A new survey shows that one in five Irish adults have less than €20 a month in disposable income after essential bills are paid.

The Irish League of Credit Union survey also found that almost half of all working adults had less than €100 to live on after bills were paid.

The ILCU carries out a sample survey of 1,000 people twice a year to see how households manage their incomes and how they pay their bills.

The latest survey shows that four in ten people put off paying essential bills on time this year because they could not afford to.

Almost all of those who had delayed paying bills, such as gas and electricity, had cut spending elsewhere in order to eventually pay those bills, with footwear and clothing being the most likely to be sacrificed.

However, one-third of those surveyed had reduced their spending on food in order to pay bills, a slight increase on the numbers who had done so in the last survey in May.

One in seven of all adults reported having no money left after paying their bills each month, while one in ten of those with jobs said they also had no money left.

However, the survey also found the average disposable income of Irish adults is €172 each month.