From spending big to skint: Aussie workers fall victim to 'payphoria'


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Aussie workers are running on fumes in the lead up to payday and spending like kings the day after, according to new research from Xero.

So important is payday that 58% mark it as a celebration, while one-third believes they've earned the right to splurge.

Xero says its latest "payphoria" study shows Aussie workers are living on a knife's edge - routinely draining their account, sometimes even going into the red.


One in three workers have less than $100 in the days approaching payday, forcing them to forego luxuries such as coffee and eating out, or even put off essential expenses like household bills.

The study also found that one in five Aussies are feeling the pinch and use short-term fixes such as Afterpay, payday loans, credit cards or overdrafts.

Another 12% rely on friends or family to tide them over.

"Australians are tightening the purse strings ahead of payday, cutting back on life's simple pleasures like the morning coffee or eating out," says Xero small business advocate Angus Capel.

"It's not surprising that when payday does come around, Aussies are experiencing rushes of 'payphoria' and want to reward their hard work by spending up."

It comes as no surprise that almost half the workforce seek weekly pay, with fortnightly pay a close second preference.

"People have a huge emotional and psychological response to their earnings," says Capel.

"In any discussion of payday, the starting point has to be for employees to be paid on time and accurately, and with the correct benefits."

Ironically, 70% of Australians view themselves as savers.

But they're also partial to the good life, with half admitting they "should save more, but that would mean giving up luxuries." .

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David Thornton was a journalist at Money from September 2019 to November 2021. He previously worked at Your Money, covering market news as producer of Trading Day Live. Before that, he covered business and finance news at The Constant Investor. David holds a Masters of International Relations from the University of Melbourne.

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