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Early Christmas pay sees millions of Brits struggle with their finances

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

The five-week wait between Christmas pay and January’s pay day means one in six Brits expect to be in the red by Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year.

Around three quarters of people blame the gap between the two pay days for their lack of funds.

Given the additional spending over the Christmas period with people turning to loans, credit cards and overdrafts, many will be in the red by Monday.

A survey by income streaming service Wagestream revealed that 78% of workers get paid once a month and only 3% can flexibly access their salary at any time.

Four in 10 admit to needing to borrow money before the end of the month and 12% said they spend more than half their day worrying about their financial situation.

Younger people were more affected by cashflow issues as 23% of 18-24-year-olds expect to be behind payments, compared to 7% of those aged over 65.

Over a quarter of the 2,000 surveyed said money worries was the biggest contributor to the January Blues each year. This is just behind darker mornings and evenings (36%).

The other reasons making the third Monday in January the most depressing day of the year are lack of social engagements, an increase in workload and health concerns.

Peter Briffett, CEO of Wagestream, said: “Blue Monday is the result of an outdated system of monthly pay cycles. In an environment where people expect to have control over their finances, the lack of freedom to access your salary as and when you earn it is creating great anxiety and financial problems for a high proportion of the UK working population. This is especially true in January, as a 48-day average gap between pay dates generates major cash flow issues for individuals.”