A third of Britons are bracing themselves for a fall in their standard of living during the coming three years, a survey has suggested.
Around 63% of people think the general standard of living has fallen since 2007, when the credit crunch first struck, while a further 36% think it will continue to get worse, according to a poll of 2,044 conducted for life insurer Scottish Provident.
Only 15% of people questioned said they thought the standard of living for the average British family had actually improved since 2007.
People aged over 55, who are either approaching retirement or already pensioners, are the most pessimistic, with 45% expecting their standard of living to get worse in the coming three years.
The research found that consumers see having some savings as being key to having a good standard of living, cited by 66%, followed by having internet access at 62%, owning a car at 59% and owning your own home at 54%.
Other factors that were considered to be important for a good life included taking at least one foreign holiday a year, having satellite television, eating out twice a month and having the latest gadgets, as well as having a pet and being able to pay your children's university fees.
Susan Barclay, head of marketing at Scottish Provident, said: "The last few years have hit many Britons hard, and our figures have underlined how people are generally not showing much optimism ahead of the start of 2013, as the austerity measures proposed by the coalition Government begin to take effect.
"Given these concerns, it has never been more critical for individuals to ensure they have built up an adequate financial safety net to try and combat any unexpected decline in their living standards."