- Around 6 million Brits (12%) don’t always open important bills or financial statements
- Many people ignore bills because they “never contain good news”
- But 25% of those who don’t open bills intend to read them, but forget
Nobody likes seeing another bill landing on their doormat – but it seems that many of us can’t even bear to see what’s inside.
Research* by Debt Advisory Centre reveals that more than one in ten of us routinely ignore important bills and financial statements.
And it seems that many people are taking risks with their finances by becoming complacent about their bills. 59% of those who ignore bills do it because they “have a good idea what they will contain”, while 25% put them on a pile to read later, but often forget.
More worryingly, 28% of those who ignore bills do it because they believe they “never contain good news”.
Bank statements top the list of unopened financial mail, with 9% of respondents ignoring them. 6% ignore utilities bills, while another 6% ignore credit card bills, and 5% ignore letters about taxes or benefits.
And it seems that the gradual move towards ‘paperless’ billing is not helping matters.
28% of respondents said they find online bills and email statements easier to ignore than traditional post, compared with just 8% who said they are harder to ignore.
Ian Williams of the Debt Advisory Centre commented: “Our findings suggest that a lot of people are putting their finances at risk simply by not reading their bills and statements. Although many of us make payments automatically by Direct Debit, it’s still worth checking every bill or statement you receive for anything unexpected.
“It’s an even more serious problem for people who don’t check their bills because they know they have a financial problem. Lots of people who come to us with problem debts have stopped reading their post and it’s important that they understand that it doesn’t make the problem go away.
“The best approach is always to tackle the problem head on – read all your bills, find out what the problem is and get help as soon as possible, before the problem has time to get worse.”