Today is Blue Monday, which is thought of as the gloomiest day of the year. While you may be feeling down in the dumps today for any number of reasons, if it's money worries that are getting you down, we've got some tips that may help relieve the stress.
With Christmas, New Year and the related days off behind us, and credit card bills starting to arrive, it may not come as a surprise that people are feeling somewhat low. The weather certainly won't be helping, but fortunately there are things you can do to push the financial clouds away.
To help, Hargreaves Lansdown has collected three tips to make your debts easier to manage. First of all, it's important to stop it from growing. It may not be enough to make the minimum payment each month; to avoid adding too much interest to the bill, why not consider switching your credit card debt over to a 0% balance transfer card.
If you have debt from various sources and you're able to make a fixed repayment amount every month, it might also be worthwhile considering a small unsecured loan, as these will generally come with lower interest rates than credit cards. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you keep a close eye on your debt to prevent it from getting too out of control.
For their second tip, Hargreaves Lansdown suggests that people look at what they're spending. By buying own-brand groceries or switching to a cheaper supermarket, cancelling unused direct debits and switching energy and broadband providers, you could save enough to pay off your debts that much earlier, and cheaper.
Finally, if you're not sure you can resist the temptation, cancel and cut up your credit cards. If you can't spend on them anymore, you can't get into any more debt. And hopefully, once you've done all that and are out of debt, you'll have gotten into some habits that will make it easy to start saving.
If it's not just today that you're feeling down, and it's not (just) due to debt that you're feeling stressed, know that you are not alone. Research from Royal London has found that 65% of UK adults have suffered from stress, anxiety or depression. And worryingly, 51% delay seeing a GP for mental health problems, not wanting to acknowledge them.
While we're all about the finances here at moneyfacts.co.uk, we know that there is more to life. If you're feeling down this month, whether for financial reasons or otherwise, please consider visiting a GP or reaching out to a professional mental health charity such as Mind.
If you're feeling overwhelmed by debt, have a look at our 12 steps to get debt-free, which includes some handy links to debt charities.
Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.