Family Not Seeing 'Green Shoots' Of Recovery
The green shoots of economic recovery might be growing stronger but the Horton family is not feeling the effects.
"It's been really, really tough. We are struggling to make ends meet," said Spencer, 39, from Felixstowe.
He has his own recording studio and band, Mohawk, but he makes much of his money from teaching guitar, bass and drums as well as vocal coaching.
The past year has been difficult as the luxury of music lessons has been dropped by those struggling to meet the cost. Pub closures mean fewer gigs.
But there are tentative signs that things may be on the up.
He said: "The lessons have started picking up in the last month or so. I've got five new students so that helps but I don't know how much of that is a sign that the economy is improving."
His wife, Morgan, is training to be a counsellor and volunteers her skills, but is also a self-employed massage therapist and has seen her business suffer.
She said: "I used to have a lot of clients who have a massage as a luxury or to treat chronic back pain but it got to the point that they had to make a choice because of money and the massage went.
"We have both chosen to be in professions that give back to the community and that keeps us going yet the Government does not value or recognise that."
The couple have two children, April, five, and Coby, two.
Keeping the house warm and the family well fed has meant putting up with increasing costs.
Mrs Horton said: "We don't buy luxuries very often and our food bill is still big. It's gone up by about a third in the last year or so.
"Energy is really expensive too. They say the national average is £1,400 a year and we pay close to double that in gas and electricity."
Keeping up with the bills meant they recently had to get a £10,000 loan.
She added: "It really frustrates me because I wanted to spend it on doing up the house but the overdraft kept creeping up so we had to pay that off."