Do you go out and splurge just after payday, but have to stay in to save money at the end of the month? If you do, you're not alone. We did some research* and found that people's spending habits change quite a lot as the month progresses.
We love to spend our hard-earned cash just after payday…
As payday arrives, there's a big rush to the supermarket, as 32% of us do a big grocery shop and 16% fill the car up to the brim with fuel. Others hit the shops, with 12% buying new clothes and 8% splashing out on gadgets or other 'luxury items'. And payday is the perfect opportunity for a party, with 9% of us heading out on a 'big night out'.
…but things can get a bit tight at the end of the month
The end of the month is a different story. When payday is but a distant memory, people try and limit their spending as much as possible. For example, 42% of us try and put off any spending on things that we don't strictly need.
We also try and get by with the things we have. For example, 26% of us scrabble around in the cupboards, fridge and freezer instead of going for another food shop. Around a quarter (24%) avoid going out and 16% of us do our best to make the remaining fuel in the car last as long as possible.
Some of us run out of money altogether
We found that 36% of people with a current account don't manage to make the money stretch for the whole month - and have to resort to borrowing from their overdrafts. 11% of overdraft users tend to go overdrawn on the first of the month, which (depending on when their payday is) implies that there are many people who slip into the red almost as soon as they get paid.
Some of us last a bit longer without having to borrow, but by the 16th of the month over half of overdraft users are overdrawn.
How can you make your money last for the whole month?
It's easy to see why a lot of us splurge just after payday. After all, some months feel very long indeed - and we earned that money with hard graft. However, it's not a nice feeling having to scrimp - or even get into debt - as the month draws on.
A relatively easy way to make sure your money will stretch is to draw up a good budget. Use budgeting tool to help you work out how much you spend on all your essentials each month. Once you've done this you'll know how much you have left over to spend as you wish. From there you can figure out roughly how much you can spend each day or week without blowing your budget.
However, your finances might be complicated - which could make budgeting difficult - or you might not have the time to keep up with where all your money is going. In that case, it's worth looking into a thinkmoney Personal Account. You tell a real person (one of our Money Managers) about your monthly costs and they'll set aside enough of your income to get all your bills paid on time - as long as you're putting enough in, of course!
*OnePoll carried out online interviews with a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK adults on 02.05.13. Figures have been extrapolated to fit ONS 2013 population projections of 50,371,000 UK adults.