A lack of savings and cutting back are becoming the norm for millions of Britons, worrying new figures have found.
Research from Norwich & Peterborough Building Society (N&P) has found that half of UK households have less than £1,000 saved.
It paints a worrying picture of people living paycheque to paycheque with very little money set aside for emergencies, long term sickness or unemployment.
In fact, a third of Britons have no savings behind them at all and in many areas, half of people have less than £1,000 put away in savings.
Many people are approaching retirement with no accessible savings, with a quarter of people aged 55 or more not in the position to get their hands on their funds.
Gary Lacey, the savings product manager at N&P, said that a common philosophy is to have a couple of months' worth of savings stashed in an accessible savings account.
Cardiff is the city with the highest proportion of people with no accessible savings whatsoever, with almost half (46%) having none, and almost six in ten (58%) with none or less than £1,000 available.
By contrast, Edinburgh is the city with the highest number of people with savings.
Only 16% of those in Edinburgh have no savings, which is half the UK average, while seven in ten people in Edinburgh have more than £1,000 in accessible savings.
"Those with no savings at all are living on a tightrope," warned Michelle Slade, spokesperson for Moneyfacts.co.uk.
"All it takes is for an unexpected expense and your finances could be turned upside down, especially if you end up going into an unauthorised overdraft or have to add the expense to an already heavy credit card bill.
"Saving a few pounds every month might seem futile, but it soon adds up and could give you an important safety net should you need a bit of money quickly."
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