Around 2.1 million households are behind on essential payments such as a household bill, loan or credit card payment, new research by Which? has found.
According to Which’s latest Consumer Insight Tracker, more than half of households – 55% – have made changes to cover essential spending as they continue to battle with increased financial pressures.
This has included cutting back on essentials, dipping into savings, selling possessions or borrowing
It represents a noticeable increase against the 44% seen two years ago.
One person surveyed said: “Food in particular is getting more expensive every time I shop. I have been supplementing my income with savings, but my savings are dwindling.”
The research added that eight out of 10 of those who think their household finances will worsen also feel negatively about the future of the economy.
A vast majority of those who felt pessimistic about their household prices said they think fuel prices and food bills will increase.
More than half of Britons also expect the economy to worsen over the next 12 months, Which? added.
One female respondent in her sixties said: “Bills for utilities are all rising, the cost of food is getting higher, as is the cost of fuel, and just about everything else.”
Rocio Concha, Which? director of policy and advocacy, said: “As so many people face financial hardship, Which? is calling on businesses in essential sectors like food, energy and telecoms providers to do more to help customers get a good deal and avoid unnecessary or unfair costs and charges during this crisis.”