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Brits already £250 in debt ahead of January payday

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
The average Brit is already £246.60 out of pocket by the time they are paid in January due to the excesses of December and Christmas festivities.

Six in ten believe their finances are out of shape while 40% said their balances are ‘normal’ after the average Brit spent £262.25 per month in the last quarter of 2017.

According to the poll of 2,000 by Nationwide Building Society, almost half (48%) have less than £100 spare each month.

As such, finance issues could last well into 2018 – 27% said they won’t have their current account back to normal at least until May. One in 10 said they wouldn’t be back to normal until December.

A further 11% said they don’t expect their current account to return to health at all this year.

Nationwide found that those aged 16 and 24 are most likely to use their January pay packet to pay off the festive shortfall. However this group has a lot to pay off as the average post-Christmas debt stands at £328.72. In comparison, those aged 55+ have an average debt of £109.08.

Over the course of 2018, Brits expect to accrue an additional £795 of debt per person.

But Brits are taking steps to balance their budgets: 28% said they will cut back on lunch spending, 18% will cut back on takeaways while 21% said they’ll cut back on nights out.

John Hutton, Nationwide’s director of payments, said: “The January payday marks a low tidemark for many people’s finances but the good news is that for most it should be progressively easier to get your current account in good shape as the year rolls on.

“Our data, based on 200 million digital consumer transactions, is supported by the poll. Spending is naturally up in the last three months of the year due to festivities, while January continues this trend as millions of us take to the sales, join a gym and plan our holidays.

“We should therefore expect major seasonal events to impact our finances. To tackle this, we would always encourage people to plan their spending and to budget where possible. And while it isn’t always possible to save, even putting aside a small amount each month could build some financial resilience.”

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