Most people 'worried about bank balance within 17 days of payday'
Published 8 February 2012 by Lucy Bower
Money worries are making us a nation of obsessive bank balance checkers, according to research by Halifax, and these worries tend to kick in around 17 days after payday.
New research from Halifax suggests that as money gets tight, we're more likely to check our bank balances - as often as once a day.
Halifax asked its customers how far into the month they begin to worry about money. On average, it takes around 17 days after payday before we start to feel anxious about our finances.
However, as many as one in ten have concerns by week one, and by week two, one in five of us worry our salary won't stretch. By the third week, a third of people are checking their balances and scratching their heads. In the final week before payday, around half of the population is worried that they won't make it to their next paycheque.
This anxiety could be partly responsible for the popularity of payday loans, despite the expensive interest rates they charge.
This 'payday anxiety' prompts most of us to be more vigilant of our bank account. According to the survey, over one in five people (21%) will check the balance on their bank account at least daily. Another 22% check their balance more than three times a week. A quarter of us check in weekly and only 13% check their balance no more than once a month.
Account management like this is an important part of budgeting and makes people more aware of how much money they really have - which could help avoid overspending. A remarkable 38% of the population run a 'tight ship' with their finances and know their balance to the nearest £5.
Another 23% know their balance to the nearest £20, and one in 20 only know their current balance to the nearest £500.
If you're a thinkmoney customer, you can check your balance online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or submit a balance enquiry SMS and we will text an accurate balance to you. You could also check your balance over the phone.