The cost of living crisis is leading to one in five people in Scotland running out of money before payday, according to new research.

A poll for Citizens Advice Scotland by YouGov has found 9% of people always run out of money before pay day.

It includes wages, pensions and benefits, and a further 11% say they run out of money most of the time.

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The study found it up from 15% last year.

Citizens Advice Scotland say it is forcing more people into debt just to pay bills.

Myles Fitt, CAS Financial Health spokesperson, said: “One in five people running out of money before pay day is extremely concerning, given that these figures have seen an increase since 2021.

“The cost of living crisis is with us and these figures are an early indicator. With soaring energy bills and prices continuing to rise in the shops people are facing increasingly difficult, and in some cases impossible, choices on spending.

“A real issue here is that incomes simply aren’t keeping up with costs. Social security payments like Universal Credit effectively fell in real terms this year, and that was after the decision last autumn to remove the £20 per week uplift to the benefit.”

People were asked ‘How often these days, if at all, do you run out of money before ‘pay day’ (including benefits/pension payments etc.) and need to use credit, an overdraft facility or borrow money to get by?

Mr Fitt added: We would like to see policy-makers take every measure they can whether large or small to help blunt the impact of the cost of living because it will be through cumulative and collective effort that we can help as many people as we can to get through this crisis.

“Advice plays a key role and the difference it makes can be truly life-changing.

One in five people saw a financial gain after getting advice from a CAB last year, and the value of those gains were a staggering £4,400. We’re here to help, our advice is free, confidential and impartial and people shouldn’t hesitate in coming to us.”

The charity is encouraging people to seek advice from the Citizens Advice network, whether that is online, through digital self-help tools like or from a local CAB.