Saving more money is the number one priority for people in 2022, new survey finds

According to Barry Cahill of Taxback.com, while many households faced difficulties due to the "economic havoc" of Covid-19, the amount that people saved has boomed.
Saving more money is the number one priority for people in 2022, new survey finds

After another year of ups and downs with the pandemic in 2021, saving more money is the number one financial priority for many people coming into 2022.

According to new figures released by latest Taxback.com, which surveyed over 1,200 taxpayers, 44 per cent cited saving when asked for their number one financial goal for 2022.

Some 20 per cent of people surveyed said that budgeting properly was their focus while just 11 per cent said they plan to be more proactive in terms of looking for better deals on insurance and looking for tax back.

Speaking of the findings, Barry Cahill, business development director at Taxback.com said more saving could create some problems for the Government.

According to Mr Cahill, while many households faced difficulties due to the "economic havoc" of Covid-19, the amount that people saved has boomed.

"The Government and many economists were hoping that this trend would reverse, and that people would start spending some of this record level of savings," Mr Cahill said.

"Excessive saving over the long-term can work contrary to supporting economic growth and can even threaten it, so the Government might have to come up with some novel ways to entice people to keep their money in circulation rather than sitting in bank accounts – which at the moment are offering nothing by way of return."

According to Mr Cahill, other than a focus on saving, the feedback on peoples financial habits was quite mixed.

"While 7 in 10 (71 per cent) people said that they had made changes to their financial behaviours since the pandemic began – there was a split between those who are now better at money management and those who are worse," Mr Cahill explained.

"It’s a bit disheartening to learn that just 1 in 10 appear to want to be proactive when it comes to negotiating or sourcing better deals or claiming back money," he added.

"Unnecessarily overspending and not claiming what people are owed have always been something the Irish consumer has grappled with.

"Many people are simply unaware of the significant price differences on various products, or about tax relief or other benefits that they are entitled to avail of."

Mr Cahill explained that people can claim back money on things such as medical expenses, tuition fees for third-level colleges, nursing home fees, flat-rate expenses, year of marriage relief, and the home carer tax credit.

‘Your health is your wealth’

As well as a lack of people being proactive to claim back money, the survey also found that just 1 in 1o people are focused on earning more money as a result of the pandemic.

"This is an interesting result in that it is so low," Mr Cahill said.

"Perhaps, owing to the pandemic, more people are more focused on maintaining a better work-life balance than they were before – perhaps it’s increasingly a case of ‘your health is your wealth’.

"However, while money certainly isn’t everything, the cost of goods and services is increasing at an alarming rate as inflation bites, so more people should be looking at their take home pay," he added.

"If it hasn’t changed in a few years, then it’s likely that their standard of living is going backwards."

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