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Up to a fifth of individuals might benefit from personal insolvency advice, as research reveals that is the proportion of UK adults who run into several financial problems in their household budgets.

According to R3, the Association of Business Recovery Professionals, one in five Brits do not make a budget, hit their permitted limits of borrowing, and pay bills late.

The combination of these factors – a lack of ability to service bills, and a lack of further available funds – could lead many to seek personal insolvency advice and could ultimately end with some declaring bankruptcy.

In contrast, however, many individuals are taking steps to manage their finances more effectively, with 47% setting themselves a monthly budget and 80% checking their bank balance at least once a week.

Phillip Sykes, president of R3, said:

“Smart phones and online banking have made it much easier for people to keep on top of their finances. This does make it easier to prevent spending from getting out of control. There is a big difference, however, between making budgets and sticking to them.”

The R3 survey revealed some extremes in Britons’ banking behaviour, including 26% who check their bank balance every day, and 30% who go through their till receipts on a weekly basis to check their spending.

Over a quarter (28%) of Brits consult a financial advisor to keep their affairs on track, and 24% shop around to get the best financial products several times over the course of a year.

Budgeting divides the nation particularly evenly, with 17% planning their spending weekly, 26% monthly, and 21% never sticking to a budget at all.

Mr Sykes said:

“People are more likely to plan or check their finances when they are already in difficulty. It’s better to take preventative steps and stay out of debt in the first place.”