Shock! 40% not in control of finances

Consumer debt - drowning in debt - the bubbles burst - sinking feeling. Man under water throwing money around.
Consumer debt - drowning in debt - the bubbles burst - sinking feeling. Man under water throwing money around.

The Money Advice Service and the UK Financial Capability Board published the findings of the most comprehensive research ever done into Scotland’s ability and attitudes to managing money.

And it’s worrying to note that a huge 40 per cent of adults in Scotland are not in control of their finances!

The research underlined that’s because they don’t know their current account balance, don’t feel their approach to budgeting works or cannot keep up with their bills and commitments without difficulty.

Some of the key findings include: 37 per cent of people in Scotland do not know their bank balance within £50, fewer than 1 in 3 people in Scotland have financial goals and plans to achieve them, 1 in 7 people in Scotland are over indebted and nearly a fifth of people in Scotland are reliant on credit.

The survey, conducted amongst over 1,100 people across Scotland shows that Scottish money management skills remain stubbornly low. Like the rest of the UK, people in Scotland take a ‘live for today’ attitude and far too few are prepared for financial shocks. However, whilst the overall picture is bleak, the findings show that six out of ten people have savings of £500 or more which could cover an unexpected bill.

This lack of financial awareness leaves people ill-equipped to cope with periods of high expenditure like Christmas. The Money Advice Service found that almost one in three (30%) people in the UK felt pressured to spend more than they could afford and as a result January sees a surge in debt advice enquiries.