Nearly three-quarters of Britons think their financial position will not improve in the coming year, according to a new poll.
Despite an improving economy, seven in 10 people were downbeat about their finances in the Cost of Living survey carried out by ComRes for BBC Breakfast.
The cost of utility bills and food shopping were what worried householders the most in the poll of 1,003 people across the country.
But there was optimism among almost a third of Britons who believed that they would be better off in the next 12 months.
More than a quarter of those questioned - 28% - said their personal financial situation was causing them stress, while one in five, or 19%, said they spend more than they earn each month.
Two-thirds of respondents said they had money left over at the end of the month for saving.
Of those surveyed who were in work, more than 40% expected to get a pay rise in the coming year, and about one in four people expected their wages to grow above the rate of inflation of around 2%.
In tomorrow's Budget, Chancellor George Osborne is expected to to reveal dramatically upgraded growth forecasts but critics point to stagnation in average wages as evidence that the upturn is failing to ease a cost-of-living crisis.