Many homeowners in the UK could find themselves on the brink of their 'Affordability Tipping Point' after it was revealed that thousands of households will see the cost of both bills and mortgage repayments rise.
More than a third of adults in the UK (36%) think that an increase of £50 or less in their monthly outgoings would stretch their finances so much they would reach financial breaking point.
Of these people, a fifth say they are currently right at the edge and are having trouble paying their monthly outgoings, including their bills.
Many families are struggling to pay for essentials like food and fuel, but with even more price hikes they will be keeping a much closer eye on what they spend.
MoneySupermarket.com Affordability Tipping Point's study provided the statistics.
Imminent tipping point
The research looks at the 'pounds and pence' point at which the outgoings of a household increase to more than the income.
According to the report, Brits have typically seen their outgoings increase by £56 each week over the last half-year.
This suggests that a £50 monthly 'tipping point' limit may be imminent for millions of families as living costs carry on increasing.
One in four adults (25%) say they have used credit cards more, while 17% have turned to organised overdrafts to help them pay for their outgoings.
Some 13% have been reliant on the help of handouts from friends and relatives.
The research indicates that most UK homes (79%) are now sticking to a budget no matter of their family set-up, income or demographic.
Just fewer than one in three adults (30%) said increasing food costs have hit their finances the most, which is an increase on the 23% of 2011.
One in four adults (25%) said the biggest impact on their budget had been the rising expense of utility bills, which is an increase on 2011's 19%.
Personal finance expert at MoneySupermarket.com, Clare Francis, said: "The fact a rise in outgoings of £50 or less would tip a third of Brits to 'financial breaking point' speaks volumes about how difficult people are finding things at the moment.
"As news of rising costs continue to hit consumers, all the signs suggest that 2012 is set to be another tough year for many households with finances continuing to be pushed to the max."