The average UK household needs £4,000 a month to feel financially secure, but brings in £1,500 less than this, according to a new poll.
Research by price comparison site uSwitch has revealed 61 per cent of consumers feel financially insecure, with this defined as being able to pay the bills without having to rely on credit.
This suggests that in the current climate many people are increasing their debt levels due to suffering from the effects of pay freezes and the rising cost of living.
Personal finance expert at the site Michael Ossei said the picture was a gloomy one, but suggested it was "encouraging" that people equate being financially secure with not going into debt.
He added: "Cutting back on credit and reducing your debt in the current climate is one of the best things you can do and will put more people back in control of their finances."
The impact of inflation on households over the past year has been to leave them needing an extra £900 to have the same standard of living as they did 12 months ago, according to research published by MGM Advantage this week.
By Joe White