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According to research from, the majority of UK households (79%) are now on a budget, regardless of their income, family set-up and so on.

The comparison site's Affordability Tipping Point research, which looks at the point where household outgoings overtake income, revealed that 30% of adults said rising food costs have put the biggest pressure on their bank account - a serious increase from 23% last year.

Furthermore, a quarter (25%) of people surveyed said the rising cost of utilities - such as lighting and heating bills - has had the biggest effect on their budget. Again, this is an increase, from 19% in 2011.

The research also painted a worrying picture of just how squeezed many families' finances are across the nation. In fact, household finances are so stretched in the current climate that 36% of adults believe an increase in their monthly expenses of £50 or less would push their finances to 'breaking point'.

A spokesperson for thinkbanking said: "The current climate is proving tough for many people's purse strings, but having a well-planned budget in place could make the difference between staying financially afloat and losing control.

"A budgeting bank account could certainly be an option worth thinking about. Having your monthly income split into two separate accounts - one for your bills, and one for your 'spare' cash - could give you the confidence that you won't accidentally spend the money you need."

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