Get a quick quote

10 truths about rise and fall of a payday millionaire

15 November 2016 Data Insights

If you’re a payday millionaire, you know the routine: you watch the pre-payday hours tick away and become a carefree tycoon as soon as that salary lands in your bank account. But before long, you find yourself scrimping and saving as you start another countdown towards payday…


The process: we analysed card machine data and surveyed 2,000 working adults in full-time work to find out how they cope with the pre-payday countdown, and who acts like a payday millionaire once the dog days are over. Here’s what we found!

Hey quick spender


Within three days of being paid, 1 in 4 people say they’ve already spent between 11% and 25% of their monthly salary. To put this into perspective, these payday millionaires are spending on average as much as £462.50 in 72 hours.*

Frittering cash on food, fashion and fun


So what are these frivolous spendthrifts getting all Wolf of Wall Street about as soon as their salary lands?

Half of respondents say “food”. Meals are the top thing people spend their disposable income on, followed by clothing and socialising.

Payday millennial-aires


Though only 24% of millennials will actually admit to being a payday millionaire, we have stats that say otherwise! It seems 71% of 18–24-year-olds still splurge on unnecessary purchases as soon as their salary surfaces. Of these, 20% can’t wait longer than two hours to make like a millionaire and spend.

Online shopping payday heyday


More than 1 in 10 people shop online as soon as payday rolls in – and millennials don’t mess around. 17% of 18–24-year-olds fill their online shopping basket each month (our payment gateway integrates with over 40 of them) so they’re ready to click ‘buy’ as soon as they get paid.

But these purchases don’t always stick. 10% of people return their items to get their money back once the post-payday blues hit.

Gender and spenders


Do your chromosomes affect your spending habits? According to our research, more women make unnecessary purchases as soon as they get paid, and they’re more likely to feel it at the end of the month. 56% of women splurge on non-essentials, compared to only 38% of men.

Coincidentally (or not) 56% of women also struggle with money in the days before payday, compared to 39% of men.

The party prince of payday


Guys are more likely to carry that payday feeling with them into the night. Nearly double the number of men said they get in a round of drinks following payday when compared to women.

But that doesn’t mean a ladies’ night isn’t in the cards – overall, 10% of people celebrate payday each month with a night out.

The self-aware lady millionaire


Twice as many women classed themselves as a payday millionaire compared to their male counterparts. While women may be more likely to treat themselves to new clothes and beauty products on payday, they’re also more likely to pay off their debts – 41% do within 72 hours of being paid, compared to 31% of men.

The payday comedown


It seems that after all the cuisine, couture and celebration, there comes an inevitable crash.

At least every couple of months, 1 in 10 people borrow money from their parents or their partner to tide them over until next payday.

The good old credit card becomes a faithful friend, too – nearly a quarter of people use it to help them out in the final few days of the month, and 27% of 45–54-year-olds rely on it to support them throughout each week.

The pre-payday diet


Every few months, payday millionaires change their eating habits to save money before their next lump sum comes in. To help fatten up their finances, nearly 50% of women become payday dieters at least every 6 months, compared to 32% of men.

Millionaires in denial


Ultimately, only 1 in 10 people class themselves as a payday millionaire. And although 49% say they tend to make unnecessary purchases as soon as they get paid – a further 23% admit to having bought something they regretted on payday… Are payday millionaires in denial?

It seems we’re surrounded by a wealth of payday millionaires. So, what about you? Do you feel the urge to splurge once your salary materialises? If so, next time you consider clicking ‘buy now’ on that basket full of goodies, you might want to listen to the wise words of billionaire, Bill Gates:

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

Or else, by the end of the month, you could end up like this:


*Based on the average UK salary of £539 per week


Do you own your own business? 

Read our guides on how to hire your first employee, how to make sure that your employees are happy and engaged and if you need to start taking card payments, we have the best credit card readers for small businesses.

Why wait? Take card payments in just 3 days.