As Ireland enters week six of the covid-19 lockdown in Ireland, new consumer research2 from N26, the European mobile bank, reveals the impact the virus is having not only on Irish health and day-to-day lives but also on finances.
The survey, which asked 10,000 adults across Europe and the US to share how their financial lives are being impacted by the pandemic, reveals money worries are now the second biggest worry after health for people across globe.
These money concerns have led 77% of Irish people surveyed, equivalent to 1.5 million Irish adults, to say they have changed their financial priorities as a result.
Fears over the economy were cited as the biggest concern weighing on the minds of Irish people, with over a third (35%) worried about increases in the cost of living, with a significant difference between men and women – 34% men and 43% women. Thirty nine percent of those surveyed were found to be anxious about their job security, highest amongst those aged between 25 –34.
With this financial uncertainty, (73%) of Irish people surveyed said they were now saving more money than before the crisis – with the majority putting aside on average 164 euros extra a month.
The survey also shows emerging changes in consumer spending habits. Eighty two percent of Irish people admitted they had also changed the types of items they buy each month. While grocery shopping remained the biggest spend before and during the pandemic, meals out, takeaways and fashion, previously second, third and fourth, had been replaced with subscription services, whilst takeaways still remain a top choice for consumer spending in Ireland.
It’s also not only what people are spending their money on that’s changed but the way they spend their money. Fifty four percent of Irish people said they were “definitely opting” for contactless payments and moving away from using cash due to health concerns.
Commenting on the research, General Manager of Greater Europe at N26, Sarunas Legackas said, "While some of these financial changes and trends may only last the length of this pandemic period, many will stay. People are starting to experience first-hand the benefits of digital banking from an app or desktop at home. Having their money at their fingertips as well as some of the cool and innovative features to budget, save and transfer funds."