One in five ‘spend over half of discretionary income within 48 hours of payday’

A fifth of workers have spent more than half of their spare cash for the month within 48 hours of receiving their wages, a survey has found.

Nationwide Building Society found that 22% of people polled said more than half of their spending money, excluding bills and essential items, is gone within the first two days of being paid.

Six in 10 said there is less than £100 in their accounts the week before payday.

And 15% have no money at the end of the month, research among more than 4,000 people found.

Nearly two-thirds (61%) “bookmark” items for purchase in the weeks leading up to payday, leaving them ready to splurge once the money hits their account.

The most popular payday spends include larger-than-usual food shops, takeaways and new clothes.

More than half (55%) of people surveyed said they are more likely to splash out on unusual purchases within a week of getting paid.

Three-fifths (59%) had regrets about their spending habits after payday.

Nine in 10 (92%) who said they regularly make impulse purchases later regretted their spending choices.

Two-fifths (42%) of 16 to 24-year-olds said their spending habits are influenced by famous people.

Nationwide has a campaign called PayDay SaveDay to encourage people to consider saving some money on the day they are paid.

Gemma Pauley, head of PayDay SaveDay, said: “It’s clear that the temptation to spend like a rock star come payday is very common.

“And why not? We all feel that we deserve a treat when we get paid. But how much of that is due to penny-pinching towards the end of the month due to overspending?”

Here are the most popular spending choices for people splashing the cash immediately after payday, according to Nationwide Building Society

1. Larger-than-usual food shop, 27%
2. Getting a takeaway, 24%
3. Buying new clothes, 20%
4. Eating out at a restaurant, 16%
5. Buying new items for my home, 14%
6. Going to the pub, 12%
7. Buying gifts for family members, 11%
=8. Buying event tickets, 10%
=8. Buying toys for my children, 10%
=8. Getting a nice lunch at work, 10%

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