A large number of Britons lie to each other and themselves about the state of their finances and levels of debt, a new study has revealed.
Research by financial advice website Fool.co.uk discovered one in six has lied about their debt situation with the figure rising to nearly a quarter among those under the age of 34.
The survey showed more than one in ten people do not open bank statements and one in five report feeling so stressed about their finances they "want to disappear".
Psychologist Donna Dawson warned: "We lie about our financial problems in order to save face, and to avoid being regarded as greedy, disorganised, naive or out-of-control – all traits associated with over-spending or financial mismanagement."
The government warns borrowers with problem debt not to hide away from their problems but to deal with them as soon as they occur to prevent the situation becoming worse.