A new survey indicates that about one million adults in Ireland are struggling financially.
The survey for Aviva Insurance found that 70% of these see no prospect of their finances improving.
Those between the ages of 35 and 54 are finding it most difficult to cope, with a third paying creche fees, half paying a mortgage and two thirds having other debts.
Those under the age of 34 were the most positive in outlook with 44% expecting their income and employment prospects to improve.
Those over 65 also had a positive outlook and is by far the most fortunate financially, with 44% saying they are living comfortably.
The report indicates that, overall, just under a million people say they are living comfortably, while 1.5 million say they are optimistic about their future.
Aviva's Ann O’Keeffe said: “Our findings tell a tale of two recoveries - those who are feeling the upswing in their own finances and those who continue to struggle.
"Worryingly, 70% of the 1 million who are struggling see no prospect of improvement in their circumstances. On the upside, 1.5 million are optimistic about their future.”