Debt charities are expecting up to 2,400 calls a day this month from people worried about their finances after Christmas spending binges. Citizens Advice said it expects to help more than 370,000 people in January who are concerned regarding mounting debts and other financial issues.
It added it expected someone to log on to its online advice pages every three seconds over the next four weeks, based on demand for its services a year ago.
The body added that January and February were its busiest months as people attempt to get their finances in order after festive season spending.
Meanwhile, the National Debtline charity said that more than five million people in the UK regularly worry about money in the run-up to Christmas, and that one in three adults bought presents on credit.
Price comparison website comparethemarket.com said earlier this week that household bills rose by almost £200 last year. It said analysis of costs across energy, motor and home insurance found that, after a £180 drop in 2015, bills rose by 9.7%, from £2,032 in 2015 to £2,223 during last year.
Bank of England (BoE) governor Mark Carney also warned about the high level of debt among UK households in November. Unsecured debt, including spending on credit cards, rose at its fastest pace in 11 years in October, according to BoE data.
"We are going to remain vigilant around the issue, because we have seen this shift," Carney said.
Joanna Elson, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, which runs National Debtline, said: "Money worries can have a huge impact on your life at any time – but the fact that they are putting Christmas at risk for up to five million people shows what an extremely difficulty time of year this can be."
Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, added: Although debt worries can be more acute in January, people are also taking stock of their finances and thinking about the future.
"It doesn't matter what your earn – whether you are on minimum wage or have a comfortable salary – everyone can benefit from reviewing their finances."