Almost 15 million people are making no effort to save for the future, while eight million have no savings to their name at all, according to research released today.
Although 63% of people do manage to put some money aside, 32% have a total pot of less than £1,000, which according to research author Scottish Widows, is less than the UK average combined mortgage and council tax costs (£1,009).
Iain McGowan, head of savings and investments at Scottish Widows, said: "People clearly recognise the importance of saving something towards their future financial well-being, which is encouraging.
"The importance of building a safety net for themselves and their families is a priority, with 63% of people reporting that they managed to save some money in the last 12 months."
He added: "However, just a quarter of those people believed they were saving enough to meet their long-term needs; with a further 37% saying they would definitely not be achieving this goal.
"When we are faced with immediate financial commitments, such as mortgage payments and day-to-day living expenses, then it is absolutely necessary to give these pressing needs priority.
"However, taking a wholly short-term view of our finances will mean we are unprepared for the financial needs and challenges that lie ahead in the future."
A quarter said that they had loaned out a 'substantial amount' to their children, often just to help them cope with daily living costs.
Scottish Widows said that this level of financial help is having a huge negative impact on parents' finances, as it leaves them without savings to cushion themselves against emergencies.
source: Scottish Widows
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