Some 29 per cent of people had no leftover cash to put into an account which could cover emergency bills, StepChange Debt Charity found.
A further 19 per cent said that even when they could save, they had £50 or less available each month.
Nearly half (45 per cent) of people earning less than £20,000 had been unable to save in any of the previous 12 months, according to the charity’s survey of more than 3,200 people.
StepChange said many households are living in a “perilous financial state”, with a fifth saying they would not be able to survive financially for more than a month if their income fell by a quarter.
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