Almost a third of families have savings which would last just five days if they were faced with a financial emergency, research has found.
Of those surveyed, 31 per cent had less than £250 put aside as a safety net, three per cent higher than in a similar study from last year, HSBC said.
For the average family, monthly outgoings are £1,669 - just under £55 a day - which would see savings of £250 savings run out five days.
Families have been hit by soaring transport and childcare costs, leaving them with a "monumental" task of trying to earn enough to get by. Daybreak's ITV Carla Eberhardt reports.
Twenty-one detailed focus groups with ordinary people from different kinds of household (such as families with children, pensioners and single people) had detailed discussions about the necessary elements of a household budget for each family type.
Experts looked at these budgets to ensure that they provided an adequate diet and met basic needs like keeping a home warm. On this basis the weekly minimum budget:
• For a couple with two children is £454.52 (benefits provide 60% of this amount)
• For a pensioner couple is £231.48, provided entirely by Pension Credit
• For a lone parent with one child is £275.59 (benefits provide 60% of this amount)
• For a single working-age person is £192.59 (benefits provide 40% of this amount)
Hourly wages needed for a minimum income standard: £8.38 for a single person, £9.39 for a couple with two children and £12.20 for a lone parent with one child.
- Childcare: minimum costs have risen by nearly a third. In 2008, child minders outside London charged on average £2.70 an hour; now they charge £3.50. Childcare is families single biggest weekly outgoing.
- Transport: bus travel has doubled in price since the late 1990s which, combined with cuts to public transport, means families with children now deem a car as an essential for the first time.
- Tax credits: cuts to tax credits have increased earning requirements substantially, more than cancelling out the benefit of higher income tax thresholds.
A single person needs to spend £193 a week to reach a minimum standard of living.
A single person in work needs to earn £16,400 a year, in order to be left with £193 a week net after paying a basic rent, tax and national insurance.
A couple with two children aged 3 and 7 needs to spend £455 a week to reach a minimum standard of living.
Excluding rent and childcare £455 If neither parent works, the family will get £281 a week, leaving them £174 short of what they need.
If one parent works, they will need to earn £34,900 a year, in order to be left with £455 a week net after paying a basic rent, tax and national insurance, and receiving tax credits and child benefit.
If both parents work full-time, they will each need to earn £18,400 a year in order to be left with £455 a week net after paying basic rent, childcare, tax, and national insurance and receiving tax credits and child benefit.
For someone out of work, benefits will provide £85 a week, £108 short of what they need.
- Research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) found that a couple with two children had to earn £36,800 for an acceptable standard of living, up by almost a third since 2008.
- The foundation said working families with children were being dealt a "damaging triple financial blow" of increased childcare costs, more expensive transport and cuts to tax credits.
- Under a so-called minimum income standard, single people need to earn £16,400 a year, a lone parent with one child £23,900 and pensioner couples £231 a week.
- A quarter of the UK population live below the standard - three million more than in 2008, two years before the general election.