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One in four adults have less than £100 in savings

Written by: Rebecca Goodman
A quarter of UK adults have less than £100 in savings, and may need to borrow money to cope with rising costs, a new study shows.

One in six people has no money saved at all and no financial safety net to cope with the rising cost of living and are at risk of using credit and falling into debt.

As prices rise, and with inflation currently at 10.1% for September and energy bills set to rise to £3,700 from April, the situation is expected to get worse.

Many are also struggling with debt repayments and unwilling to talk about financial problems with other people, according to the research from the the Money and Pensions Service (MAPS).

Borrowers struggling to repay debt

Many people are already finding it hard to cope with debt repayments. Of the 79% of people who said they use credit, 43% said they were anxious about how much they owe.

More than a third (35%) said they were concerned about how many different credit products they have.

The MAPS surveyed 3,000 adults for the research, which has been carried out as part of Talk Money Week which runs from November 7 – 11.

It is urging people to talk to others about money problems, before they become a serious issue.

Yet 81% admitted they avoid talking about their finances with other people. The most common reason for not discussing money was not wanting to be judged, according to 21% of those asked, followed by the fear of burdening others (19%) and shame or embarrassment (17%).

‘Share the burden of any money worries’

Caroline Siarkiewicz, chief executive of the Money and Pensions Service, said: “Millions of people find it a challenge to save and this leaves them vulnerable when sudden expenditure items arise. When you add in the 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 and confidential advice is available from a number of sources including the MoneyHelper service, from the MAPS. It also has a step-by-step guide on how to talk to creditors and how to discuss money with family and friends.

Money advice and support is also available from organisations including Stepchange, Citizens Advice and National Debtline.

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