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Pay-day millionaires’ struggle to make ends meet

6th April 2015 Print

Britain is a nation of ‘pay-day millionaires’ millionaires, with nearly one in 10 (8%) Brits spending more than three quarters of their salary within the first week of getting paid, according to new research from

The findings from the leading price comparison site reveal that the average Brit spends £153 within 24 hours of getting paid – equating to more than 10% of the average UK wage. To sustain this level of spending throughout the month, people would need to earn three times their salary.                                 

According to the research, nearly a fifth (19%) of people say they feel the urge to treat themselves post pay-day, with one in 14 (7%) admitting to ‘living like a millionaire’ in the days after they get paid - even though it may be unsustainable. In true lavish fashion, one in 10 (10%) people admit spending over £500 in the first day after pay day. 

In a guilty confession, one in six adults (15%) admit to spending frivolously post pay-day, with a similar number (17%) confessing that they spend too much immediately after their pay hits their bank accounts.

And these pay-day spending sprees are a regular occurrence for many Brits, nearly one in seven adults (13%) admitting that they go on a pay day spending spree most months. For some, a post pay-day shopping splurge is something of a monthly ritual, with more than one in 20 (6%) admitting to doing so every single month, post pay-day. 

It seems that the thought of having more cash in the bank around pay-day is leading people to adopt a more lavish lifestyle, with nearly two-fifths (38%) saying they plan trips or weekends away around their pay-day. Additionally, nearly a third (30%) admit that they plan to visit more expensive restaurants and bars when their salary hits their bank accounts.

And once pay-day arrives people are most likely to splash out on takeaways (25%), essential maintenance (24%), nights out and a top up on their clothes/shoes (28%).

In particular, women are more likely to overspending around pay-day, with nearly a fifth of women (19%) claiming that they feel the need to treat themselves post pay-day, compared to just 14% of men.

However, these post pay-day splurges are costing Brits when it comes to later on in the month, with 14% of people admitting that they struggle to make ends meet in the days leading up to their next pay day.  According to the research, more than one in 10 (11%) say they always run out of money in the days leading up to pay-day. In fact, the average amount of time people feel as though they have little or no money left is just 17 days after they have been paid.

Whilst people are entitled to spend their hard-earned money, better budgeting could help prevent money worries as the month progresses. However, the research highlights less than a half (44%) of Brits say they budget their money well across the month. Over a quarter say they do budget their money but they don’t always stick to it. A further 17% say they always plan to budget their money across the month but this doesn’t usually happen and 8% say they usually struggle for money at the end of the month.

Of those who run out of money, nearly a third (31%) say they have to use a credit card to get them through to the end of the month, while over a quarter (27%) use their savings and a fifth (20%) use their overdrafts.

Whilst the majority of Brits are sensible with their direct debit and rent payments, with 70% saying they have scheduled their payments to go out in the days after they have been paid their salary, nearly a third (33%) admit they have been left short of money because a direct debit/standing order payment was taken out of their account unexpectedly.

Adults aged 18-24 seem to be the most extravagant with their money following pay-day, as 16% say they live like a ‘millionaire’ in the days after they get paid – significantly higher than the UK average of 7%. Over a quarter (27%) of those aged 18-24 say they feel the urge to treat themselves when they get paid – again, much higher than the UK average of 19%.

Nerys Lewis, Head of Credit Cards at, says: “It’s great news that so many Brits are organised with their finances and plan their direct debits around pay day. This is a great way to budget for the month ahead, but with so many of us admitting to relying on credit cards, overdrafts or pay day loans to get to the next pay day, it’s clear many of us have room for improvement.

“Credit cards can be useful budgeting tools, but picking the right type of card is essential. With over 200 credit cards available in the UK, with some now offering up to three years interest free on transfers, or over 20 months interest free on purchases you can pick up a great deal just by shopping around.”