A new survey, which found more than seven in 10 young people are considering moving abroad, has been described as "shocking".
The research was carried out by RED C on behalf of the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI).
Over 70% of people aged 18-24 say they're are considering moving abroad for a better quality of life.
While eight in 10 said that they are fearful for the future, and one in two reported worse mental health in the context of the rising cost of living.
Almost one in two said they are struggling to make ends meet - and more than one in four said their experience with housing in the past six months is worse.
Paul Gordon is director of policy and advocacy at the NYCI. He told Breakfast Briefing the cost of living is having a big effect.
"It's really having a significant impact on young people aged 18 to 24, many are struggling to make ends meet.
"And a very large number of young people... are considering leaving Ireland for a better quality of life elsewhere.
"The findings are quite shocking in that respect, and three in four young people believe that they would have a better quality of life outside of Ireland.
"They send a strong message that there is real fear from young people about what the future holds for them".
However, unlike in the past, the issue is no longer about employment.
He said many younger people are struggling to save, facing high accomodation costs and some are not socialising with friends due to the need to ration their money.
"I think it's probably right to ask why people are looking at leaving, or leaving, when youth unemployment is actually at an all-time low.
"On the surface, the cost of living is certainly a very big factor... however I think we have to look beyond this.
"And the underlying challenges that young people face are very significant".
He said they are more likely to be on temporary work contracts, and six in 10 are on low wages.
"We have more than 10,000 young people under-20 earning less than the minimum wage.
"For the first time, workers born in the '90s - by the time they reach 26 - are actually earning less than those born in the '70s or '80s", he added.
The group is calling for an emphasis in the upcoming budget to help younger people.
This could include reducing registration fees in college, and raising the national minimum wage for those under-20 in line with those over-20.