Rise in Cost of Living Increases Financial Concerns as More People Look to Make Smarter Investment Choices

  • 91% concerned about rising living costs eroding the value of their savings
  • 77% of people more interested in their finances since the start of Covid
  • More people considering investment options to grow their savings
  • Women less confident about investing; younger cohort positive towards investing

A recent Bank of Ireland survey has revealed that 77% of people are more interested in their finances since the onset of the pandemic, with women (80%) scoring higher in this area than men (73%) for the first time. However people’s financial concerns continue to be a pressing issue, with 91% of respondents worried about their financial health due to the rising cost of living and inflationary pressures eroding the value of their savings. The survey also revealed that concern levels are higher amongst women (63%) than men (50%).

82% of people said they had savings put aside, but only 16% of those had an investment account with the potential to grow their money in the current low interest rate environment. 57% of people held their money in a savings account, 47% in a current account and 12% in cash, but all these options are earning no interest and are losing value with the rising cost of living.

18% of those surveyed had no savings at all, while 78% of people claimed to be concerned about earning little or no interest on their savings. Bank of Ireland is now launching the ‘Invested Webinar Series,’ designed to help people learn more about investing and show them how to achieve growth on the portion of their savings they can afford to put away for the longer term.

The recent survey indicates people want to make their money ‘work harder’, with tried and tested savings methods proving ineffective as the cost of living rises ever higher and interest rates remain low. A fear of losing money (66%) is still the biggest investment barrier, with other obstacles including;

  • Lack of investment knowledge (38%)
  • Feelings of not having enough money to invest (38%)
  • Afraid of having money tied up for a long time (35%)
  • Not knowing where to get investment advice (19%)

The latest research shows a spike this year (47% up from 42% in 2021) amongst people who are keen on investing their savings. Men (56%) are more comfortable than women (37%) in the investment area, with people in the 30 – 39 year old age cohort (58%) more eager to invest than any other age group. The vast majority of those already comfortable with investing (81%), say they’re planning to invest more of their savings.

Commenting on the survey, Bernard Walsh, Head of Pensions & Investments at Bank of Ireland said: “The survey results show us that when it comes to investing, knowledge is power, and confidence is key. People are acutely aware of the need to make smarter decisions with their money in a low interest rate environment, and an overall rise (29% up from 18%) in people confirming their intention to invest underlines this. One of the consequences of Covid-enforced lockdowns is that many people now have more money saved, so looking to grow that money makes sense.

People are more likely to invest if they are confident of a better return over time, which is why choosing a suitable investment product is so important. There are flexible investment options out there offering lower risk, but people also need to fully understand that investments are for the long haul. The past couple of years have shown us to expect the unexpected, and with the cost of living now at levels not seen for many years making the correct investment choice to create a financial safety net can pay dividends in the future.”

– The first webinar begins on 27 April at 10am and for more information on the Invested webinar series and to register please see – bankofireland.com/invested

*Bank of Ireland conducted this nationally representative Investment study with Behaviours & Attitudes amongst 1,000 adults (30 – 65yrs) in Ireland as part of nationwide Omnibus research across consumer and business groups (February 3 – 15 2022). Behaviours & Attitudes polling delivers a high level statistical accuracy, providing a sample size of over 1,000 interviews, achieving a confidence level of + or – 2.5% at a 95% confidence interval.