More than half of people (52%) surveyed for a Consumer Council research report in NI say they are worried about being able to make ends meet now.
The report - Consumer 2010 - reveals 64% surveyed are worried about making ends meet in the future.
The research study undertaken by Ipsos Mori for the council has been published ahead of next week's Spending Review announcements.
It says only four in ten are meeting bills and credit without difficulty.
The statistics relate to a survey of 1,008 adults aged 16 and over in June and July of this year.
For the report, group discussions were also held with consumers in Belfast, Londonderry and Enniskillen as well as key stakeholders in Northern Ireland.
Commenting on the research results, Antoinette McKeown, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council said: "2010 has been a tough year for Northern Ireland consumers: redundancies and rising unemployment, price increases for food, energy and fuel have all impacted on the daily lives of consumers.
"Working together is a key message from consumers we spoke to; consumers want to see the Executive and government departments work in partnership to ease any pain for households.
"The Consumer Council has given consumers an opportunity to voice their concerns.
"We will ensure that those concerns are taken into account when policy makers are taking decisions which affect everyone."
The Spending Review will be announced by Chancellor George Osborne, on 20 October.