Those in debt may be pleased to hear that, although they are currently experiencing money troubles, they are actually better off now than a year ago.
This is according to the income tracker survey conducted by Asda, which found that in the weeks leading up to Christmas, the average family in the UK has £8 a week more now than they did in November 2008.
And for the same month this year, the typical household had £162 per week of discretionary income, which is 4.9 per cent more than 12 months ago.
Certain aspects of living have become more affordable as well, with electricity prices falling by 8.2 per cent over the year and gas tariffs dropping by 5.9 per cent.
However, another study published concurrently by the RAC found that other costs have risen, such as the price of fuel.
According to the research, the outlay for filling a 55 litre tank with unleaded petrol as climbed 18 per cent from £49.01 in December 2008 to £59.67.
By Sarah Adie