Is there a better feeling than spending some hard-earned money on payday? According to Suits Me, the average UK consumer spends as much as £132 on payday and it is common for people to splurge when the money reaches their accounts. It is certainly a good feeling, but the habit can create financial difficulties both short and long-term, with spending reaching 21 per cent of one’s disposable income in just one day.

Pleasure & Reward

So, what is the psychology behind spending? Spending is all about pleasure and reward and activates the same part of the brain that lights up when people drink alcohol or take drugs. When people have spent all month working hard, spending can serve as a type of emotional therapy. While there is nothing wrong with this, it is important that you are careful and do not overspend come payday.

Deals & Promotions

Another reason that people might be tempted to spend more than they perhaps should come payday is the number of offers that there are at this time. Retailers and other businesses are highly aware of the fact that people are more likely to spend on payday, so it is not uncommon to see payday promotions in-store and online as well as having an inbox filled with promotional offers for payday.

Social Pressure

In addition to everything mentioned, there is also social pressure that many succumb to after a month of work. People are often pressured into going out for drinks or a meal, or enjoying a takeaway at home with their partner or friends — things that can be hard to turn down. The Suits Me research found that the top three payday treats were a takeaway (41 per cent), drinks out (37 per cent) and a meal out (37 per cent).

How to Avoid Overspending

It is clear that there are psychological factors at play on payday and this can cause people to spend more money than they perhaps should. It can be hard to change psychological behaviour, but there are things that you can do to control spending once you are paid. You could set yourself a limit for how much you can spend on the day with a prepaid card. Just automate money to go where it needs to go to avoid overspending and try to find cheap/free ways to reward yourself on payday. Instead of going out for drinks and a meal, for example, you could invite people over and cook for them.

It is a great feeling on payday to spend some hard-earned money, and there is clear psychology behind this behaviour. But it is also important that people try to avoid spending too much, as this could have an impact on their finances and life.