A third of Britons are not saving
More than a third of Britons are failing to save as the rising cost of living takes its toll on disposable income, a survey has indicated.
Around 36% of people admit they are not setting aside any money, a steep increase from the 20% who were not saving when the same research was carried out in 2009, according to life insurer Scottish Widows.
The group warned that people were leaving themselves financially exposed by not having money to fall back on, while young people may have to delay buying a home until their mid-40s because of their lack of savings.
People on middle incomes of between £20,000 and £30,000 are most likely to be feeling the pinch from the combination of rising food prices and higher taxes, as well as static incomes, with 72% of those who are not saving saying living costs were their biggest obstacle.
Among those who do save, 56% are managing to set aside only 5% of their salary or even less on a regular basis.
People aged between 45 and 54 were the least likely of all age groups to be saving, with 40% saying they were unable to set aside any money.
Despite the fact that this age group should be focusing on saving towards their retirement, many are facing financial demands from both children and their own parents, the group said.
The proportion of young people who are not saving has also nearly doubled since 2009 - 33% admit they are not regularly depositing money, with many instead struggling to repay debt.
Scottish Widows warned that if people put off saving until they are 30, they may be 44 before they could afford to buy their own home, based on the average deposit for a house of £28,800 and average savings rates among those who were setting aside money of £2,000 a year.
Ian McGowan, head of savings and investments at Scottish Widows, said: "It is unsurprising that the financial crisis has impacted upon people's savings behaviours, but the concern is that this has created a generation of people who simply do not save."