The average worker would run out of money within 52 days if they lost their job, according to research by Yorkshire Building Society.
The survey found that while most people have monthly outgoings of about £1,445, they only have an average of £2,474 in accessible savings.
It also found that 36% would run out of cash in 11 days, with just £500 worth of savings set aside. And 90% had no form of income protection to cover their bills if they became unable to work or lost their job.
Certain groups were found to be more at risk of financial ruin than others, including divorcees, whose savings would only last an average of 35 days, and part-timers, who would be broke within 37 days.
Tanya Jackson, corporate affairs manager at Yorkshire Building Society, said: “Finances for many are already finely balanced due to the rising cost of living, and the research reveals that both state benefits and savings are not viable options for the majority of consumers to rely upon for an adequate length of time.”