Blue. Monday. Two pretty innocuous words by themselves; combined, however, and they suddenly strike fear, doom and gloom into people across the UK.
Yep, we’re talking about Blue Monday: the most depressing day of the year, typically the third Monday in January.
Coined in 2005, the term came about following a Sky Travel press release, which used an equation to determine that it was the most sombre day of the year.
Inevitably, this is going to have people worrying about their financial situation – perhaps more than they usually would on other days. It doesn’t have to be like that, however.
Because, with Viola Black’s top financial tips for helping you turn over a fresh financial page, we’ll help you turn Blue Monday into your New Monday.
#1. Feeling Fine about Your Finances.
Taking control of and feeling good about your finances starts by taking a look at them as a whole. And, if you haven’t already gotten around to it in January, doing so on Blue Monday is the perfect excuse to counteract the most depressing day of the year, by empowering yourself and your finances. Take pen to paper, then sit and commit to creating a detailed plan / calendar comprising your monthly incomings and outgoings. From there, plan weekly and monthly spending budgets, setting aside a designated amount of savings from every pay packet, too – then laugh smugly in Blue Monday’s face.
#2. Taking the Direct Approach.
In order to get the most out of tip #1, have a look at which direct debits you can cancel, or easy ways in which you can save with current suppliers. Can I do a home workout instead of paying for a gym membership every month? Do I actually need that many channels on my TV package? Can I add a designated driver to my car insurance to bring down the policy cost? These are all questions to ask yourself on Blue Monday; the answers for which might well bring a smile to your face.
#3. Sitting on the Dock of eBay.
Clothes. Electrical equipment. Furniture. Whatever you have lying around the house – if it’s been gathering dust for years, why not sell it? When it comes to choosing what to get rid of, be ruthless and ask yourself: “Would I rather hold on to this because I might need it in the future, or cash in and get some money in the bank?” It doesn’t matter whether you use eBay, Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace: get everything online on Blue Monday, then see all that old stock turn into new money.
#4. Changing Blue for Pastures New.
Really feeling the blues on Blue Monday? Then that is the perfect time to start planning and saving for your next holiday. If you’ve already made money from selling your things online using tip #3, you could even go ahead and book it! By looking at sunnier destinations and thinking about the fun, relaxing time you have to look forward to, then all those good vibes will do wonders when it comes to turning any potential frown upside down.
#5. The name’s Bond. Premium Bond.
A little fed up of little yields from your savings account? Then you might want to consider Premium Bonds: a financial investment product with potentially huge, tax-free returns. Issued by National Savings and Investment, Premium Bonds require a minimum investment of £100, or £50 if you set up a regular standing order. You get a unique bond number for every £1 you invest, with each bond (having been held for a month) entered into a monthly prize draw. The prize? Anywhere from £25 to £1 million – enough to turn Blue Mondays into Happy Mondays for the rest of your life.