• This year Blue Monday is 18 January 2016 – deemed to be the most depressing day of the year
  • Over-spending in the run up to Christmas leaves consumers feeling broke and out of control of their finances in the New Year
  • By shopping around consumers could save over £1,500 on their finances in just one hour

Post-Christmas feelings of overindulgence and overspending, combined with colder weather and the prospect of summer a long way off, mean it is no wonder that consumers feel particularly depressed on the third Monday of the year, so called “Blue Monday”. The date of Blue Monday is calculated based on an equation which assesses the weather, personal debt, motivational levels and time since the Christmas holidays.

This year Blue Monday falls just weeks after The Bank of England revealed that consumer borrowing rose by £1.5 billion in the run up to Christmas. It therefore comes as no surprise that many are left feeling debt laden and out of control of their finances at this time of year, with over one in four consumers (29%) admitting that they feel guilty about how much they had spent over the festive season, according to a recent survey of 2,000 consumers by comparethemarket.com.

Following the excessive costs of Christmas, a further 44% of respondents claimed that they tended to feel poor in the days and weeks immediately after Christmas, and 56% stated that they tried to spend less money in January to offset the cost of the previous months.

Saving money has a positive influence not only on your wallet but on your wellbeing; 41% of consumers said they felt that saving money in the New Year helped them to beat the January Blues. Data from comparethemarket.com suggests January is the month when many people take charge of their finances, with their website’s traffic increasing by 42% on the first working day of the year, the fourth of January.

Consumers may be surprised to know that it only takes one hour, or the average lunchbreak, to possibly save around £1,500 on their household bills. It takes approximately 30 minutes to shop around for the best policies on motor insurance, home insurance, energy and credit cards, with completion of the switches taking a further half an hour.

There is a simple, proactive way to organise your personal finances and to save enough money to counteract some of the Christmas overspending. By shopping around, consumers can ensure that they get the best deal possible and enjoy the feel-good benefits of saving money.

Product

Saving

Energy Saving

On average, customers could save £273.56 on their annual energy bill for gas and electricity.

Home Insurance saving

50% of customers could save up to £61.62 on their Buildings and Contents insurance premium for the year.
 

Car Insurance Saving

50% of customers could save up to £203.80 on their Car Insurance premium for the year.

Card Maximum Saving

50% of consumers could save up to £984.17 on interest payments when switching their credit card to a 0% balance transfer card. Assuming that they were paying 17.9% on a £2,000 balance.

Total Saving

£1523.15*

 

Simon McCulloch, Director of Insurance, comparethemarket.com, said:

““After the jovial nature of the festive season, it’s no wonder people feel a little low as everyone heads back to work and the New Year swings into gear. Following the inevitable overspending at Christmas, it is easy to feel panicked about your personal finances, especially when your monthly bank statement or credit card bill comes through the letterbox. One way to alleviate these January blues is to take active steps to save money, such as shopping around for the best deals on insurance, energy and credit cards, where many people could save hundreds of pounds by switching providers, ensuring they get the best deal available and making sure unnecessary overspending does not extend into 2016.””

Dr. Thomas Webb, Social Psychologist at The University of Sheffield and Chair of The Institute of Inertia, said:

“January can be a really tough month - we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to achieve ambitious New Year’s resolutions. We are still feeling drained from the flurry of activity at Christmas, and we are suffering financially from over spending during the festive period. All in all it is no wonder we feel depressed on Blue Monday. But it doesn’t have to be this way. This year, why not challenge yourself to buck the trend and make Blue Monday a positive day? Even little steps can make a difference and start you on your way to making a change.”

Unless otherwise indicated, all data is sourced from comparethemarket.com.

*Savings data sourced from comparethemarket.com September 2015

Bank of England statistics:

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/statistics/documents/mc/2015/Nov/moneyandcredit.pdf

About the Institute of Inertia

The Institute of Inertia, a partnership between comparethemarket.com and the University of Sheffield, launched in 2015 and looks at the psychology behind financial inertia to help consumers save wasted time and money.

The Institute of Inertia is a network of experts and academics led by The University of Sheffield’s Dr Thomas Webb, a specialist in consumer behaviour.

A programme of qualitative and quantitative research tranches inform the Institute of Inertia to help shape and test potential solutions to drive behavioural change.  

For more information on the Institute of Inertia, please visit www.Instituteofinertia.org   

 About Meerkat Movies

Meerkat Movies is comparethemarket.com’s customer rewards programme. It was officially launched on 3 April 2015.

Meerkat Movies offers www.comparethemarket.com customers, who have made a qualifying purchase, 2 for 1 cinema tickets for a whole year from date of purchase, redeemable at participating cinemas every Tuesday or Wednesday.

You can only have one Meerkat Movies membership in any 12 month period. It can take up to 48 hours to activate your membership.

For more information visit http://www.comparethemarket.com/media-centre

About comparethemarket.com

• comparethemarket.com was launched in 2006 and has grown rapidly over the past nine years to become one of the UK’s leading price comparison websites.

• comparethemarket.com provides customers with an easy way to make the right choice for them on a wide range of products including motor, home, life, travel and pet insurance as well as utilities and money products such as, credit cards and loans.

• comparethemarket.com actively works with its brand partners to help provide great services to customers.

• comparethemarket.com is a trading name of BISL Limited.  BISL Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Address: Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough, PE2 6YS. Registered in England number 3231094