With Christmas and New Year over, it’s been back to the daily grind for many of us this week. That means beeping alarm clocks, overcrowded public transport and a bulging email inbox. But now you’re back in the swing of things, take a moment to catch up on this week’s money and personal finance news.
1. Feeling the pinch
We’ve all probably overdone it on the food and drink this Christmas, but many also overspent. Citizens Advice expect 370,000 people to seek debt advice this month, while household debt hit £192.2 billion, its highest level since 2008.
2. New Year's resolutions
Losing weight, reading more and learning something new are our top New Year’s resolutions, according to a study by Twitter. But we also want to do better financially, with saving more money the fourth most popular resolution for 2017.
3. On the road
A record 2.69 million new cars were registered in 2016, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This 2% increase on 2015 was driven by strong consumer confidence and low-interest finance deals, said the industry body.
4. More expensive commute
People heading back to work after the Christmas break were greeted with rail ticket increases. Train fares now eat up 14% of people's wages, according to Action for Rail, while Campaign for Better transport claim some routes are as expensive as premium rate phone lines.
5. Unequal inheritance
Youngsters are set to inherit record amounts of money, but what they receive will be very unequal, says the Institute of Fiscal Studies. The children most likely to benefit are already well off or have higher incomes.
Petrol and diesel prices have risen to their highest level since July 2015, with three pence being added to a litre of fuel in December alone. The average cost of petrol is now 117.23p and diesel 119.63p.