Rainy day has finally arrived for savers
A survey of 1,300 adults by ING Direct showed that average savings fell by around 100 to 1,684 in the first few months of the year.
Higher inflation and VAT, fuel price rises, falling wages and high unemployment had led people to stop using credit cards.
ING senior economist James Knightley added: "The economic headwinds battering the household sector are not relenting. With food prices going up and utility bills set to increase sharply, household finances will remain strained.
"This suggests that savings are likely to be run down further this year."