A charity is warning that household budgets in the area are being pushed to breaking point as a Worcester Park couple sells their wedding rings to pay the rent.

Housing charity Shelter said one in 13 London families fear they will not be able to pay the rent or mortgage at the end of the month.

Among them is Worcester Park mum Caroline Berens who lives with her husband and two children. Both her and her husband work but they are struggling to pay the rent on their home. She said: "I go clammy just thinking about the bills. 

"I do anything I can to avoid opening the post as I’m scared it will be another overdue bill.  We do all we can to make ends meet – we’ve even sold our wedding rings and my mother-in-law has helped us with the rent – but we’re really worried about keeping our home in the coming months."

Shelter helps three million people each year with housing problems to make sure they do not end up on the streets. Its chief executive, Campbell Robb, said: "It’s a worrying sign of the times that so many of us are starting the New Year worried about how they’ll pay their rent or mortgage in 2014.

"Unless they get help, some of the families struggling now could face the very real prospect of losing their home this year.

"Despite recent discussion of an economic recovery, we know that a combination of high housing costs, wage freezes, and rising food and energy bills has created a nightmare scenario for many families that’s pushing them to breaking point."