The January finance juggle: third of Brits dip into savings during December-January payday gap

  • Two-thirds (66%) have said they struggle with the long gap between December and January paydays
  • Almost three quarters (71%) of Brits have made a change to their budgets to get through the month
  • Six million Brits (14%) have had sleepless nights due to the long December-January payday gap 
  • Over 19 million Brits are cutting back on dining out (43%) in January

A third of Brits will be dipping into savings (33%) to get through the long gap between December and January pay cheques, according to new research by online money-saving coupon platform CouponBirds1.

The research, which investigated how Brits have navigated what is often the longest period between paydays in the year, shows that thirty million Brits (71%) have revised their budgets to survive the month financially.

Reducing the number of dinners out (43%), cutting back on takeaways (37%) and avoiding buying coffees (32%) are three of the top ways that people attempt to save money until that January payday.

The research also uncovered the UK’s top tactics for saving precious pennies in January. Brits are actively adopting strategies such as curbing impulse spending (53%), opting for cosy nights in over extravagant nights out (25%) and over four million Brits are even embracing ‘Dry January’ (9%) because of the financial rather than physical benefits. 

Percentage of people who will stop certain activities to save money during the December-January payday gap 2


% of people who will stop this activity to save money

Dining out 


Ordering takeaways


Impulse purchases


Buying coffee


Buying sale items just because they are on sale


Buying expensive/ premium groceries


Going to the cinema


Treating yourself


Getting hair professionally done


Getting nails professionally done


January is the worst month to have an unexpected expense, with home maintenance costs such as a boiler breaking or a burst pipe topping the charts. In fact, 9.45 million Brits (21%) have had to dip into their wallets to fix a household problem like this.

In addition, broken dishwashers, washing machines and cars have affected a huge 11.2 million Brits (25%), during the month when everyone could do without it.

All this impacts our moods, and it looks like money is a big contributor to January blues. 13.9 million (31%) Brits claim stretched finances mean they ‘feel the pressure’ over the month.

A further six million Brits (14%) have confessed to experiencing constant worry and sleepless nights due to financial uncertainties. This is particularly true of young people, as 19% of all 18–24-year-olds on PAYE have claimed that they struggle to doze off due to their worries around money.

The nation has been expecting a lot more from their employers during January in a bid to combat the long payday gap. Over 11 million Brits (26%) hope their employers provide flexible payment terms for January and over six million (15%) agree that their bosses should be offering support loans to their staff.

Andy Cooper, Financial Analyst and Money Saving Expert at CouponBirds, said; “Witnessing the financial hurdles people face in January is really disheartening, and it’s particularly alarming that a third of Brits need to delve into additional funds to navigate through the month. The nation’s well-being could be at risk and employers should consider assisting in any way they can to make this month more manageable for everyone.

“If you’re striving to cut back on spending and tighten your financial belt this January, one of the things you can do is shop around and find the best deals on items you really need. Double checking whether you can find discount codes on the can save you even more.”

Visit CouponBirds to find out more:

Featured Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash.

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