Just over half (54 per cent) of households with children reported cutting back on food to save money over the past year.
The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) revealed 96 per cent of respondents said they are concerned about the cost of living, with 94 per cent adding they have made spending cuts in the past 12 months.
Almost two thirds of households (62 per cent) said they cut their spending on utilities, while 58 per cent of people over 70 said they reduced their socialising in order to manage expenses.
Overall, 80 per cent of respondents in the October-November Pulse Survey said they have seen a decrease in disposable income over the last year, and 64 per cent believe their financial situation will worsen over the next 12 months.
While 29 per cent feel the situation will remain the same over that period, only 7 per cent believe their finances will improve by this time next year.
Approximately 35 per cent said they are ‘just getting by’ financially, while 19 per cent said they are short money every month to meet expenses, with utilities, healthcare and having no savings/pension being the biggest financial worries of those surveyed.
Renters around the country appear to be feeling a considerable pinch, with 43 per cent of the cohort reporting they are considering emigrating to a country with a lower cost of living.
However, rising outgoings are impacting all age cohorts, with healthcare costs found to be the biggest concern among over 70s, while people aged 60-69 were found to be most likely to cut back on fuel to save money.
Nearly three in 10 of those aged 18-29 said they were concerned they could not afford to start a family, and thoughts of emigration were even higher than seen in other groups, with 57 per cent contemplating a move abroad.