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Blue Monday: Nine tips to maintain your finances in 2024

Blue Monday: Nine tips to maintain your finances in 2024
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning

For nearly 20 years, the third Monday of January has been widely thought to be the most depressing day of the year.

With December’s pay stretching for longer than usual and a post-Christmas spending hangover to boot, it’s understandable why so many fall into the trap of validating the ‘Blue Monday’ notion.

A recent Loqbox study found 84% of the UK is interested in setting financial goals for 2024 and despite the cost-of-living crisis entering a third year, there are still ways to be money savvy.

‘Choose saving and investing over arbitrary notions’

For example, Myron Jobson, the personal finance analyst at Interactive Investor believes good money management should be a focus throughout the year and not just one day.

He said: “The Blue Monday formula has no scientific basis. Your financial position and mental health aren’t determined by a specific date in the year. Relying on such concepts to make financial decisions can lead to unnecessary anxiety and impulse actions.

“It is crucial to base your financial planning on thorough analysis of your own circumstances and sound personal finance principles, like saving and investing, rather than arbitrary notions.

“While the validity of Blue Monday is questionable, good money management is crucial throughout the year, whatever the weather.”

The finance expert drew up nine tips to ease your financial woes in a more consistent manner:

Nine tips to manage your money this year

  1. Budget

The first step is to establish a budget that reflects your income and expenses. Track every coin that flows in and out and identify areas where you can reduce spending without compromising your needs. Prioritise essentials and limit discretionary expenses.

  1. Go through your bills to see if you can cut costs

It is worth going through your bank statements – three months’ worth would suffice – and review all your bills including utilities, insurance and subscriptions, to identify any unnecessary charges or overages. It might also be worth contacting your service providers to negotiate better deals or inquire about available discounts. Many providers may be willing to adjust rates to retain customers.

  1. Seek help on bills and debt if needed

If you think you’ll struggle to pay a bill, contact the company providing you with the service as soon as possible. They might agree to a temporary solution or set up a payment plan. If you are struggling with debt, it is worth consulting a debt advice charity such as StepChange or Turn2Us and they will go through all of your options.

  1. Set spending limits

Establish daily or weekly spending limits to control your expenses. This helps prevent impulsive purchases and encourages mindful spending.

  1. Use discounts and compare prices

Take advantage of discounts and promotions. Check for coupons, loyalty programs, or special offers when making purchases. Before making a purchase, compare prices from different retailers. Online tools and apps can help you find the best deals.

  1. Review subscriptions

Assess your subscriptions and cancel any that you don’t use or need. This includes streaming services, magazines, or monthly box subscriptions.

  1. Cook at home

Save money by preparing meals at home instead of dining out. Buying groceries in bulk and planning your meals can be cost effective.

  1. Consider DI

Consider do-it-yourself projects instead of paying for services. This could include home repairs, crafting, or even creating personalised gifts.

  1. Consider second-hand shopping

“It could be worth exploring charity and thrift stores and or online platforms for second-hand items. You might find great deals on clothing, furniture, or electronics.