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urbanlife wave 8/9 highlights Have your say

With the credit crunch already upon us and rumours of a recession confirmed we wanted to know how Urbanites are reacting to the recession. •

69% of Urbanites said they are scrutinising their own/family’s financial out-goings. 59% of Urbanites say they have significantly cut-back on their personal expenses.

Half of you say the credit crunch has had a significant impact on your/family’s general lifestyle.

Over half (56%) of you believe the media has exaggerated the actual impact of the credit crunch.

We received a mixed bag of individuals who you believed stood out above all others in 2008 and who you feel could be termed the icon of 2008. The most popular suggestions included: Barrack Obama • Britney Spears • Michael Phelps • Leona Lewis • Padraig Harrington • Bill Cullen • Cheryl Cole • Kenny Egan • Brian Cowen • Heath Ledger • Ronnie Drew • Roy Keane • Dustin the turkey • Mary Robinson • Rafa Nadal • Baby P • The Script • Usain Bolt • Lewis Hamilton •

We also wanted to find out if over the last 12 months, there has been anyone who has burst onto the political / sports / music scene, or into the public eye in general, who you believe will still be around in 10 years time? The most popular responses included: Rhianna • The Script • Cheryl Cole • Barrack Obama • Leona Lewis • The Dirty Epics • Katy Perry • Diana Vickers • Dublin Gospel Choir • Brian Cowen • Britney Spears • Alexandra Burke • Lewis Hamilton • Katie Taylor • Nikolas Sarkozy • Roy Keane

urban rant The rant for the December survey was based on the theme of shopping for Christmas presents. Metro wanted to know if the recession was going to affect the amount of money you spend on Christmas presents this year?

Here is a selection of how you are all feeling… Christmas • We know next year will be a tough one but going to spend the same on Christmas kriskindle in work but small family so will each get each other good gifts. • Taking part in Kris Kindle at work. Won't be going to Xmas party - too expensive. Will try to make presents for people as well as purchasing small gifts. Everything is still way overpriced. • My husband very fortunately got a (small!) christmas bonus, so Christmas will be better than it would have been, but we have definitely cut back. Last year I got my husband a second Playstation 2 (for the tv upstairs) and an X-box 360 with several games. This year, he will be getting a few books, dvd's and some clothes. We are spending approximately ¤700 - ¤1000 less on Christmas this year than we did last year! • I think it is rubbish that some people wont be celebrating Christmas this year-they have completely forgotten that Christmas isnt about spending all kinds of money. Christmas is about family, so even if you aren't putting up a tree or buying gifts, for the love of Santa, you can still go out to dinner as a family, or with friends, open a bottle of wine with your lover, or make plans for everyone to meet up and watch a film together! Yeesh! Its a recession, not the end of the world! • I have more money than last year due to saving and due to sales prices on the high street are dropping so i will spend roughly the same or slightly more than last year. I still have the same number of people to buy for and i still like them as much so i will buy what i feel they will appreciate.

For more complete highlights & information please contact: Cáitríona Byrne, Research Manager. Direct Telephone: (01) 6375968 Email:

urbanlife wave 8/9 highlights Best / Worst

We also wanted to find out about Urbanite’s own area (or the area closest to where they live), what has been the best and worst thing to happen to it in 2008? BEST • ‘Opening of lighthouse cinema in Smithfield. Class’ • ‘Dundrum shopping centre opening new stores’ • ‘M50 - raising the toll barriers and adding extra lanes as well as improving Lucan and Red Cow junctions - about time’ • ‘New wine bar and restaurant openings in Malahide providing a lot more choice’ • ‘The best thing that has happened to Tallaght in 2008 is the new library and resources it has gained e.g new gym swimming pool, arts centre and starbucks lol!’ • ‘New Bridge over N7 from Monastery Road to the Luas P&R!!’ • ‘Road works - there were a ton of potholes and uneven surfaces and its great that they have finally fixed it.’ • ‘We've received some attention from our Local TDs on issues that we've highlighted to do with living in apartments for which there is no legislation. It's really positive that they are showing signs of wanting to help sort out our issues.’ • ‘House prices have gone down!!!’ • ‘The recession, it has stopped the flood of development which has destroyed large parts of my area. If we need to build, build up and make our cities into cities and stop the urban sprawl that is destroying the countryside.’

WORST • ‘Being harassed and attacked by teenagers on bus 77 in Tallaght area. They pulled my hair and sprayed the deodorant in my face. The oldest was about 14 years old!’ • ‘The level of crime in Dublin - the shooting of Aidan O'Kane in East Wall by a teenager shocked and horrified me.’ • ‘Car parking charges at the train station’ • ‘Recession - lots of my friends have been made redundant and I think that Christmas this year is going to be very subdued’ • ‘Introducing pay-parking on my street.’ • ‘New closing hours for off-licences’ • ‘Scum bags hanging around the Luas stops and getting away with riding the Luas for free!!’ • ‘House prices falling’ • ‘Murders/crime/drugs all out of hand’ • ‘Rubbish on the streets not being cleaned up’ • ‘Global financial meltdown’ • ‘NTL/Chorus STILL not providing bundled broadband, phone and TV coverage’ • ‘Too many cars, no parking!’ Pork recall’ • ‘The house alarms are the worst! I know people have to have them for home insurance but now not a day goes by without an alarm ringing in the neighbourhood.’

Urbanites & Finance The country’s financial situation has changed in the past six months, however, transforming former credit and debit card abusers into serious savers. Metro recently asked its panel of Urbanites – young professionals working in Dublin – how they handle their cash. Half said that they plan their outgoings but sometimes stray, whereas a sensible 45% claimed that they watch their spending habits.

urban rant • I don't mind shopping for presents, but my list seems to get longer as Christmas approaches. People I have forgotten suddenly come across my radar again. I think I will hide for the month of December next year! • Nothing changes this year when it comes to Christmas shopping only that the sales are on before Christmas this year - have also gone to Newry to avail of cheaper items. Would much prefer to be spending time with family/friends then receiving and giving presents - people should just cut back on the commercial side of Christmas. • Christmas is a scandalous joke ruined by high street stores every year. • The amount spent will be the same but the presents will be better so there will be less of them. To save money I've done a Kris Kindle with friends and I'm splitting the cost of some presents with my sister. I've also lowered my expectations for my own presents this year as well, I'd be much happier with less and lower the debt for family and friends. • Christmas songs and decorations start too early. They shouldn’t put the decorations up until 3 weeks before Christmas. • My rant is about the Dublin traders and all traders south of the border who have been fleecing us throughout the good years and are now complaining that consumers are shopping around for bargains (as once asked to do by Mary Harney) - and finding them in Northern Ireland & further afield. Times are hard and will get harder. Retailers in Ireland will have to drop their prices and ensure good value can be found on all products, not just the odd packet of soup & dishwasher tablets!

For more complete highlights & information please contact: Cáitríona Byrne, Research Manager. Direct Telephone: (01) 6375968 Email:

urbanlife wave 8/9 highlights urban rant And what if they were given a €20,000 lump sum?

More than 38% would pay off their debts; almost 16% claimed they would invest it in a long-term savings plan, while 15% would opt for a short-term investment. The majority of respondents have current accounts (97%), savings accounts (73%) and debit (70%) and credit cards (77%). Some 36% have mortgages. The country’s two main banks AIB (38%) and Bank of Ireland (31%) hold most of the respondents’ savings. But setting money aside for a rainy day can be difficult, Urbanites complain. A significant number (54%) say it’s a tall order with just one-third of respondents claiming it’s relatively easy. Despite the hardship, 62% plan to save more cash in the coming year, while 30% intend to ensure their finances remain the same. Urbanites are slow to leave their bank - even if they could get better value for money elsewhere. When asked if they would ever switch their savings accounts to get a better interest rate, a resounding 64% said no. In addition, this recession’s new breed of armchair economists want to keep up-to-date with the country’s changing finances.

• This year I have completely cut out Christmas presents with about 8 people. I have put a limit on spending with my boyfriend, parents and sister. All 10 grandchildren are pooling their money (15 euro each) for my Grandparents' present. Everyone else is getting a token gift of a charity donation. Kris Kindle is cancelled in work and we're going for lunch instead (paid for by ourselves). I'm not going to the Christmas party because I can't justify the money for the taxi because they're always rubbish. I haven't a single present bought yet because I'm waiting to be paid again on the 18th! Roll on January !

41% get their business and banking information from Metro, with 38% citing the Irish Times as their source of financial news.

• I have Kris Kindles in work and amongst my friends, and both are for very small amounts.

The Irish Language

• I bought my boyfriend’s present in September because I knew it would be the most expensive so I wanted it out of the way! Although now I am spending way too much on the little presents to go along with the main one!

2% of you speak Irish daily. 1% speak Irish as part of your job. 22% of Urbanites say you speak it occasionally and 75% of you say you never speak Irish or rarely do. 65% of you think English is more visible on road signs than Irish, 6% of you think Irish is more visible on road signs than English and 25% say both languages are equally visible on road signs in Ireland. 8 in 10 of you think there should be a language and cultural institute that provides education and entertainment services located in the heart of Dublin.

Chocolate Consumption

Between any given Monday and Friday, 94% of you will have consumed some form of chocolate. In fact, one in five urbanites eat chocolate every single day. Urbanites are not only defined as young professionals working in the city − they are almost all card-carrying chocaholics. And before you start making any exist conclusive jumps - the boys are not that far behind the girls when it comes to coco-consumption. Whether or not urbanites think it will help keep their chocolate intake quiet, Wispa is the chocolate of choice during men’s and women’s working hours, with 32% and 37% opting for one, respectively. With 21% of the vote, the second-favourite proved that when people have a break, they do indeed have a Kit Kat. Wispa and Kit Kat managed to beat traditional ‘girlie’ chocolates Maltesers, Dairy Milk and Galaxy into third, fourth and fifth place respectively, while tough-man bars like Snickers and Mars were pushed to third and fifth, respectively. The top reason for buying chocolate among men and women was that they ‘just fancied it’; however almost twice as many women listed ‘inexplicable craving’; ‘boredom’; ‘as a reward’; ‘stress’; and ‘celebrations’ as their excuse. When asked if chocolate was better than sex, 81% of men said ‘no’, but only 58% of women agreed with them; 36% of women said ‘it depends’ - but failed to specify ‘on what’. end

• I bought the majority of this year’s presents online, especially using sites like, it just doesn't compare to the shops, it is brilliant value! • Tried to do Kris Kingle this year but it didn't work out because everyone went and bought something for everyone anyway. So annoying. Now I've to go buy THEM all presents. • What makes me sick is the attitude of the Dublin Traders & the government, "shop at home and be patriotic", me bollix will I. I’m going to Newry tomorrow to give all my money to the Queen. I can't wait! When have the retailers here ever been patriotic? Never! They have been too busy sucking the blood out of the Irish consumer. Hopefully after this Christmas, they will get the message... All that aside, I'm going to have a great Christmas & get ruined.

For more complete highlights & information please contact: Cáitríona Byrne, Research Manager. Direct Telephone: (01) 6375968 Email:

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