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Blue Thursday? Brits expect to run out of money today

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The excitement of an early Christmas pay cheque has fully worn off by now, with Brits expecting to hit the bottom of their bank account today.

With most having received their last salary before Christmas, they are nearing the end of a six week gap until they are paid again. Many are feeling the pinch.

Around one in 10 had already run out by 10th January, finds research commissioned by the Unbank of U. Nearly 6 in 10 have experienced money worries during January and up to 10% worry about it most days.

Part of the problem is that many people borrow to pay for Christmas: 38% used credit cards, 11% used their overdraft, while another 8% used catalogue credit. Others used payday loans or borrowed from friends and family, while some used a combination of all of them. Overall, around half of Brits took on debt to pay for Christmas.

That debt creates a nasty post-Christmas hangover. Over a third (34%) won’t have paid for Christmas until at least June, 1 in 10 (11%) will still be paying for Christmas in December.

As January wears on, over half (55%) of Brits are reining in their spending to see them through. Dining out and buying new clothes are off the menu for around a third of people, while 21% are buying cheaper food.

Women (62%) are more likely to worry about money this month than men (53%). As a result, men are less willing to make cutbacks.

As for that elusive January pay cheque, around 15% of Brits say that they will pay off their Christmas debts first, 10% say they will be going for a night out with friends, while 8% will be treating themselves to a holiday.

Brad Burton, U ambassador, said: “Too much month at the end of the money sucks. I’ve been there myself many times over the years. All those households now paying the price of an expensive Christmas break. We all indulge in food and drink, buying too many presents! It’s a struggle. Today of all days is the day to decide to do something positive, to avoid being in the same situation a year from now.”

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