A survey from Nationwide Building Society said 41% of people have less than £6.60 left over.
Across the UK, the average amount of cash people have left over for discretionary spending is £13.22, Nationwide found.
Two-thirds (66%) of people were found to have reduced their outgoings to cover essential bills.
Nearly a third (30%) had missed payments in the past year, with utility bills, rent and insurance the most likely payments skipped.
Despite feeling the squeeze, many people were unwilling to take money from their longer-term savings pots. One in seven (14%) people said paying into a pension was something they would not be willing to cut back on when looking to have more ready cash.
Alongside a survey of 2,000 people from across the UK, Nationwide’s Spending Report also analysed more than 700 million customer transactions to find how spending habits have changed.
The research found customers are spending around £87.80 more per month on essentials typically than they were a year ago.
More than two-thirds (67%) of people believe it is harder to survive each month financially now than five years ago.
Around a quarter (26%) were found to be regularly outspending their earnings, overshooting their bank balances by £101.84 a month on average, adding up to £1,222.08 per year.
Guy Simmonds, Nationwide’s head of customer management for current accounts, said: “Finances are clearly under some pressure.
“Despite the reality that money is tight for some, there are encouraging signs that people are taking the right steps by cutting back on non-essential spending and finding ways to make their money go further.”
Here is a breakdown of the average amount of money people have left over per month after essential living costs, according to Nationwide (Northern Ireland was excluded due to a small sample size):
- London, £585
- North East, £536
- East Midlands, £404
- West Midlands, £386
- Scotland, £372
- East of England, £371
- South East, £370
- North West, £362
- Yorkshire and the Humber, £353
- South West, £307
- Wales, £268