Skip to main content Accessibility Statement
happy couple

How long does your pay last each month?

A third of UK adults blow their wages in just one week, while one in fifteen have spent most of their earnings within 24 hours according to a new study, but the urge to splurge just after pay day can cause all sorts of financial difficulty.

It’s not always easy to make it to the end of the month, with the research from cashback site Quidco finding finding two in five (42%) of us struggle to make their money last.

For those that do battle from pay day to pay day, it seems finally having money in our account acts as a motivation to spend.  One in four will buy clothes as soon as we get paid, and the same number will head out on a big night out once we’ve got the extra cash.

The dangers of pay day spending

Pay day might seem like the perfect time to spend, particularly if you’ve been delaying buying something or going out until you’ve got the money. You’ve got it, so why not spend it?

Unfortunately, once the fun of a night out has passed and the clothes are hanging in your wardrobe, you’ve still got the rest of the month to fund.

Quidco found one in five (19%) rely on credit cards and one in six (16%) use their overdraft to cover their costs.

These might seem like good solutions, but both usually come with extra fees and charges, making your spending more expensive. It’s also possible you could get caught in a cycle of paying off money you owe each month then borrowing again to buy the things you want and need as you don’t have the funds to pay for them outright.

Priority spending

It’s never as fun, but if you don’t want to risk losing your home, or having power cut off, essential spending should be prioritised.

So that means your rent or mortgage payments, Council Tax and your bills are paid first before you head out shopping. It’s usually possibly to change when you pay these to fit with your pay day, but if you can’t you can set up a separate bills account and move the money there.

Knowing how you spend

If you really want to avoid getting into dire straits each month and not spend beyond your means, it helps to properly understand how you spend.

Are you likely to buy things that never get used? Do you spend on small things without thinking? How often do you get a taxi rather than walk or use the bus?

The truth is we probably all do this. But by keeping a spending diary it might reveal how much these things cost – and you might find a little motivation to change your habits when you see what they all add up to.

What do you think?

We really want you to share your views, but please remember to be nice ☺
All fields are required. Check out our full commenting guidelines

By clicking on 'Post Comment', you're agreeing to our Commenting Policy

  • Jennie Ingram / 21 April 2016

    It is a fantastic idea to write down everything you spend each day like a sort of money diary. It really brings it home as to what you are spending. Be truthful and write down everything from the chocolate bar to the expensive purchases. It will be a real eye opener.

  • Sheena Phillips / 21 April 2016

    I am slightly dyslexic and when I clicked on the link I thought I would get some bullet points to quickly see what I had to do. I nearly didn't take the time to read the info. If I had more problems with reading and numbers I doubt that I would have read it.

  • Ana B. / 20 April 2016

    Very good advice. I knew them. They are the ones I have always followed, even before reading them here. And they work.