Brits ‘live like a king’ for four days after payday – but then spend the rest of the month living like a pauper, a study revealed yesterday.
Researchers found we go on a spending spree after their salary goes into their bank account, treating themselves to more expensive food, meals in restaurants or takeaways, nights out, new clothes and gadgets.
But after four days, the thrill of being paid wears off and we spend the rest of the month counting pennies until the next payday.
It also emerged within 24 hours of being paid, the average adult will have spent almost a fifth of their wages.
Andy Oldham, Managing Director at Quidco.com, the UK’s biggest cashback and rewards site, said: ”After waiting for payday, it’s easy to get a bit carried away once the money finally lands in your account, particularly if you have spent the final few days before your salary arrives budgeting.
‘’When you know you have a large sum of money in your account the urge to treat yourself to a payday bonanza, whether it’s a shopping spree, meal out or a take away, can be irresistible.
‘’But this extravagance only lasts a few days before reality sets in and the countdown to the next pay day begins again and it seems it’s ‘spend in haste and repent at leisure’, with many shelling out cash on luxuries immediately after pay day only to end up penny pinching for the rest of the month.
‘’Instead of splashing the cash recklessly in your first week, you can still ‘celebrate’ payday without breaking the bank by shopping wisely using reward sites that help you build up cashback on your purchases to make that money go a little further than usual.’’
The study of 2,000 workers found one in three admit they ‘live like kings’ in the days after their wages go into their accounts, with the average adult spending £240 within just 24 hours of being paid. And almost £350 is gone by the end of the first week.
But after an average of four days of splashing the cash, the novelty of having a large sum of money in the bank account wears off, and Brits are back to counting their pennies for the rest of the month.
Almost four in ten admitted to going on ‘payday shopping sprees’ with clothes, meals out and alcohol the most popular things to spend their hand earned wages on.
Takeaways, beauty products, clothes and day trips for children and nights out are also common ‘payday’ treats. Six in ten even admitted they feel the urge to treat themselves after getting paid simply because they have a bigger sum of money than usual in their bank account.
But 61 per cent of people soon reach a point in the month where they have little or even no money left, with this happening after an average of just 12 days.
As a result, two thirds are left counting down the days until their next payday, and after splashing the cash on luxuries at the start of the month, have to resort to cutting out ‘treat’ food, going out less and even avoiding the shops altogether to make it through the month.
Others have to treat themselves less, buy reduced food and drink, take a packed lunch to work and use discount codes or vouchers. Researchers also found that one in two even went as far as to say they often end up regretting their splurge towards the end of the month once they are starting to run out of cash.
But while 85 per cent try to budget to make their money last the month, 46 per cent admit they rarely succeed. More than half also admit they need to make more effort to make their money go further to avoid budgeting towards the end of the month.
Andy Oldham added: ”When you work hard, it’s reasonable to feel entitled to having a little bit of what you like at the end of the month when your salary comes through, as long as you don’t allow common sense to go out the window leaving you short when the payday euphoria wears off.
”Rationing yourself aside, there are ways to make your money go a lot further without resorting to beans on toast at the end of the month.
”Getting into the habit of using reward sites to build up cash back on all purchases, from your every day essentials through to life’s luxuries, effectively generating extra funds that you can either save, or are free to spend at a later date.
”A common mistake is deploying money saving tactics at the end of the month, when your bank account is dwindling, consistently keeping an eye on your spending can help make sure you are able to maintain the lifestyle you want throughout the month, not just in the magic few days post-pay day.”
Top things to splash payday money on:
2. Meals out
5. Beauty products
6. Clothes for my children
7. Nights out
8. Days out with the children
Top ten ways to save money later on in the month
1. I stop buying treat food
2. My partner and I go out less
3. I refrain from going shopping
4. I treat myself less
5. I try to buy food that is on offer
6. I make a strict food shopping list to stick to
7. I go on fewer nights out
8. I take a packed lunch to work
9. I use discount codes/search for vouchers
10. I cash in loyalty points