good news is that the number of people with €100 or less at the end of the month in December decreased by 131,000 from the end of September.

However, the survey of 1,000 respondents in December found that there were still more than a million adults in Ireland who had less than €50 once essential bills were paid, though the number of nearly-broke is down from the 1.2 million recorded last September.

While the figures are encouraging, there were still 480,000 people with nothing left at the end of the month, though that number was down as well from 518,000 in September.

While the figures do not warrant cause for celebration just yet, they are nevertheless encouraging, said the ILCU's chief executive Kieron Brennan.


"The gradual signs of recovery are prevalent again in this round of the research," he said.

A roof over one's head is the single biggest bill for all adults, with half of the population paying average mortgages of €806 a month, followed by 29pc of the population paying an average rent of €525, up from €458 in September.

The remaining 21pc of the population own their own home outright or are living in social housing.

Food was the second-most expensive bill, with the average household spending €355 on groceries in December, up slightly from €338 in September.

Childcare costs were the third highest outlay, with families forking out an average of €349 a month.

The combined cost of after-school activities, school-related costs and children's weekly pocket money cost the average family an additional €178 every month.

When children are away at college, the cost doesn't end there, with families spending an additional €288 a month on third-level fees.

The cost of borrowing money, pensions and insurance was the fourth biggest monthly expenditure.

The average household spent €282 on credit card payments, followed by €238 repaying personal loans, €168 on private health insurance and €163 a month on pensions.

The cost of getting around was the next highest cost, with households spending an average of €262 a month on petrol, car tax and public transport.