Citizens Advice Scotland has said the findings show that the cost of living crisis is tightening its grip on the country.
Campaigners in Scotland have warned that hundreds of thousands of Scots could be running out of money before payday.
New polling for Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) by YouGov has revealed that one in five people in Scotland are running out of money before payday.
The polling shows nine per cent of people always run out of money before receiving their pay – defined as wages as well as pensions and benefit payments - while a further 11 per cent say they run out most of the time.
In a sign of the growing cost of living crisis gripping the country, this marks a five percentage point increase since 2021.
CAS is warning that the rising cost of living is leaving many people with no option but to take on debt, with increasing numbers of people at risk of poverty as a result leading to a rising demand for money and debt advice.
CAS financial health spokesperson, Myles Fitt, 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.”
The charity is encouraging people to seek advice from the Citizens Advice network, whether that is online, through digital self-help tools like www.moneymap.scot or from a local CAB.
Mr Fitt added: “If people are worried or struggling with money we would encourage them to seek advice from the Citizens Advice network. That can mean our online self-help tools like moneymap.scot or our public advice site, or from a local CAB.
“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.”