ALMOST three quarters of a million people have no savings and another 300,000 have less than £100 in the south west, according to a recent survey.

The research, carried out by the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) in September, has revealed the financial vulnerability experienced by thousands of adults.

Without a financial safety net, some adults in the region may have to use credit as the rising cost of living and soaring energy bills bite into people’s finances this winter.

Lack of understanding of how and when to use this important monetary tool can lead to increased financial difficulty.

Almost half of credit users express anxiety over what they owe (47 per cent) and a quarter worry about the number of credit products they have (27 per cent).

This widespread anxiety over money and credit are felt by many and show how financial, physical and mental health are connected.

Struggling to save and keep on top of credit commitments can become “overwhelming”, says Caroline Siarkiewicz, chief executive of MaPS.

In total, 81 per cent of people find conversations about finances uncomfortable and choose to avoid opening up about monetary issues.

Reasons include fear of judgement (24 per cent), fear of burdening others (23 per cent) and shame or embarrassment (15 per cent).

During Talk Money Week (November 7-11), MaPS is encouraging people to open up about money, plan for their financial future and take free debt advice.

‘Credit’ is this year’s theme for the week, during which events and activities will be held across the UK.

“We want everyone to start the conversation with family or friends and share the burden of any money worries,” said Ms Siarkiewicz.

“Free help and guidance on how to do all of this is available via our MoneyHelper service and I’d urge everyone who needs it to get in touch today.” 

Free guidance is offered on everyday money, pensions, savings, finding free debt advice, dealing with financial issues, having conversations with creditors and opening up to family and friends.

For more information, visit For free guidance visit or phone 0800 138 7777.