Thanks to online banking and mobile apps, it’s easier than ever to check your bank balance – so why is it that some of us never do?
According to new research, a third of young adults are simply too scared to check their account.
Digital banking firm Intelligent Environments also found that 34% of 18 to 24-year-olds expect to go into debt this year.
The study also found that 31% of young Brits lose track of their spending, while 46% lose sleep over the state of their finances.
David Webber, Intelligent Environments’ managing director, said it’s up to banks to help young people strike the right balance between spending and saving.
“According to our research, 18% of 18-24 year olds rarely check their bank balance, and 32% are too scared to check it at all, preferring to keep their heads buried in the sand,” he said.
“This ‘ostrich effect’ is one that must be turned around if young people are ever to regain control of their own finances.
“Greater visibility around spending habits will make people more aware of their bank balance, making it harder for them to go into debt unnecessarily.”
The research was published during National Student Money Week – an event aimed at promoting financial capability and making students aware of what support is available.
Shelley Asquith, vice president (welfare) of the National Union of Students (NUS), said more than half of students struggle to cover their basic living costs.
“With rents on the rise and grants being cut back, we are facing a national crisis of student poverty,” she said.
“This is not just having an impact on students' wellbeing, but on who can and cannot access education.
“At NUS we are making the case for more generous financial support and calling for action on the living costs students face every day.”
Chris Coates, a 23-year-old sports management student at Coventry University, said he struggles with money and would welcome more advice from his bank.
“As with most of my student friends, I tend to struggle when it comes to managing my money,” he said.
“My issue is that I tend to put convenience over money – and convenience comes at a high cost. We have so many lectures and exams that doing the simplest of things such as cooking meals can become arduous tasks that are tough to fit in to the day.”
Mr Coates said he often orders several takeaways a week, racking up hefty bills in the process and making him reluctant to check his bank balance.
“It’s a vicious circle – the longer I don’t check it, the higher the pressure when I do finally get round to taking a peek.
“It would be really useful if my bank could send me some kind of daily text or alert to save me from myself, and let me know where I’m tracking against my budget.
“Budgeting help would be good too – I know I’d really benefit from being given tips on weekly budgeting so that I don’t end up broke by the end of the month.”