One in ten people in Scotland class themselves as being “truly skint”, according to a new study from the Debt Advisory Centre.
In the study, “truly skint” was defined as having no money in the bank with very little to no cash, and no access to any other money.
In total, 750,000 people in the country are verging on the red, and the problem appears to be growing in frequency.
When questioned, 60% of people said they had been “truly skint” at least once in their life.
Of those polled, 30% said the main reason for their financial peril is that their income is only just enough to live on. Meanwhile 18% said unexpected bills and expenses were the root of the problem in a majority of cases.
Third on the list was overspending (17%), followed by debt repayments (13%), redundancy or unemployment (11%) and payment not arriving as expected (4%).
The results also showed an impact on people’s wellbeing, with 37% feeling worried and upset, 20% classing themselves as “panicky” and a quarter even becoming depressed.
Ian Williams, from Debt Advisory Centre Scotland, said having no money can have a major detrimental effect on people’s lives.
“Having nothing in your wallet and a family to feed is a real crisis point and can lead to depression and panic. Our research shows that trying to keep up with debt repayments accounts for one in eight of people in Scotland who become skint,” he added.
Mr Williams said the best way to tackle the problem of debt is to avoid it building up in the first place, and advised people to plan properly and seek help before the issue is exacerbated.