For those battered by rising bills and stagnating income - new figures show how it can all end for thousands.
What may surprise many struggling to stay afloat is that personal insolvencies - when you simply cant pay the money you owe - have generally been on a downward path for around three years.
But today there was a worrying upward jolt.
- There's been an 8% insolvency increase compared with the same three months last year
- 27,029 became officially insolvent in the three months to June
- A 20% rise in "voluntary arrangements" compared with year ago
- 1 in 440 adults became insolvent in the 12 months to June.
For many people pantomime villain lurking just off stage is the prospect of a Bank of England interest rate rise. It is widely expected that rates will move from the historic 0.5% low.
That will increase the cost of debt and the fear is that more could be pushed over the edge.
There is some fascinating detail here from the official Insolvency Service.
Women aged between 18 and 24 were almost twice as likely as men in the same age group to become insolvent.
Of course the official statistics don’t reveal why - but what we do know is that once both sexes reach the age of 35, the pattern is reversed, and men are more likely to become insolvent.
Insolvency expert, Phillip Sykes, spoke to ITV News: