2014 set to be a better financial year

(AP)

New research highlights the financial pressures of the past year, but suggests 2014 will be more positive for many families.

Online credit provider Equifax undertook a study to uncover the extent of the financial concerns that individuals and families across the UK have been facing in the last 12 months.

Over a third (39 per cent) of those asked said 2013 brought more financial insecurity than they had previously encountered, due mainly to an increase in monthly outgoings and job uncertainty.

"Our research has revealed that nearly 70 per cent of those people who felt less financially secure in 2013 saw their monthly outgoings increase.

"However, it also appears that people are feeling more optimistic about their finances going into the New Year," says Equifax's External Affairs Director Neil Munroe.

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Over 65 per cent of respondents said they feel more optimistic about their finances for 2014, compared to how they felt at the start of 2013.

Mr Munroe attributes this to sensible financing in the past year.

"Over 40 per cent of the people surveyed have managed to pay off more of their debt in 2013 compared to last year," he notes.

The past year has also seen many people cut down on spending in order to put themselves in a more financially secure position.

"This is a very positive sign," says Mr Munroe.

This will come as good news to many, as reports that poverty in the UK is increasing have dominated the headlines recently.

Food banks and aid charities have reported an exponential growth in demand in the past year, and will no doubt be hoping that less people are in need of their services in 2014.

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