Growing numbers are being influenced by reality television and soap operas to borrow more irresponsibly and buy goods that they can’t afford, with 80 per cent of people stating that how the media portrays debt is encouraging Britons to live beyond their means.

This is according to new research from the Debt Advisory Centre, which found that Eastenders was named the most unrealistic soap, followed by Hollyoaks, Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

Nearly half of all soap fans agreed that the social lives of the characters were not a true reflection of the incomes they were on, with two-thirds of those asked saying that those characters with problem debts trivialised the stress that the reality of such situations can cause.

Spokeswoman for the organisation Melanie Taylor said: “Being in debt is a very isolating experience and as a result people can often feel hesitant about seeking help and support. Unrealistic situations of fictional characters in similar positions may only make them shy away from seeking help for longer.”

NLP training online can help you if you are struggling with money issues and want to change patterns in your behaviour that are leading you down a path of debt. Discussing your concerns and seeking advice from debt charities is also advisable and they can help put you on the right track but if you’re keen to make positive life changes this year and alter the way you view your finances and how you spend your money, an NLP certification could prove useful as well.