Household finances across the country appear worse than a year ago research from the Legal & General MoneyMood Survey has found.
The number of households who say they are "struggling" (i.e. income not enough to pay bills) has risen to 3.5 million, over 800,000 higher than in October 2012.
Almost 1 in 5 homes (18%) are struggling to make ends meet compared to 1 in 8 (12%) a year ago.
From 2012 to 2013 the number of "stable" households, who are in a good position to save, fell from 44% to 40% - around half a million fewer homes.
Commenting John Pollock, chief executive officer at Legal & General Assurance Society said; "The reality of the UK today is that people are worse off despite the recovery in the economy, falling unemployment and lower inflation.
"Not only are we seeing that over 800,000 more households are struggling to make ends meet compared with last year, but our latest research shows a fall in the number of homes who can afford to save compared to a year ago.
Falling unemployment and lower inflation figures for October are welcome news but do not appear to be feeding through to stronger household finances."
L&G added that the rising cost of fuel is likely to wipe out any benefits from falling prices for other goods and make balancing household finance even harder, especially for those with lower incomes.
The East Midlands and London appear to be the regions most affected with one in four households who say they're struggling to make ends meet.
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