Six out of 10 British workers are unable to save even one month's salary during the course of a year, raising fears that a "spend now" culture means workers are not putting aside enough money for emergencies or retirement.
With Christmas approaching, traditionally the time when workers' wallets take the hardest hammering, the study by recruiter Monster has warned that Britons are struggling to save money in a climate of increased consumer spending.
Of the 1,126 people polled, just 35 per cent were only able to save one week's salary a year.
The finding, said Monster, echoed research by the Independent Financial Advisors organisation IFA Promotion, which argued that just one in four Britons were in control of their finances.
Its research in April found 31 per cent of people tried to budget but failed to stick to it, because they were either unrealistic or they caved in to temptation too often. Similar research by insurance firm Combined Insurance this year also found most UK workers spent three quarters of their salary before they even got it.
It estimated that the average UK worker earned £1,389 per month and £1,093 of this was earmarked for bills and food. A survey last Christmas by Deloitte found that 18 per cent of people planned to pay for their purchases using credit cards.
It has forecast a 2 per cent rise on spending this year, Monster added.