PayPal study reveals top lifestyle changes Irish people are making during cost-of-living crisis

Dublin, 25 October 2022 – PayPal’s new Thrills & Bills study1 reveals that nearly six in ten (59%) of Irish people are extremely worried about the cost-of-living crisis, rising to 65 per cent for those between 25 to 44 years of age.

PayPal polled 1,000 adults across Ireland to explore changes in spending habits that people are making in order to navigate the crisis, from adjusting their lifestyles to savvy money management.

Lifestyle changes that help save money

The research revealed that two thirds (66%) of Irish people are planning to cut back on going out and eating out, making this the top lifestyle change in response to the cost-of-living crisis. Female respondents were found to be more open to this (72%) than male respondents (49%).

Irish people are also trying to make more conscious choices when it comes to their shopping habits, with 63 per cent planning to buy fewer items and less often, and 62 per cent opting to switch to cheaper brands.

Furthermore, the study found that some 31 per cent say they will buy second-hand items and nearly four in ten (37%) plan to change utility providers for the best deals on energy (including electricity and gas).  

Switching to alternatives is also proving to be a popular trend in order to navigate inflation as a third (33%) plan to turn to online shopping for what they need to limit temptations instore, 32 per cent will host friends for drinks rather than going out, and 27 per cent intend to take up outdoor exercise rather than having a gym membership.

Importantly, savings were top of the list for what Irish people refuse to compromise on. Nearly half (44%) of consumers will continue to focus on building up their savings. Other priorities people are not prepared to eliminate are maintaining a healthy lifestyle such as a gym membership and healthy food options (24%), and buying coffee, drinks and snacks from cafés or coffee shops (23%).

Money well spent

Over three quarters of people (79%) agree that while changes to spending habits are necessary due to the cost-of-living crisis, it’s still important to occasionally spend money on a treat. Females agreed with this more than males – 83 per cent compared to 68 per cent.

While 72 per cent of Irish consumers have had to slow down or pause lots of plans which were making up for lost time during the pandemic, there are some niceties they will continue to spend on this year as a treat, such as:

  • Occasional meal at a restaurant (43%)
  • Food takeaways (42%)
  • Night outs with friends or family every now and again (37%)
  • Cinema trips (30%)
  • Beauty and grooming treatments (30%)

The survey reveals that nearly half (47%) of people are open to splitting costs with friends, family or housemates to enjoy more group experiences over the coming months. Those aged 16 to 24 are most likely to do this (58%), while those over 55 are least likely (17%).

Flexing money-management muscles

The report revealed that Irish people are doing more than simply cutting back and making thrifty swaps, with nearly six in ten (58%) planning to regularly track their spending and creating budgets to stick to (53%). In addition, almost two-thirds (65%) of people plan to look for discounts, coupons and promotions where relevant, and 39 per cent plan to track their spending habits via banks, credit card accounts and digital wallets like PayPal.

The survey found that nearly half (49%) of respondents are more likely to split the cost of a meal at a restaurant in response to the cost-of-living crisis. Some 44 per cent said they are more likely to split costs on taxis and transport fares, and 43 per cent are more inclined to do so on food takeaways. Nearly a third are even more likely to split the cost of a group drinks or dinner cooked at someone’s home (29%).

Speaking about the findings, Maeve Dorman, Senior Vice President, Customer Success at PayPal, shared: “The cost-of-living crisis is impacting everyone. Without a doubt, it’s a challenging time and people are adapting quickly and making changes. While some are taking more ownership of their spending, others are sharing expenses to enjoy shared experiences.

“Splitting bills appears to be the perfect antidote for a lot of people because it allows them to manage their budget and still do the things they love. Through PayPal, we make it easy with our send and request money feature. At times like these, it’s about people being able to have control of their money day-to-day and being better prepared for the future.”

About PayPal:
PayPal has remained at the forefront of the digital payment revolution for more than 20 years. By leveraging technology to make financial services and commerce more convenient, affordable, and secure, the PayPal platform is empowering consumers and merchants in more than 200 markets to join and thrive in the global economy. For more information, visit

Media contacts:
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1 About the study: PayPal's Thrills & Bills Study was conducted online by Censuswide, which surveyed 1,000 respondents across Ireland in September 2022. All statistics are taken from this source, unless otherwise stated. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

2 About this statistic: For the statistic relating to the male and female comparison, these percentages relate to those who answered extremely worried. For the statistic relating to the age group most concerned about the cost-of-living crisis, this percentage relates to the combined findings for the age groups 25-34 and 35-44 who answered extremely worried.

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