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Reasonable Living Expenses Guidelines

These guidelines as to what constitutes a reasonable standard of living and reasonable living expenses have been prepared by the ISI in accordance with section 23 of the Personal Insolvency Act 2012.

They are intended to give direction to Approved Intermediaries and guidance to Personal Insolvency Practitioners in assessing, for relevant provisions of that Act, what may be considered ‘reasonable’ in the context of a standard of living and living expenses.

Under the model developed by the ISI, reasonable living expenses are the expenses a person necessarily incurs in achieving a reasonable standard of living, this being one which meets a person’s physical, psychological and social needs.

Reasonable living expenses will vary depending on a number of factors such as the particular composition of a household and the need for a car.  Beyond that, when determining reasonable living expenses, provision needs to be made for reasonable housing costs in terms of rent or mortgage payments as well as for reasonable payments in respect of childcare where this expense arises.

The figures used in these guidelines have unique application to personal insolvency and are not intended to be used for purposes other than the stated purposes of these guidelines under the Personal Insolvency Act.

Update to the Reasonable Living Expenses Guidelines

The ISI last republished the Guidelines on a Reasonable Standard of Living and Reasonable Living Expenses in August 2014. Following the introduction of the Water Services Act 2014, we have revisited the guidelines and made the following amendments to the figures effective from 01 January 2015:

The water charges were incorporated into the 'Household Services' category of expenses with the €100 water conservation grant netted off against the costs, on the assumption that all eligible households will apply for said grant. The net increase in the reasonable living expenses for one adult households is €5 per month, and for all other households is €13.33 per month. The ISI will revisit the RLE guidelines again in Summer 2015 or earlier if the need arises.


A comprehensive guide is available for download here


 Guide to the RLE 2014 coverGuidelines to Reasonable Living Expenses - Version 4 January 2015 (PDF size 1,562KB)  15X15