First day of the month means debt for 1.9m Brits

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

What do you do after you’ve just been paid? For many Brits, it seems like money quickly burns a hole in their pockets, with an estimated 1.9m people already finding themselves in debt by the first day of the month.

After payday, many of us immediately leap to buy groceries, fuel and go on expensive nights out. This unfortunately has important repercussions for our finances, as 36% of people with a current account find themselves using their overdraft. Of these, over half find themselves overdrawn by the 16th of the month.

And by the time the month is nearly over, 42% of us avoid spending any money at all unless it’s absolutely essential.

Nobody likes the prospect of regularly dipping into the red, especially as overdrafts can be expensive and difficult to repay. Still, it seems Brits have started to depend on these to make our finances manageable throughout a typical month.

We clearly aren’t very good at learning from our mistakes either, as the pattern continues to repeat itself every month. Straight after payday, 32% of us immediately do a large grocery shop, while 17% fill the car up with petrol, 12% buy new clothes and 9% go on an expensive night out.

“It seems that the excitement of being paid can cause people to dash out and spend, only to run low on funds later in the month - with more than a third of us using an overdraft to get by,” said Ian Williams from thinkmoney.

“A good budget could help many people make it through the month without running out of money or borrowing from their overdraft.”

So it seems the problem is how to organise and maintain a good budget – especially when there are so many regular expenses which can’t be avoided. A prepaid card can ensure you stay on top of a pre-determined budget.


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