Whatever the state of our finances, keeping a close eye on them makes us feel happier about life.

That’s the upshot of a survey by Sunlife which found a quarter of Scots have only a rough idea, or no idea at all, about the state of their finances, while those who do live by formal budgets score higher on a ‘happiness index’.

But Scots were less up to speed with their finances than people across the UK generally, and, worryingly, the research found young Scots markedly less aware of their money than their counterparts south of the Border.

“The UK research found younger people are much more likely to budget than older people, with 57per cent of 18-24 year olds saying they budget formally compared to just 32per cent of over 65s,” Sunlife said. “But this pattern was not replicated in Scotland, where almost the reverse was true.”

It went on: “Younger people are also more likely to make use of technology to budget, with 18per cent of 18-25s using an app or online tool...again this pattern was not replicated in Scotland.”

To calculate the happiness index, respondents were asked to give a one to 10 score for three questions: how satisfied are you with your life as a whole, how happy did you feel yesterday, and looking ahead five years how happy do you feel about your future?

The research found a strong correlation between happiness and the habits of budgeting and balance checking.

Dean Lamble, managing director of SunLife, said: “Whether you prefer the trusted pad and paper or are more technologically inclined, our research shows that those who budget in some way, either formally or informally, are happier than those that don’t, so it is worth keeping on top of your finances, not just for your financial well-being, but your personal happiness too.”

The study, which asked more than 3,000 people UK-wide about their budgeting habits, found that 44per cent use an app, online tool, spreadsheet or a notebook to budget - but in Scotland the figure was only 34 per cent.

Across the UK 35 per cent don’t budget formally, but claim they always have a clear idea of their incoming and outgoings, but in Scotland that was up to 42 per cent.

One in six said had only a ‘rough idea’ of their financial state while eight per cent said they never budgeted at all.

On checking their bank balance, 23 per cent of Scots said they did it daily, 33 per cent several times a week, and 30 per cent weekly.

Lamble added: “With UK personal debt now standing at 110per cent of average earnings and UK households saving just 4.9per cent of their incomes (the lowest proportion since 2008), we should be keeping a close eye on our finances.”

Meanwhile almost half of adults say their health has suffered from worrying about money problems over the past five years, according to new research from the charity Fairbanking Foundation.

One in three people say that since 2009 personal finance issues have caused them to suffer from stress, and 22per claim it has contributed to them having depression. Nearly one in five say money worries have caused them to suffer from insomnia.

Antony Elliott, the foundation's chief executive said: Of those people who encountered financial difficulties over the past five years, only 14per cent said that they thought their banks and creditors were supportive.”