Almost a third (30 per cent) of adults in the UK have less than a week's worth of wages in their savings account - a problem that could be improved with a switch of energy supplier.
By moving from one provider to another, homeowners and property dwellers may find their monthly bills are reduced and they have more money to stash away.
Research by HSBC found about 15 million people in the country have no more than what they earn in five days to fall back on.
This translates as less than £249 as a safety net, which would have to be used in the case of an emergency.
Richard Brown, head of savings at the bank, says: "These findings demonstrate a worrying lack of preparation amongst UK residents. With the current climate of uncertainty, it is of utmost importance that people are setting aside a realistic sum of money."
The latest Credit Action report showed about 9,000 people approach the Citizens' Advice Bureau each day with money problems.
Posted by Jim Tidy
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