Finding this month financially challenging? You’re not alone
New research from Bank of Scotland (BoS) reveals Scots will wait an average of 2.4 extra days for this month’s income – after being paid early in December – in the longest January ‘payday gap’ in Britain.
This means that on average anyone expecting to be paid on Friday this week (the last Friday of the month) may have already felt in need of their regular income by lunchtime Wednesday instead.
The research, conducted by YouGov for BoS reveals this ‘extra wait’ until January income arrives averages 2.0 days across Britain, while Scots face almost twice the extra wait compared to the Welsh, who will only need to budget for an extra 1.3 days on average this January.
According to the bank, a significant minority in Scotland will have to spread their income over more than a whole additional week this month. One-in-twenty, or 5% of Scots, were paid more than a week early in December and now find themselves having to budget for an extra gap of over seven days.
As a result, 39% of Scots who received their income early last month say that managing their finances in January will have been a financial strain. This compares to an average across Britain of 33%.
BoS claims an expensive December often contributes to financial struggles in the New Year. Over a third of Scots (36%) admit to dipping into their general savings over the festive season, while just one-in-five (21%) used money saved specifically for Christmas. In tandem, only 48% say they managed to absorb extra December spending within their normal monthly expenditure, the lowest in Britain.
YouGov’s findings also show that Scots are the least likely to make financial resolutions for the New Year. Despite a prolonged wait for payday and an expensive month, only 7% made a New Year’s resolution related to their finances. This compares to 10% of people across Britain.
Jon Roberts, managing director of consumer & commercial cards at Bos, said: “Make no mistake, January can feel like a long month, but as a nation we don’t always make it easier on ourselves. Our research illustrates how many don’t plan for a longer gap between pay cheques in January, which can make managing our money trickier in the New Year – and often makes best-laid plans and resolutions particularly difficult from month one.”