Inflation is a cause for concern among many families, with 40% of people admitting they are too over-stretched to shoulder a rise in living costs, a poll has revealed.
Increasing prices for essential items during the next six months is a big worry for households, with 57% citing that as their main fear for 2011, followed by 45% saying redundancy and unexpected expenses at 39%, according to a survey by Wriglesworth Research.
In the long-term, 20% of families are concerned about rising interest rates on their mortgage, with home loan repayments comprising of around a fifth of the typical family's expenditure.
Researchers found many families will find it difficult to handle an increase in outgoings, with 33% having no savings and 40% not currently putting money aside on a monthly basis.
Even among those families that do save, 25% have less than £2,000 deposited, meaning they would have very little to see them through an emergency.
At the same time, the average families owes £5,360 in unsecured debt, while they have around £89,000 outstanding on their mortgage.
Around 42% of single parents rely on state benefits to help them make ends meet and, unsurprisingly, 45% of this group said the changes the Government plans to make to benefits was their biggest concern during the coming five years.