Brighton residents will be part of a 12-month social experiment that is not so much Big Brother as Big Banker.

Financial services giant AXA has entreated the nation to do some navel-gazing and not the kind that 15-year-old boys prefer.

Twenty households in Brighton have agreed to subject their finances to the ever-watchful eye of the finance organisation as part of a social-cum-financial experiment to gauge the UK's spending habits.

The project, dubbed AXA Avenue, will provide half of the participating households access to banking, insurance and budgeting advice while the remainder will be able to spend as they please.

Independent financial adviser Saran Allott-Davey, Female IFA of the Year 2005, will monitor both sets of households to determine how access to expert advice affects our wealth, health and happiness.

So far, Backchat has not heard of any steamy spa-side romps in this industry's version of Big Brother.

But as it has only been operating for a few weeks there is still hope.

Stay tuned.