76% of Irish people do not feel "financially savvy"

Half report they earned less than their basic outgoings for at least one month in the past year...

Only one in four Irish people claim to be "financially savvy" according to a new report from KBC Bank Ireland.

Its research, examining how people perceive their own financial literacy - or their ability to manage their own personal finances - has found that 60% of Irish people describe their level of knowledge as 'average.'

40% of the general population are confident that they are putting enough money aside for retirement, while 37% feel 'neutral' about their plans, and 21% are not confident in their preparation for retirement.

KBC has found that financial literacy is not just determined by income and higher education, but rather by certain behaviours and attitudes towards money. However - one trend that was clear in the research is that young families were the group most likely to struggle to get by.

Almost half the population (47%) experienced months when their income did not cover their basic living costs at some point during the past 12 months - and young families were the group most likely to experience this problem.

KBC notes that this signals a "higher level of financial stress among this segment."

Here are the most popular approaches to dealing with 'difficult times':

  • 88% report that they cut back on day to day spending
  • A further 57% saved less
  • Almost half (47%) paid their bills late
  • 43% turned to friends or family for help
  • 40% could work overtime to earn more

The report adds that taking, "a loan from an unlicensed lender" is the last resort for Irish households.

Planning

KBC Bank Ireland’s Director of Customer, Brand and Marketing, Aidan Power commented: "Supporting financial literacy means helping customers have a greater awareness and understanding of managing their money so they can make informed decisions from a young age and well into their future.

People can take control of their finances by knowing their income, keeping track of their outgoings, saving for unexpected expenses, and remaining on top of rates paid on products like loans, credit cards and savings," he added.

The bank has partnered with BusinessEducation.ie to create five curriculum based case studies for second level students to help them to understand the challenges of managing personal finances and the benefits of tracking their spending.

KBC Ireland also notes that it has qualified financial advisors available to help customers who feel like they could do with some help.