At month end, we’re all eagerly awaiting a ping on our phones: the notification that we’ve been paid. However, recent research has revealed that payday is a risky time for employees...
The month is almost over, and many of us are eagerly awaiting a ping on our phones: the notification that we’ve been paid. However, recent research has revealed that payday is a risky time for employees. Several studies conducted by independent researchers have shown that people are more likely to die on or shortly after payday.
Why is this?
According to the studies, this is due to the fact that people with more money to spend will head out of the relative safety of the home, and put themselves in risky situations or partake in high risk behaviour. Mortality rates increase on payday and stay slightly higher than the average for a few days thereafter, showing that the risks decline as the money is spent.
Think this doesn't apply to you?
Reporting on his findings, economist William Evans highlights an alarming discovery. “We found that this phenomenon is indiscriminate. Increased mortality after payday applied to the young and old, low and higher income groups, to married and single individuals.”
In another study, Ph.D graduate Stephen Spiller explains how several recreational and consumption activities carry risks. For example, when you’ve been paid the likelihood of you driving to a dinner and having a drink directly increases your chances of being involved in a car accident. In contrast, when you have limited resources the likelihood of you leaving the house is decreased.
It’s not only payday…
Interestingly, the research reveals that mortality rates also increase during times of large annual payouts, such as during tax return season, or Christmas bonuses. These periodic hikes in income allow for additional spending, thereby contributing to an increase in risk taking and therefore increased mortality rates.
Businesses are at risk too
Businesses are no exception. They too tend to experience higher mortality rates during economic booms and lower rates during recessions. Such a pattern is even more evident with businesses that respond well to increases and decreases in business cycles.
How can you save yourself?
So it seems that saving your money could literally save your life. We can’t all stash our cash, but perhaps wait a few days before splurging, or temper your spending over the month. However (and whenever) you choose to spend your money, stay sensible and stay safe.
- Elizabeth Mamacos