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Blue Monday: Eight in ten feel this January is toughest financial month

Blue Monday: Eight in ten feel this January is toughest financial month
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning

As Blue Monday hits and Brits wait for the year’s first pay packet to arrive, 84% feel this January is the ‘toughest yet’ of the cost-of-living crisis, research finds.

Nearly half (46%) of the UK are more likely to seek financial support this year, while 52% feel January is the month which causes the most stress for people when it comes to money matters.

Reasons for feeling the strain were attributed to factors such as Christmas spending for over half (51%) and high energy bills during winter (43%).

Ahead of today’s ‘Blue Monday’, supposedly the most depressing day of the year, over a third (37%) of the 2,000 respondents surveyed by Nationwide said the ongoing cost-of-living crisis remains a significant cause for money worries.

In the long term, the struggle for millions of homes might yet continue as the final Government payment for low-income families is paid next month. Eligible homes will receive their third instalment of £299, completing the overall £900 boost.

Facing up to financial fears on Blue Monday

The mutual also noted financial fears are often sparked by a lack of face-to-face interaction. Almost a third (31%) felt overwhelmed or confused by online help; 28% were stressed about managing money or debt; and nearly a quarter (24%) worried about fraud/scams.

Nationwide stated that a human touch could be beneficial in helping alleviate any financial hardship and has renewed its pledge not to leave any town or city where a branch is present until at least 2026, so account holders aren’t stranded for in-branch advice.

Discussing financial woes ‘never been more important’ than now

Mandy Beech, director of retail services at Nationwide, said: “Having the ability to speak to someone about worries or concerns has never been more important than it is now, given the continued pressure on living costs.

“We see it time and time again in our branches, which is what led us to offer cost of living support – whether in branches, on the phone or online. We are fully prepared to support customers this winter as more come under financial pressure.”

Beech added: “When it matters most, whether someone needs help with money worries or bigger life events like a first mortgage or the sad loss of a family member, our customers know we will be there for them, regardless of how they want to use us.”