Brits splash 20% of pay cheque in 24 hours

Pay day

The average Brit spends on average almost a fifth of their wages within 24 hours of getting paid, according to new research.

One in three adults admit they "live like kings" in the four days following their salary hitting their bank accounts, according to a report on salary spending behaviour commissioned by cashback and rewards site Quidco.

The thought of more cash in the bank leads people to splash out on clothes, meals and alcohol, in particular, with women being more prone to overspending – 48% of women fall for the trap that payday has a novelty value.

However, they are most likely to feel guilty about their post-payday spending habits, with 55% feeling bad about it compared with 45% of men.

Women are also more likely to live from pay cheque to pay cheque, with a quarter admitting they have spent all their money by the end of the month, compared to 18% of men. More than a third of women are already running out of cash within the first seven days of receiving their pay cheque, with 30% of women counting down to their next payday.

Spending spree

Unsurprisingly, younger earners are more likely to go on a post-payday spending spree – a whopping 69% of 18- to 24-year olds admit regretting splashing the cash later in the month.

While many (71%) have good intentions about saving money, 29% say that they have to resort to taking money back out of their savings to get through to the end of the month. Some 15% plan to save but don't manage to put away any money at all.

A salary hike would not necessarily help Brits to manage their money better, with 60% admitting that a pay rise would not necessarily have an impact on how much money they had left at the end of the month, and one in five saying they would just spend the extra money.

When it comes to budgeting, one in 10 (12%) admits they try to budget each month but are not very successful, while 15% don't even try.

People will cut back on treat foods, followed by fewer nights out with partners, and fewer shopping trips when they want to rein in their spending. Only half of Brits actively shop around for the best deals, and 7% only begin to shop around for deals when they are running out of money.

Andy Oldham, MD of Quidco, said: "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 on a strict budget when the payday euphoria wears off."

However, he added: "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-payday."

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Quite some time ago I read a statement by C Northcote Parkinson that expenditure rises to meet income. I decided to apply it and all of my pay cheque vanishes into little pockets as soon as I get it. The types of pocket vary, for example some build to once a year expenditure (Car Tax, Insurance etc) others are for spending but it does mean I rarely run out of money during a month. Incidentally I allow a 20% inflation rate on my yearly payments. The scheme originated in the 1970's when inflation and interest rates were high!