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How will you get over ‘Blue Monday’?

Happy and sad hands against blue background

Congratulations to those of you who made it out of bed this morning. It couldn’t have been easy as today is reportedly the ‘most depressing day of the year’. Are you feeling blue or taking action?

Yes, today is affectionately known as Blue Monday – a day where we are statistically most likely to feel down about our love lives, careers and finances.

Our survey last month found most people weren’t relishing their prospects for the New Year, with half (49%) of people expecting their household budgets to be tighter in 2014 than 2013.

So has it all come to head today or are you planning on making Blue Monday the day you make positive changes to your life and household budget?

Budgeting for the New Year

Could 2014 be the year where you attempt to make your money go further? While the economy is tough, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that you’re doing what you can with the money you have.

We’ve plenty of advice for creating an effective budget if that’s how you’re planning on managing your money. You might also like to take the opportunity to switch to a more generous savings account or find a cheaper insurance provider. Just one of these steps could be all it takes to turn ‘Blue Monday’ into ‘Happy Monday’.

It seems that many of us intend to inject some joy into the day by booking holidays. Research from British Airways has suggested that more holidays will be booked on January 6 than on any other day of the year. We published the results of the best and worst holiday companies just last month should you be considering a big get away – in addition to our review of the best and worst airlines, as rated by Which? members.

Setting financial goals

Even just setting yourselves some financial goals can be enough to inject some focus into your finances for the year ahead.

Personally, I’m aiming for 2014 to be the year where I get on the property market. I’m also hoping to learn how to invest in stocks and shares.

So tell us – what are you planning to do to get over this supposedly horrid day? What is your main financial goal for 2014 and will you be taking any steps towards achieving it today?

Comments
Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

The principal key to a sensible financial life is to create an annual budget. I keep a small book in which I note weekly expenditure on all different classes of expense, major and minor – such as food, fuel, energy, subscriptions, miscellaneous (odds and sods) etc etc and use this to establish an annual budget – by month, as some are more expensive than others. I then record against this budget my weekly expenditure to see where I save, or overspend. I can then base the following years budget on reality – if you just try to think of what you spend money on you’ll miss quite a lot.
This not only records expenditure, but helps understand it and points to areas where you can save, if you need to. Cut down on Christmas presents, try a cheaper holiday?
I keep a separate record of income, and compare the two.
At least this way you don’t hide from the truth, even if is unpleasant, and you can try to balance the two before it’s too late.
I wonder when someone will bring out a greetings card – Happy Blue Monday? I’d never heard of it.

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

I wish everybody on here a Happy Blue Monday and many returns of such days.

I got up this morning with a spring in my step and soon discovered that my energy supplier was reducing the amount of my monthly direct debit by £54 in order to balance my account. This made me happy even though it’s probably because they over-reached themselves with the previous adjustment and have been dipping their hands too deeply into my pocket over the last few months. The energy-saving measures we have been taking over the last year have also started to make a noticeable difference and my thanks go to many contributors to Which? Conversation for their tips and suggestions. Milder weather must have contributed also.

It is interesting that today was also predicted to be the peak holiday booking day of the year. This is not surprising given that all the new brochures are released at the end of December when the heavy advertsing also begins and the travel supplements are published in the newspapers and magazines. It would be a failure of marketing effort on the biggest scale ever if that combination of publicity didn’t generate a higher level of sales as soon as people could return to a normal pattern of behaviour. Anyway, Happy Holidays to one and all as well.

Member
Phil says:
6 January 2014

Went into London today and it was obvious that a lot of people had dealt with Blue Monday by staying in bed. The roads were quiet, the trains half full; I actually got a seat on the Tube.

Are they heading for an Ever Bluer Tuesday though?

Member
A.N.Other says:
7 January 2014

Nothing wrong with Jan 6th, or so I thought. That’s when I produced my firstborn. This is the first I’ve heard of it being” the most depressing day of the year”. Now I’m looking back though the years and realising why he’s been such a pain throughout his life. It’s all to do with the day he was born!!

Profile photo of John Ward
Member

Capricornians, especially the early January ones, appear to have this reputation in popular mythology. I assumed it had something to do with the generally rotten weather at this time of the year. Is it a universal phenomonon or only applicable to the UK [or even the northern hemisphere], and is it a predominatly male characteristic, I wonder?