Rising living costs borne of Britain's prolonged economic downturn are making it impossible for a third of the population to save money for their future, according to a survey.

The latest Savings and Investment report by pension firm Scottish Widows reveals that about 15 million Britons, or about 31 percent of the adult population, are "not currently making any effort" to save for the future, and eight million citizens have no savings at all.

In 2012, the portion of the population who were not saving money totalled 32 percent.

Of the two-thirds who are managing to save some money, 32 percent had less than £1,000 ($1,514, €1,145) as savings, while a household's combined monthly mortgage and council tax bill amounts to £1,009, the survey carried out by YouGov says.

About one-quarter of the total people surveyed indicated that they had given loans averaging £15,000 to their sons and daughters for buying their first homes or joining university. This has forced many parents to either reduce their savings or stop savings altogether. Grandparents' lending to grandchildren averages £3,665, according to the report.

The wider economic climate is affecting households' ability to save. Rising living costs in the country such as food, energy bills, rents and petrol are reducing the average person's disposable income and thus shrinking the amount they can save.

Meanwhile, the interest rates on savings accounts have been coming down, discouraging money savers.

"When we are faced with immediate financial commitments, such as mortgage payments and day-to-day living expenses, then it is absolutely necessary to give these pressing needs priority," said Iain McGowan, head of savings and investments at Scottish Widows.

"However, taking a wholly short-term view of our finances will mean we are unprepared for the financial needs and challenges that lie ahead in the future."