Payday Dread

02 November 2016


Katy Ringsdore
Katy Ringsdore

Payday Dread

Research reveals payday brings financial terror

After discovering how stressed people feel about their personal finances, we have decided to try and take some of the stress out of it by creating the world’s most relaxing ATM.

World's most relaxing ATM

In London (Dray Walk Gallery, London) between 12pm and 3pm on Wednesday 16th November, Atom, along with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, will give you the chance to experience a calming and tranquil banking experience. Pop down and say hi and see how relaxing banking can be … are you #bankcurious?

I have to admit; I have always been the type of person who likes to be in control of my finances. However, the older I get, the busier I am and the more I spend, the less I want to check my bank balance. It used to be a daily routine, now I check my account once or twice a month. This isn’t because I am rolling in it and never have to think about it, or that I am too busy, it’s simply because ignorance is bliss. I am similar to an ostrich these days – if I can’t see it, it’s nothing to worry about…. Or is it?!

Just typing this blog (or is it confessions of an ex-control freak?), is making my hands sweat at the prospect of talking about money – especially so publicly. We’ve just done some research with the stat gods at YouGov, finding that two in five Brits would prefer to be caught in embarrassing situations, such as having sex or having their flies undone, than for a stranger to know their intimate financial dealings. And it’s not only strangers we don’t want seeing our bank account – 29% of us feel nervous or physically sick at the prospect of seeing our own balance. Better not to know right? That’s what 85% of British adults who have NO idea what’s in their bank account at any given time think too.

So you’d think that all this stress about finances would get worse at the end of the month – too many drinks at a bar or the receipt for an expensive pair of jeans you didn’t need mocking you from your wallet. By the time you’re tempted to sell the cat on eBay, blessed payday rolls round again. But the weirdest truism to come out of the research was that, actually, 24% of the nation are at their MOST stressed on payday and the week after. Before you dismiss this fact as a freak accident, think about it more closely. You have a fresh pot of cash, great! But then you have bills to pay, a mortgage, utilities, all those niggly costs you’ve built up with friends and family over the previous month, promising to pay back on payday.

Payday’s also the day you should start a fresh monthly budget. But over a third of us feel stressed and anxious about budgeting, meaning over half of us (56%) don’t make or stick to one. So payday becomes the equivalent of that “first-thing-Monday-morning-the-diet-starts-I-promise” moment. Combine the stress of seeing all your dosh come in and quickly drain out again, with the guilt of not hanging onto it, and you can see why so many of us dread payday.