New research from the RBS banking group has revealed shows the extent of Christmas overspending on consumer behaviour.
More than half of the British adults polled said they are forfeiting their social life and cutting down on food shopping to try and rebalance their accounts.
A fifth of all people questioned admitted to feeling stressed and anxious about their finances.
Those in the South East are the most likely to be cheered up by spending according to the research. One in six say that spending makes them feel happier.
As well as over half cutting their social lives, around one in ten in the South East say they need to cut down on essentials like food and transport as a result of the post Christmas squeeze.
Around a fifth of people in South East feel stressed about their finances and over a quarter believe it has impacted on their relationship.
The research overall shows Brits are struggling to stick to a budget and avoid going into debt, following overspending in December. 88 per cent of people admit to getting into debt on a regular basis, with 33 per cent claiming that they will need to dip into their savings to compensate for Christmas spending.
The new research also uncovered a range of wider financial challenges confronting the British public. For example, 30 per cent of people blame their money issues on “being unable to budget”, while nearly a quarter admitted to “not fully understanding” the value of money.
Relationship psychologist Corinne Sweet said: “Going in and out of debt at this time of year can cause emotional distress to people after the Christmas holidays, especially as the bills roll in after Christmas.
“This can lead to insomnia, depression, anxiety and a feeling of being out of control. However, even if saving, or budgeting, is something new to you, learning basic budgeting skills can help quell the anxiety and stress - leading to a greater sense of personal power and increased control in an uncertain world.”