Working Britons have been warned of the perils of spending pay rises and bonuses before actually receiving the money.
Over 3.4 million people - 17 per cent of adults - get themselves into debt this way, according to research from financial services provider Prudential.
Nine per cent of workers have admitted to running up debts of £1,414 each on average over the last five years, with one in ten stating they have spent their pay rise or bonus before discovering that it is less than they originally thought.
"A pay rise or a bonus ought to be the trigger to get debt under control, but too many of us simply see it as an excuse to spend more," commented Angus Maciver, business insurance director for Prudential.
The Office for National Statistics recently announced that average pay including bonuses rose by 4.5 per cent during the first three months of 2007.