Six months to recover from the festive fun

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Two out of five parents are worried about how they will manage in the new year because of the financial hangover from Christmas.

Meanwhile, a quarter of 45-to-54-year-olds say it will take at least six months to recover financially from the festive season.

The research by Ffrees, a company which offers an alternative current account, paints a depressing picture of family finances as we approach 2014.

With the cost of living continuing to rise against the backdrop of stagnant wages, Britain appears to be gripped by an unseasonal festive crisis.

Research by the Office of National Statistics reported that family household spending dropped last year to the lowest level for more than a decade. “2014 looks better on paper. It could hardly be worse than the past few years. But any benefit is going to take quite some time to filter through to ordinary families,” said Alex Letts, the chief executive of Ffrees.

“Families recognise this and 40 per cent of those with children are already severely stressing out over next year’s budgeting. There’s no magic cure either.

“The very gradual improvement we’re experiencing in the economy may help pay packets eventually but the rest is going to be down to a return to old-fashioned principles of budgeting and saving up, for most of us,” Mr Letts said.

However, younger people are much more positive. A third of 18-to-24-year olds believe their finances will bounce back by their next pay cheque in January. In fact, almost half of them say they are planning to make a complete fresh start financially in 2014.