One in Five Adults Unaware of Their Debt and Unwilling to Confront It, Survey Finds

A recent survey reveals that one in five financially strained adults have no idea about the extent of their debt and prefer not to know. The poll, conducted among 2,000 adults, found that 17 percent would rather remain ignorant of the exact amount they owe, while 21 percent choose not to worry about something they feel they have no control over.

Furthermore, 16 percent of respondents admitted to not checking their bank account on payday due to the disheartening feeling of seeing their income swiftly depleted by bills and debt. Astonishingly, one in four individuals expressed more concern about their physical fitness than their financial situation, despite the fact that 60 percent frequently think about or worry about money matters.

Maitham Mohsin, head of savings at Skipton Building Society, which commissioned the research, noted the varying ways in which individuals handle financial stress. Some confront the issue head-on, while others find it challenging to face, leading them to ignore the problem. Mohsin emphasized the importance of addressing financial well-being, urging individuals to prioritize their financial health alongside their physical and mental well-being.

The study also found that 16 percent of respondents don’t check their bank balance on payday due to a lack of motivation. Another 22 percent trust that their employer won’t make any errors, and 5 percent are unsure how to access their payslip. Additionally, a tenth of respondents feel discouraged by the amount of tax deducted from their gross salary.

Surprisingly, more than 10 percent rarely check their account balance before making a purchase, leading to instances where their card is declined due to insufficient funds. In fact, 23 percent of respondents have faced unexpected bills that they couldn’t afford due to their spending habits.

However, 30 percent of individuals always check their available funds before making a purchase. Among those who actively monitor their finances, 30 percent use banking apps, while 35 percent prefer the traditional method of pen and paper to jot down their expenditures.

The survey also revealed that almost half of the participants dislike discussing their finances, and 40 percent prefer not to think about it at all. Over a quarter of respondents adopt an “bury their head in the sand” approach to their financial situation. As a result, 36 percent are concerned about their current financial state, and 30 percent worry about their financial future due to a lack of financial organization.

Alarmingly, nearly one-third of respondents have no plans for managing their spending in the long term. Consequently, over one-third have no idea how they will cope financially during retirement.

Maitham Mohsin advises individuals to tackle their finances step by step, starting with an analysis of monthly income and expenses. Making small changes can provide extra funds to pay off debt or contribute to savings. Although it may initially seem daunting, seeking professional assistance can make financial management feel more manageable.

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