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If you’re not on top of your finances right now, you’re not alone

One in five cash-strapped adults have no idea how much debt they’re in – and they don’t want to know either.

A poll of 2,000 adults found 17 per cent would rather not find out the exact figure they owe, and 21 per cent don’t want to worry about something they feel they can’t do anything about.

A further 16 per cent don’t even bother checking their account on payday, because seeing it all fly straight out to pay the bills and debt brings them down.

It also emerged one in four are more likely to worry about their physical fitness than their financial form, despite six in 10 adults often thinking about or fretting about money.

Maitham Mohsin, head of savings at Skipton Building Society, which commissioned the research, said: “We all deal with financial stress differently.

“Some of us will face it head on while others find it a challenging problem to face which can lead to some of us choosing to ignore the problem.

“It’s interesting to see just how many people don’t know how much they owe or how much they have, hoping that the problem will resolve itself.

“We understand things can be overwhelming but it’s important to start addressing our financial well-being as much as it is our physical and mental health where there has been such focus in recent months.

“If the problem is left alone it’s likely to get worse and impact on other aspects of life.”

The study also found 16 per cent don’t check their bank balance on payday as they simply can’t be bothered to look.

A further 22 per cent don’t check because they assume their employer won’t make a mistake, while one in 20 don’t even know how to access or get hold of their payslip in the first place.

And a tenth get disheartened by the amount of tax deducted from their gross salary.

It also emerged more than one in 10 rarely check their account balance before making a purchase, but 16 per cent have had their card declined for not having enough left in their bank or building society.

As many as 23 per cent have even been caught so off guard with their spending habits that they’ve been unable to afford an unexpected bill.

However, 30 per cent wouldn’t dream of making a purchase without first checking how much they have squirreled away.

The research, conducted via OnePoll, also found three-fifths won’t bother to log their personal day-to-day spending.

But of the 40 per cent who do watch their pounds and pennies, three in 10 use a banking app to keep track, while 35 per cent jot it down with a good, old fashioned pen and paper.

It also emerged nearly half of those polled hate talking about money and their finances, while 40 per cent don’t even like to think about it.

And more than a quarter admitted to having a ‘bury their head in the sand’ attitude towards their cash situation.

As a result, 36 per cent are worried about the current state of their finances, and three in 10 are even concerned for their financial future because they don’t feel they have everything in order.

Nearly a third have absolutely no plans for how they will manage their spending as time goes on and, as a result, more than one in three have no idea how they will cope financially when they retire.