One in 10 Scots are left with no money after covering essential monthly expenses, according to new analysis from Citizens Advice Scotland.
The stark findings, based on polling of 1,416 people by YouGov, come even before energy bills are set to soar from October.
Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) says that 10% of the country’s population find themselves penniless after covering taxes, housing, utilities and food.
It estimates that this works out to around 452,958 people based on Scotland’s population.
A further 18% of those polled said they had less than £125 left over each month after paying essential expenses – with CAS estimating around 1.2 million are in the same position across Scotland.
It is now warning that people are facing a “financial cliff edge” this autumn ahead of the energy price cap increasing to £3,549 next month.
CAS chief executive Derek Mitchell said: “People are facing a devastating financial cliff edge this autumn, as energy bills soar and inflation shows no signs of slowing down.
“It’s important to understand what this actually means for people. Half a million people have nothing left after covering essential bills – they literally cannot afford another big increase in bills and prices.
“Over a million people have less than £125 left over – and next month average monthly bills are going up by £169.
“That’s why we’ve launched Our Advice Adds Up to encourage people to seek advice if they are struggling with the cost of living.
“People can get help from their local CAB, or check online resources like our public advice site, www.moneymap.scot or www.checkmycounciltax.scot.”