Some 8.2 million UK adults have no money left to spend at the end of the month once they have paid off all of their essentials.
The third annual Scottish Widows Priorities of Life Index also found that 9.8 million have £50 to use at the end of this four-week period as consumers face overstretched budgets.
Catherine Stewart, Savings Expert at Scottish Widows – Scotland's first mutual set up in 1815 – said: "Families are feeling the pinch as tough economic conditions continue, outgoings are increasing while income largely remains the same as a result of pay freezes."
People have to draw the purse strings tight to get by, but no one should neglect their finances.
The increase in the cost of living is also affecting consumers' monetary situation, as 38 per cent described their financial security level as below ideal, with 33 per cent blaming this on their salary not being high enough.
However, 30 per cent of those questioned did say they have become more careful with their income because of the squeeze.