Mintel found that consumers had opted to cut off spending on holidays and DIY and have stopped adding to their savings. Almost one in five people polled said that they had been hit by unforeseen household builds and the same proportion (17%) said they felt they needed to be "more careful".
Peter Ayton, chief statistician at Mintel said: "In light of the credit crunch, borrowing had now become harder and we are likely to see even more people having to make sacrifices when it comes to their spending in the future."
Mintel said that end of the month purchases were under threat as consumers money would run out quicker after pay day while precious jewellery and women's accessories sales were holding up.
Mintel polled a sample of 2,000 adults aged 16 and over.
The full report - British Lifestyles - Winners and Losers in Changing Economic Times is available from Mintel.