Blue Monday: Here’s what gives us the financial blues on this saddest day of the year

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Feeling the financial blues a bit today? Little wonder because today, Monday, Jan. 15th, is Blue Monday, dubbed the saddest (most depressing?) day of the year.
 Call me a masochist but I also decided this was the day to download the 2017 online version of TurboTax and at least confront the looming reality of preparing another year’s tax returns. The program said it can be used to print and file your 2017 tax return by mid-January, and that NetFile will be available as of 6 am on February  26th. How depressing is that a mere two weeks after the holidays?

But if the thought of filing your taxes doesn’t make you blue, or even the snow that’s falling as I write this, maybe the thought of credit-card bills from the holidays will do the trick. Credit Canada and the Financial Planning Standards Council today released the results of  a Blue Monday themed Financial Blues survey that revealed that 53% of Canadians are “already feeling financially blue, with the younger generations struggling.”

The Financial Blues Survey was based on a Leger poll that asked Canadians “when it comes to your finances, what makes you blue this time of year?”

Well, bowl me over with a feather: the start of another tax season didn’t make the cut in the poll, or at least the top five “standout” findings. Here’s the top candidates for feeling blue in January:

  • 20% of us have a credit-card balance larger than our savings accounts
  • Younger adults aged 18 to 44 are especially blue about finances right now: 68% of them versus just 41% for adults aged 45 or older
  • 25% of us lack the funds to take a winter vacation in the sun
  • 6% have already broken their financial new year’s resolutions
  • 21% over-spent during the Holidays

Credit Canada CEO Laurie Campbell  says that while “we are seeing a good deal of Canadians stressed out about their financial situation … the takeaway message is that there is hope. Develop a plan, tackle debt, and realize your financial potential. There are professional resources available to you, so don’t feel you need to go it alone.”

3 health tips and 3 financial tips

The two organizations provided three tips to get in shape: Credit Canada’s three tips for getting into shape are to weigh in and get real, count your calories and consider getting help through a personal trainer. While on the topic, I’ll mention that here at the Hub we ended the year with a review of the book Younger Next Year, which helped inspire the creation of a new Younger This Year – 2018 Facebook group, already more than 175 members strong across North America as well as a couple of international members. (I’m the Canadian administrator, the American administrator is Rochester-based Vicki Peuckert Cook.)

But we digress.  Here are the three financial tips, which you’ll notice parallel the health and fitness tips:

1.) Weigh in financially: figure where you are, how much you owe and the interest you are paying and weigh them against your income and benefits.

2.) Count your financial calories: Consider the 30-day anti-budget, an exercise in awareness and behavioural change.

3.) Get help: Get a professional to help you: if overwhelmed by debt, seek a non-profit credit counsellor, or if you’re ready to plan for the future, access a Certified Financial Planner.

The survey of 1,550 Canadians was conducted early in January using the online panel, LegerWeb.

 

One thought on “Blue Monday: Here’s what gives us the financial blues on this saddest day of the year

  1. I’m pretty sure that 6% had already broken their financial New Year’s resolutions by Noon on January 1st. Just a guess… *smile*

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