One in six adults across the UK have no savings put aside, according to new research.
In a survey of 3,000 people across the country, nearly one in 10 have £100 or less saved.
The study, conducted for the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), also found that one in 20 of those surveyed have less than £50 in their savings pot.
The findings were released to mark Talk Money Week, which runs from November 7 until November 11.
MaPS is an arm’s-length body sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions that was set up in 2019.
According to the service, the findings show that around a quarter adults are living without a financial safety net to cope with the rising cost of living or unexpected bills.
Meanwhile, a majority of those surveyed (81%) said they avoid discussing their finances, with some explaining that they do not want to be judged, fear burdening others or would feel too embarrassed to do so.
Caroline Siarkiewicz, MaPS chief executive, encouraged people to share the burden about money worries by starting conversations with their family or friends.
“Millions of people find it a challenge to save and this leaves them vulnerable when sudden expenditure items arise,” she said.
“When you add in anxiety that they feel with their credit commitments, the weight of that worry can quickly become overwhelming.
“This Talk Money Week, we want everyone to start the conversation with family or friends and share the burden of any money worries.
“By dealing with the problem head on, people can discover just how helpful free debt advice can be and see the importance of talking to their creditors early.
“They can also begin to find a way forward, no matter how difficult their situation might feel.
“Free help and guidance on how to do all of this is available via our MoneyHelper service and I’d urge everyone who needs it to get in touch today.”