ALMOST one million people across Scotland have no savings and another 450,000 have less than £100, new research as found.

A survey of 301 Scottish adults, carried out for Talk Money Week, which begins today, showed that (20%) have nothing put away and another one in (10%) have £100 or less.

This leaves almost one-third of adults living without a financial safety net to cope with the rising cost of living or unexpected bills and potentially needing to rely on credit, according to the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), which was behind the research.

MaPS is a service sponsored by the UK Department for Work and Pensions which provides impartial, free money and pensions guidance.

It said that while credit is an important tool when used and managed well, it’s crucial people understand what they can afford and have a plan to pay it off. However, the figures also reveal that many people are already finding this difficult. Among the 82% of people in Scotland who use credit, (43%) are anxious about how much they owe. Some 40% are worried about the number of different products they have.

As cost of living pressures start to hit home, MaPS says it’s more important than ever to talk about money before problems set in. However, the survey also reveals that 85% of people still avoid discussing their finances. Asked why, the most common responses were not wanting to be judged (24%), shame or embarrassment (20%) and fear of burdening others (17%).

During Talk Money Week, MaPS is encouraging everyone to open up about money, plan for their financial future and seek free debt advice as soon as they need it.

The organisation says its MoneyHelper service can be people’s first port of call, offering free guidance on topics such as everyday money, savings and where to find free debt advice. It also provides a range of information on dealing with money issues, including step-by-step guides on how to talk to your creditors.

Allison Barnes, Scotland manager at MaPS, said: “More than one million people across Scotland find it a challenge to save and this leaves them vulnerable when sudden expenditure items arise.

“When you add in the anxiety 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 help and guidance on how to do all of this is available via our MoneyHelper service and I’d urge anyone who needs it to get in touch.”

This year’s Talk Money Week focuses on the theme of credit, aiming to help demystify the jargon and build people’s understanding of credit products and what their options are – including other forms of support that might be suitable.