Monday, 15 January 2018

Millennials, money and beating the January blues

January can be a month for reflection. It can prompt new beginnings. The new year often inspires resolutions and change. It can be a month of hope.

But it can also be a difficult month. The excitement and seasonal joy of December and Christmas is gone. Without Christmas cheer the temperamental, harsh winter weather can dampen spirits. With many people having being paid before Christmas - a week earlier than normal - the month is a long one financially.

Not only does the extra time between paychecks put a strain on our bank balances but the expense of Christmas can also have a negative impact on finances. Many people are left struggling with debt that they have built up over Christmas and festivities surrounding the holiday season.


Having learnt from my mistakes from previous years where I have overspent at Christmas and not budgeted well I am delighted to say that this past Christmas has not left us in debt as we saved money for it throughout 2017, put any vouchers won in competitions in the Christmas fund and made use of discounts and sales for items on the Christmas list - and only items on the list. Even though we are not left in a post Christmas debt situation the month is still a long one for us financially and I can understand how easy it is to get into debt over the Christmas period.


A survey conducted on behalf of Ferratum UK highlights millennial spending and borrowing habits over the Christmas period. Over 1,000 people aged 18-34 were interviewed about their finances. Below are a few key facts and figures, to read more details of the survey and find out about millennials and their finances check out Ferratum’s blog post here.

* 41% of millennials said they are worried they won’t have enough money to pay for Christmas 2017.
* 27% are planning to borrow money to pay for Christmas.
* 48% have had to borrow money over a previous Christmas period.
* 1 in 4 millennials would cancel Christmas this year to clear all their debt.
* 37% would borrow money to avoid missing an event they really wanted to go to.
* 51% of 25-34 year olds turned to family when borrowing money and were more likely to use borrowing options such as credit cards (48%), short term loans (31%) and overdrafts  (31%).

Whilst this is a depressing read and the facts are important and should be highlighted and discussed, what with today January the 15th being calculated as the most depressing day of the year - aka Blue Monday - it is important to focus on the positive and beat the January ‘blues’.
Hopefully here are a few ideas on how to make January that little bit better -

* Embrace the dark evenings and cosy up at home with a good film or book.
*As we have said goodbye to old 2017 and welcomed in a new year think of the concept of out with the old and in with the new. Declutter and organise your house and put any plans for home improvements into place.
* Give yourself some much needed TLC and ‘ME’ time. Whether that is enjoying time out for a film or book, starting a new hobby, eating healthy and exercising or embracing a pampering session at a spa, giving yourself a little treat or time for your own interests is uplifting.
* Blow away the January blues and embrace the great outdoors for some fresh air and quality family time for free.
* Plan a day out or book a break. The excitement of a holiday to look forward to put a spring in your step. Whilst money may be tight you could put a deposit down now and pay off a little as and when you can or if you can afford to there are some great deals on saver holidays where you pay now at a great price but cannot cancel.


If Christmas 2017 was a financial struggle think about putting steps in place to avoid Christmas 2018 leaving a negative financial impact on you next year. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for the expense of Christmas and the social festivities of December -

* Sell unwanted items and put the money you make into a Christmas fund.
* Save money by setting up a direct debit into your savings each money, collecting change in a jar or getting involved in a money saving challenge such as the popular 1p saving challenge (tip is to save the higher amounts earlier in the year when you can afford to).
* Consider a Christmas saving club where you pay money each month and then get vouchers and gift cards in December or look at Christmas saving stamps and supermarket Christmas savers schemes.
* If you need help sorting your finances contact Citizens Advice for help and advice.



* Collaborative post *

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