In recent months, the cost of living has been a popular topic of conversation due to inflation and the rising costs of gas.
Although the cost of living in Ireland is quite high, it is still not the most expensive European country to live in.
Factors such as location determine what the cost of living will be like. Similar to other countries, there are more and less expensive places to live in. The more expensive places tend to be popular cities while the less expensive would be the countryside.
If you’re an expat looking for your next relocation or a local looking for some information about the current cost of living situation in Ireland, this post has all the essential information you need to make an informed decision.
What is the Cost of Living in Ireland?
Ireland was always seen as attractive to outsiders due to its standard of living but over the last few years, the cost of living has increased making it an expensive country to live in. The cost of living in Dublin is so high that it can be compared to that of London or New York.
Whether you’re looking to rent or buy, the costs of houses and apartments in Ireland are one of the highest in Europe.
The average price of a three-bedroom semi-detached house is between €120,000 to €200,000 in the countryside but this can be up to €270,000 in bigger towns and cities (excluding Dublin). As for the capital, the median asking price in Dublin is €403,000
In terms of prices of average rent in Ireland, there was a 9.2% yearly increase for new tenancies
in Q1 2022. A typical two-bedroom apartment averages €2,078 per month for new tenancies in Dublin and €1,105 for outside the Greater Dublin Area.
Due to high rental prices, international students often end up sharing rooms with multiple people.
When compared to other European cities, the transport system in Ireland is less efficient but public transport fares are more expensive.
For example, a monthly ticket for a Dublin City bus or the DART/commuter train costs €115. A full package is €155 and includes the use of the city bus, DART, and Luas.
Meanwhile, in Cork monthly rail passes start at €71 and can go up to €130, depending on your travel route. Bus Eireann monthly tickets are €68 for city travel and €148 for outside the city.
There has been a sharp rise in the price of food, gas, and electricity all over the world and Ireland is no exception. Recently, the price of diesel skyrocketed to more than €2 at its highest peak but this has since come down.
The price of electricity and gas has also risen substantially, with electricity bills up 43% and gas bills up 42% in the year to August.
Why is the Cost of Living High in Ireland?
So far, we’ve learned that the cost of living in Ireland is expensive when it comes to housing, transport, and electricity, but have you ever thought about why this is the case?
While the pandemic and ongoing conflict in Ukraine have had a severe impact on price levels, the country’s rate of VAT has always been high.
The standard rate of VAT currently stands at 23% which is the 7th highest in Europe. This means that almost one-quarter of the price you pay for goods such as clothes or electronics goes directly to the Irish government.
Considering we’re an island with very little natural resources, this makes sense as most items we consume have to be imported from other countries. This means there’s an added cost for transportation.
Other reasons for high costs include consumer inertia and lack of government subsidies.
How to Save Money in Ireland
With the ever-rising cost of living, Irish consumers have been looking for ways to cut down on spending and save more money
. If you're finding it difficult to make your money last until the end of the month, here are our top money saving tips.
1.Set Up a Savings Account
To help you set aside money each month, it’s worth creating a savings account that is separate from your current bank account. You can also set up a direct debit from one account to the other so that the money automatically transfers over, and you don’t risk spending it.
There are many savings accounts to choose from with some offering better interest rates than others so it’s worth doing research before settling on one.
2.Switch Energy Providers
Shop around and compare energy providers before making a final decision. If you’re looking to switch to Energia
, the process is very simple and straightforward. You can switch online or over the phone and benefit from cash-back which will be applied to your first or second bill as credit. All you need to switch is your:
- Full name
- Phone number
- Meter reading
- MPRN and GPRN numbers
- Bank account details
3.Improve Energy Consumption
If you’re a business, consider switching to LED bulbs
to save money on electricity. LED lights have a longer lifespan and can last up to 50,000 hours meaning less money is spent on replacements. They’re also more energy efficient as less energy is needed to light the bulb.
If you’re a household, Energia’s Cosy Homes Scheme
can help you reduce your home energy usage. This scheme offers SEAI grants for households seeking deep retrofits.
4.Consider Alternative Transportation
If you’re living in the countryside, why not take the Local Link to nearby towns instead of driving. This service connects people in rural communities who want to travel to local towns and villages at an affordable price.
If you’re located in the city, consider cycling or walking to work instead of driving or using public transportation.
If there’s no alternative to driving, then ensure your vehicle is serviced regularly to ensure fuel economy.
5.Keep up to Date with the Cost of Living Package in Ireland
The Irish government has introduced some new measures to help citizens with the rising cost of living. At the start of 2022, a €200 energy rebate was announced for customers nationwide which was applied to electricity accounts. There’s also:
- A 20% reduction in public transport fares.
- €125 extra will be paid to households receiving the fuel allowance.
- The amount paid out for medicines for those on the Drugs Payments Scheme has fallen from €100 to €80.
- The maximum annual charge for those using school transport for primary school has reduced to €150 per family while it’s capped at €500 per family for secondary school.
- The Working Family Payment was brought forward and the weekly income threshold increased by €10.
Rental prices have increased across the country
6.Consider living outside of the larger cities
, but the biggest increases were seen in major cities like Dublin, Limerick and Cork. Renting outside these areas is a cheaper alternative and with many companies offering remote working facilities, it has become a more practical option.
Working from home can have a range of benefits, from cutting down on transport costs to having the ability to rent in a cheaper area. It can pay to consider moving out of a larger city if it is possible for you to commute to work a few days a week.
Another cost of living package is to be announced in September of this year to further help households financially in 2023.
If you’re interested to know more about the current energy market in Ireland or looking to switch energy providers, contact us
here at Energia to find out more.