Blue Monday or a Time for Positive Change?

Jan 6, 2014
Blue Monday or a Time for Positive Change?

blue mondayBlue Monday; money concerns, relationship problems and would you believe the bad weather officially mark today as the worst day of the year but should we really view today as blue Monday or a time for positive change?

To many, January is a tough month. Money worries make pay day seem less than a dot on the horizon; self inflicted unaccomplished resolutions leave us feeling like failures and the continued long dark nights have us mourning the loss of ‘brighter times’; a stark difference to the gay abandon and frivolity many of us show as we merrily drink and eat our way through December.

I must admit I wasn’t feeling quite so frivolous or merry when I stepped off the scales this morning but what should I expect after consuming my own body weight in turkey, mince pies, Christmas cake, chocolate and wine over the festive period.

Call me weird but I actually quite like that January feeling and see it as a positive step forward into a bright new and hopefully exciting year. Let’s face it Christmas and New Year for many people are difficult times so the prospect of ‘starting afresh’ can be a welcome one. The pressure that comes from the expectation that Christmas should be a special happy time can be bleak, especially if family aren’t around to share it with or you have just lost someone close.

Having attended the funeral of a close friend of Claire’s family a few days before Christmas day, I fully appreciate that decking the halls with boughs of holly is the last thing you would want to do. The service was beautiful and made very intimate by the brave, interesting and touching eulogy the son gave, even though the Church was bursting with people (the sign of a much loved man). 

So January for many can dawn like a breath of fresh air full of promise and hope. To me it’s a time to get organised, put plans in place and get back on track – the problem of course is keeping going throughout the year.

Amid all the annoying advertisements for holidays, diets and would you believe Easter Eggs (Its January for goodness sake), I have read a number of articles on how to save money and start budgeting. It’s not rocket science and some of the suggestions are pretty obvious but they do give you food for thought so it is worth taking time out to read some of them. My favourites are the Telegraph’s ’50 ways to save money in 2014’ and This is Money’s ‘four week plan for getting out of debt.

So should today really be Blue Monday? Ask me in February.

Ashley Shepherd is an Over 50s Personal Finance Expert

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