The credit crunch is hitting hard with the average Brit struggling to cope, as their monthly outgoings soar by an average of 26% during the past two years alone. According to research carried out by insurer Combined Insurance, this hike is being proportioned to higher housing and energy costs.

The average person is now spending £1,281 a month on bills and general costs of living, which has shot up from £945 in June 2006. This research shows that, on average, people are spending around a third more on rent and mortgages than they were two years ago. Everyday bills such as television subscriptions, electricity bills and water rates have rose by an average of 30%.

Those with children have been hit the hardest, as families have found a 77% increase in the average child care costs and other spending, such as clothing, has increased by 37%.

Director of Combined Insurance, Nigel Brittle, said: “The many cost of living hikes are taking their toll on the monthly budget and many Britons are living on the edge with their finances.”

Because of this increase, it is inevitable that households are going to have to cut back on their spending in some areas. This research reports that people are spending 8% less on insurance and 7% less on telephone and broadband costs.