Ireland has a national Financial Wellbeing score average of 61, which means that as a nation we are managing financially but we are not thriving, which is the optimum financial wellbeing category. 

That is according to research conducted by Bank of Ireland, which is announcing a new programme to support consumer capability and confidence when it comes to their personal finances.

International expert, Jason Butler, says financial wellbeing is controlling your day to day finances so that you have got options to enjoy life now, and that you are resilient about any shocks that may happen in the future.

"That doesn't mean that you've got to be rich, it just means that you've got enough for what you think is important," he explained. "It has got nothing to do with the amount of wealth that you've got or how much you earn. It's all about the life that you want to live and that you don't have worries about money. It is making sure that you have what you need to do with your life, in so far as the use of money, all of your life."

According to Bank of Ireland's research one third of people in Ireland are very worried about personal finances, more than half have no pension, and one in four would last less than a month without having to borrow if they lost their main source of income. 

The results are similar to the UK and broadly similar to the US. However, Mr Butler said the vulnerability in Ireland is slightly higher. 

"What it says to me is that there are probably quite a lot of people whose income is not high enough to meet their basic needs, and that they probably need to look at their money habits and what they are choosing to spend their money on. So there would be a mixture of things they have to pay such as rents and mortgages. There will also be a significant number of people who've got discretionary expenditure that they could vary to improve their position."

Mr Butler's advice to enjoy financial wellbeing is to decide that you are going to be good with money. The second thing is to focus on small daily habits, and make small changes, such as eating lunch out twice a week and bringing a packed lunch for the rest of the week.

"It's small things like that that you can control. If we all look at what we are spending, we are probably spending on things that either don't matter, that we don't need, that aren't really making us happy, and we could probably redirect that money to a better cause: savings, paying down debt, or getting ahead."

Money and worrying about it is a universal issue that people don't want to admit often, he said.

Bank of Ireland has developed a programme of activity to help customers improve their financial literacy, capability and confidence, with €5 million devoted to its rollout this year.

Gavin Kelly, CEO Retail Ireland, Bank of Ireland said, "Through our programme, we want to help consumers build a better relationship with money, empower them to take control of their daily finances and ultimately support better financial decision making for themselves, their families, and their businesses. Consumers and businesses can improve their financial wellbeing in the same way as they improve their physical health or fitness – through awareness, setting goals, and support."