Ireland

People factoring cost of living into New Year resolutions, research finds

A survey by PTSB found that better organising personal finances was a priority for many respondents in 2024.

The findings are part of a PTSB survey of consumer attitudes
Euro notes The findings are part of a PTSB survey of consumer attitudes (Niall Carson/PA)

Sorting out personal finances and cutting back on spending are among the public’s main New Year resolutions, according to research.

More than 80% of people already have a resolution in mind, with commitments on losing weight, getting fit or improving diet featuring prominently (26%) along with spending more time with family and friends or taking better care of mental health.

The results of a survey of approximately 1,000 people are included in PTSB’s quarterly Reflecting Ireland research.

Amid prolonged cost-of-living increases, resolutions on financial management were also prioritised for 2024.

Claire Cogan, behavioural scientist at BehaviourWise, said the end of the year is traditionally a time of reflection.

“It’s interesting that sorting out our finances is the most popular New Year resolution this year, ahead of getting fit and losing weight which were number one last year.

“The challenge of coping with the rising cost of living hasn’t gone away, but it’s clear that people are determined to rise to the challenge.”

According to the bank’s research on consumer attitudes and behaviour, there is widespread support for kicking bad habits and self-improvement.

An improved diet featured alongside concerns on cutting back on spending among people’s resolutions
Food bills An improved diet featured alongside concerns on cutting back on spending among people’s resolutions (Julien Behal/PA)

Some 64% of respondents wanted to improve exercise, 62% said they planned to have a bigger focus on eating well while 60% want to get the right amount of sleep.

Two-thirds said they hoped to cut back on certain habits, including consuming sweets and soft drinks, and indulging in cigarettes and alcohol.

More than 50% of respondents said they wanted to spend time outdoors while 35% wanted to increase socialising.

The research also shows that celebrating with family and friends is what will motivate most people in 2024, especially for the over-35s.

This is followed by seeking opportunities to travel (22%) and career progression (16%).

Leontia Fannin, head of corporate affairs and communications at PTSB, said the research shows many people are entering 2024 in a “spirit of self-improvement”.

“There is widespread support for taking on tough challenges – particularly on the financial and health and wellbeing front.

“It’s encouraging to see the numbers of people planning healthy initiatives has increased on last year.

“That can only be a good thing and we want to wish everyone success with their New Year’s resolutions.”