New research has found that 65% of Irish consumers cannot afford to cover essential household bills with their regular income.
While almost four in 10 (38%) dipped into their savings to cover the costs last year.
The survey from Switcher.ie said people also turned to credit cards to pay for everyday bills - with 26% using plastic to cover the costs.
Just over 20% said they borrowed money from family/friends or the bank to cover the cost of bills.
Others said they used money given to them by family and friends (11%), while some (4%) have resorted to pawning or selling their belongings to make ends meet.
Switcher.ie said a reliance on accessing savings, using credit and borrowing money to cover essential utilities reflects "the pressure put on Irish households when it comes to keeping up with the expensive cost of living."
Motor insurance (44%) is still the number one cause of financial pressure - rent and mortgage payments, broadband/internet, paid TV services and electricity are also among utilities that put consumers under strain.
Over one-third (37%) of people said they were in some form of debt, with 14% admitting they were worried about their debts.
These pressures can also have a knock-on effect when it comes to mental and physical well-being.
Research from December last year revealed that 54% of people believed their financial worries have impacted on their mental health and 44% on their physical health.
Eoin Clarke is managing director of Switcher.ie: "With costly everyday expenses always knocking at the door, for many consumers it can be a constant battle to comfortably cover these household necessities with their regular income.
"Sadly this research reveals that our efforts to scrape together cash are solving the immediate issue, but are also leaving no space for future savings.
"Moreover, relying on credit and borrowing money is only a quick fix to a problem that can easily snowball out of control. It should only be used as a last resort, otherwise you run the risk of piling up your debts rather than paying them off."
He added: "However, there are ways to stay on top of our household finances by keeping a closer eye on our spending.
"Setting a weekly or monthly budget is a good place to start so that you can track your incomings and outgoings.
"This will help you work out how much you need to cover essentials each month and how much you'll have left over after paying off these bills."
"If you're still struggling after making a budget then there are ways you can save and put a bit of extra money back in your pocket to help ease the strain.
"Reviewing your monthly payments to make sure you're not forking out for services you don't use can also really help save you money."
This research was carried out by iReach Insights, involving 1,001 online interviews with a representative sample of the Irish population aged 18+years.