Blue Monday is nearly upon us. You know, the day in January (usually the third Monday) that is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year.

So, that means this year Monday 16 January is the designated day of doom and gloom.

Psychologist, life coach and happiness consultant, Dr. Cliff Arnall (1), developed the formula to work out the date for Blue Monday as part of a piece of marketing for Sky Travel.

His calculation used many factors including: weather, time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions and low motivational levels.

It also used debt level, the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay, as part of the sum (2).

Post-Christmas debt can be a major worry for people this time of year as credit card statements start to come through via post, email, text or app.

Once again Britain led the way across Europe with pre-Christmas spending, which was predicted to reach £77.56bn in 2016 (3).

UK households were anticipated to spend almost double the European average, with over 40% of spending done online.

British families wracked up the bills on food and drink, decorations and gifts, with the average spend predicted to range from £809.97 (3) to £748 per household (4), through to £280 on gifts alone (5).

We all know what it’s like before Christmas, you’ll get that little extra present or that special bottle of something, stick it on the credit card, forget all about it and enjoy the festivities.

It’s when the parties and celebrations are over, the children are back at school and work has started again, that the concerns about your financial future start to kick in.

Research by comparison website, uSwitch, found that 85% of people expected to carry credit card debts into the New Year, while 52% still expect to be paying these debts off next Christmas (6).

So, how can you cope with Blue Monday and ensure January is a bright month?

Well, first of all you can remind yourself that the concept of Blue Monday is actually made up for marketing purposes.

Although it’s been around since 2005, Blue Monday fits in perfectly with the Oxford Dictionaries’ 2016 Word of the Year – Post-truth (7). When something is repeated enough, people believe it to be true, which is what seems to have happened with Blue Monday over the last decade.

According to neuroscientist, Dean Burnett, Blue Monday is all “complete corporate-sponsored gibberish” and “farcical” with “nonsensical measurements” (8).

He describes the calculation in other ways, but we can’t really repeat those words here, but you get the idea that it’s not real, so you have the right not to buy into the feeling that it creates.

But what if the construct that is Blue Monday makes you think about your finances?

Well, it’s always good to think about your financial future and make sure you can enjoy events, such as Christmas, without the fear factor.

It’s all about taking control and tackling those credit card bills when they arrive.

Think about how you can repay those Christmas excesses to help reduce your interest charges. Balance transfers can offer a lower rate and you’ll find more information on the best credit card deals on our Monthly Money Savers.

If credit cards are not a worry, now is a good time of year to check that your investments, pensions and mortgages are giving you what you need, especially with just a few months left of this financial tax year.

So, even if your resolutions for health and fitness have slipped, you still have a chance to make a new one to see your independent financial adviser to ensure your finances are in shape and allow you to take on Blue Monday confidently.

For a free, no obligation initial chat about your individual finances, call us on 0800 0112825, e-mail or take a look at our website

The value of shares and investments can go down as well as up. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

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Worldwide Financial Planning Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  'The FCA does not regulate Credit Cards, Will Writing and some forms of mortgage and Inheritance Tax Planning.'

Information given is for general guidance only, and specific advice should be taken before acting on any suggestions made.

All information is based on our understanding of current tax practices, which are subject to change.
The value of shares and investments can go down as well as up. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

For the purposes of mortgage Worldwide Financial Planning is a credit broker and not a lender

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