5,000 opt for NCA tool to manage household budgets

2 Apr 2010

Within just 24 hours of the tool being unveiled, some 5,000 people have accessed the National Consumer Agency’s ‘Economiser’ tool that allows people to better manage their household budgets, Siliconrepublic.com has learned.

Called the Economiser, the tool allows consumers to compare their own spending with other consumers who match a similar profile.

It focuses on four areas of spending – groceries, energy, TV + telecoms and energy – which account for almost a third of the average weekly household budget.

A typical consumer simply completes a series of questions in the tool, based on his or her demographics and spending patterns, and is then provided with a tailored analysis along with tips and advice on how to make savings.

According to AMAS, which consulted on the creation of the tool, for one family who used the tool acting on the advice resulted in reducing their household spending on the four areas by €86, to €845 a month, a saving of more than 9pc. This represents a saving of more than €1,000 per annum.

The data behind the tool is sourced from a large-scale study commissioned by the NCA, which involved interviews with almost 2,000 people nationwide about their spending habits.

This produces a series of what are called “profile averages” – the most comparable averages drawn from the data based on the information a user inputs into the tool.

This is the first time that an online educational tool of this type has been launched in Ireland.

By John Kennedy

Photo: The National Consumer Agency’s ‘Economiser’ tool can help households save money

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years