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18-25 years old? Don’t be an ostrich

If you took a look at your bank statement right now, what would you feel? Happy and relaxed – or anxious and worried? According to research, many millennials are likely to feel embarrassment – if they check them at all.

One in three (32%) of 18-24 year olds suffer from the ‘ostrich effect’, admitting to being too scared to check their bank balance, according to financial technology company Intelligent Environments.

This comes at the same time as research from AA Financial Services shows 62% of millennials (18-34 year olds) are likely to be embarrassed about their statements, with 28% saying they would feel particularly ashamed if their parents got sight of them.

This can have a detrimental mental impact, with Intelligent Environments showing nearly half (46%) of 18-24 year olds saying they lose sleep over their debt and personal financial situations.

Of course, these figures aren’t nice to read, but being brave about your financial situation is the first step to improving it.

Don’t lose sleep over your finances

1. Open your bank statements

The first thing to do is to open your bank statements and check them. Check for anomalies and really take a look at what you’re spending your money on. This is never fun, but there could be some simple ways you could put money back into your pocket.

2. Cancel unneeded subscriptions and memberships

Subscriptions and memberships, for example, are often forgotten about and can prove a money drain if you’re not making the most of them. Take a look at yours and consider which you can cancel. Do you really use the gym that much? Or your TV streaming service?

3. Work out your budget

Next is working out your budget and where you could be spending a little too much. Little habits like buying magazines or snacks on the way from home can really add up, and often you don’t even notice you’re doing it.

If you’re going out a lot as well, this can often be expensive. Don’t get yourself caught in rounds if you can and don’t be frightened about saying no to social occasions. Having dinner or drinks at someone’s house is a cheaper alternative and also means you can have a proper conversation away from a noisy bar or club!

5. Pick the right bank account for you

Also make sure your account is working for you too.

Fees can vary a lot between banks and between accounts, with one of the highest fees being charged for going over your agreed overdraft limit.

If you regularly spend more than you have in your account, choose one which will give you an overdraft up to an agreed limit without charging fees and/ or with a low interest rate.

If you really feel your finances are getting on top of you, you are not alone. There are plenty of free, confidential places you can go for help. To find one local to you, try our Debt Advice Locator tool.

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