Fewer than one voter in five believes that the British economy is getting stronger, according to a new survey.
And just 16% - about one in six - said they have more money to spend on non-essentials now than they did last year.
The ComRes poll for ITV News found 19% of those questioned said their personal experience suggested the national economy was getting stronger, compared to 57% who disagreed and 23% who were not sure.
Some 77% said they had less money to spend on non-essential items than a year ago, while 6% did not know.
Just one third of those questioned (33%) felt optimistic about the state of the economy, compared to 37% in a similar poll in October 2010. Some 56% felt pessimistic about the future, up from 49% in October.
The majority of people taking part in the poll said they plan to cut back spending this year on buying clothes (54%), eating out (56%) and sport and leisure activities (46%). Most also said they expect to have to spend more on essentials like food (44%) and petrol (54%).
Some 47% were pessimistic about their personal financial situation and 42% were pessimistic about job security, up from 38% last October.
ComRes interviewed 2,026 British adults online for ITV News' Cuts Index between June 3 and 5.