The average UK family is now £7 a week worse off this November then the same time last year, according to research published by Asda.

After tax the average family income was £547. Once essential living costs, such as mortgage payments, have been deducted, the average disposable income was £135 per week, a drop of 5.1% in comparison to last year.

However, the good news is that the level of disposable income is set to increase due to the 2.5% VAT reduction which was announced by the Government. Even so we may not feel the benefit of having this extra cash in our pockets as, according to Asda, 70% would either save this additional money or use it to pay off debt.

Andy Bond, Asda chief executive, commented: “The mood of the nation is that cutting back on conspicuous spending, being more frugal and an increased savings mentality will be a priority for most families in 2009.”