The squeeze on families' finances tightened its grip in April for the first time in 2013, a report found today.
Four times as many households (32%) reported that their budgets worsened compared with those who saw an improvement (8%), according to the latest household finance index compiled by financial information firm Markit.
The overall reading for April was 37.7, down from 39.3 in March and marking the first time this year that the downturn in financial wellbeing has deepened month-on-month. Readings above 50 indicate that people's finances are improving and those below this point show a deterioration.
All income groups reported a sharper deterioration of their finances in March, and people earning between £15,000 and £23,000 were particularly badly hit.
Just under 42% of households expect their finances to worsen over the next 12 months.
Report author Tim Moore said: "April's survey highlights a deepening downturn in financial wellbeing, driven by renewed pressures on household income and a strong rise in living costs."