Women called Margaret or Maggie are the tightest with cash.

Just like former Tory Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher – who imposed tough policies to tame inflation – her namesakes are most likely to keep a tight rein on spending.

But carefree Emmas will happily splash out on big-ticket items as soon as they get their wages.

A poll of 5,000 Britons found they were the most likely to make “extravagant” purchases and spend the majority of their salary in one go.

The most popular major items to buy included holidays, cars, TVs, clothes and jewellery – as well as taking pals out for a slap-up dinner and drinks, the study carried out by Uswitch found.

Margaret Taylor, 51, from Watford, Herts, said she had always carefully “watched the pennies”.

Women called Emma are most likely to spend their wages in one fell swoop

The department store worker – who earns just over £29,000 a year – said: “I only get about £2,000 a month and have a load of bills to pay from that, so it’s fair to say I’m careful with my money. My grandmother always told me that if you took care of the pennies, the pounds would take care of themselves.

“I very much use that as my maxim, especially on payday.”

But Emma Bales, 27, of Streatham, south London, said she fitted right in with other free-spending Emmas.

The make-up artist – who earns just over £35,000 a year running her own business – said: “When I have a good month I have a right blowout.

The poll was able to decipher different people's attitudes towards money

A spokesman for Uswitch said: “According to the research, if you want your children to be considered financially savvy, calling them Margaret helps.

“And if you’re looking for the perfect partner to build a life with, Emmas have been voted the least likely to contribute to savings, so you have been warned!”