The recession has hit family finances hard, with inflation and low savings rates taking their toll. As a result, union leaders are now calling for a higher minimum wage to be introduced next year, to help the country's struggling families.
While the adult minimum wage rate rose to £6.08 earlier this month, the Trades Union Congress believes the 2012 increase should be higher than the RPI rate of inflation.
Brendan Barber, general secretary of the union group, said that previous minimum wage recommendations have been overly modest.
He added: "Although economic recovery will be slow and will be hindered by the government's public spending cuts, most economists agree that the prospects for growth in 2012 and 2013 will be better than this year, so employers should be able to sustain a bigger increase next time."
While we're all keeping a tight rein on our finances in a difficult economic environment, Mr Barber suggests that consumer demand could be stimulated by a sizeable minimum wage rise.
Why not try out these money-saving tips to help keep the books in order until any such rises come into play.