30 January 2020, 13:58

The January squeeze - 43% of Brits find this month the hardest financially

  • Finances tight for those in 20s, 30s and 40s as January stretches into five weeks.
  • Millions taking on extra debt rather than asking their family to dip into savings.
  • Christmas spending and a bigger gap between pay cheques are among the factors making January the toughest month.

Four in ten Brits (43%) say that they find the month of January harder financially than the rest of the year, according to a survey of 2000 people in the UK carried out on behalf of Saga Savings. Times are particularly tough for those aged between 25 to 54; with well over half (54%) finding January more difficult financially than the rest of the year. People aged over 55 are least likely to be feeling the January pinch.

Those struggling during January pin their financial woes on a range of different factors that come together in January to make it a tougher month than usual:

  • Four in ten say they overspent at Christmas (39%) and that the gap between pay cheques is bigger than usual (38%) with January 31 falling on a Friday this year.
  • Three in ten say utility bills are higher this month (29%) as is some of their day to day spending, such as train fares (26%).
  • Others point to their January tax bill (10%), booking a summer holiday (12%) or big spending in the January sales (10%).

Struggling adults reluctant to approach family for funding

Despite previous research[i] from Saga showing that 56% of over 50s parents have put savings aside to help their adult children if they were struggling financially, three times the number of adults aged 25-54, or four million adults, say they will spend extra on their credit card to get through the month (29%) rather than borrow from their parents (9%).  A similar proportion (8%), over one million people, say that they will have to extend their overdraft.

Jeff Bromage, Managing Director, Saga Personal Finance commented: “A perfect storm of Christmas spending, the long wait for the January pay cheque and higher bills make January the hardest month financially for many people in the UK.


“Our research shows that time and again over 50s are the generous generation, prepared to help out their children and grandchildren when times are tough. The fact that so many prefer to needlessly drive themselves into debt, rather than approaching willing parents for a short-term loan shows how important it is to have open conversations about money within a family.”  

90% of people said that they did not feel comfortable borrowing from family members. The most common reason being that they didn’t want to ask for money because they wanted to fix their own problems (45%), while three in ten (29%) said they did not feel comfortable asking. Only a small minority said that they did not borrow money from family members because they felt they might not be able to afford it.


The Saga Easy-Access Savings Account has been designed for couples and individuals who want regular easy access to their savings, and without missing out on a top rate or being punished financially for accessing their money. Offering the choice of individual or joint accounts, the Saga Easy Access Savings account provides a highly competitive variable interest rate of 1.35% AER (variable) with savers free to withdraw their money as often as they need without fees or charges.

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Abbi Cummings

Notes to editors

Notes to editors

1Polling of 2,006 UK adults was carried out by YouGov between 20 and 22 January 2020. YouGov is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information www.yougov.co.uk

2 Populus interviewed 6,181 Saga respondents, all aged 50+ online between 18th - 23rd September 2019. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information www.populus.co.uk.

  • The Saga Easy-Access Savings Account offers an interest rate of 1.35% AER / 1.34% gross, variable, and includes a bonus rate of 0.20% which ends after 12 months. Rate correct as at 24/01/20.

About Saga Personal Finance

Saga specialises in the provision of products and services for life after 50. The Saga brand is one of the most recognised and trusted brands in the UK and is known for its high level of customer service and its high quality, award-winning products and services including cruises and holidays, insurance, personal finance and publishing. Visit www.saga.co.uk   

For further press information contact pressoffice@saga.co.uk or call 01303 774716