Beat the January Blues after An Expensive Christmas Season
Christmas is an expensive time for many of us and, with January being an even longer financial month as many people are paid a week early in December, many of us feel a strain on our bank accounts this month. A lot of people are also struggling with debt accumulated over Christmas to afford the festivities.
A survey, carried out on behalf of Ferratum, looked at millennial spending and borrowing habits over the Christmas period. They interviewed 1,000 people aged between 18 and 34 to find out more about how this generation is dealing with their finances and what the struggles are. You can check out Ferratum’s blog post here.
The results are very interesting and a bit shocking too. 41% were worried before Christmas and thought they wouldn’t have enough money to pay for Christmas and as a result 27% planned to borrow money to afford it as 48% had done so pay for previous Christmases. 1 in 4 millennials even planned to cancel Christmas completely to clear their debt. The majority of the ones who borrowed mainly turned to family members for a loan but some chose credit cards, pay day loans and overdrafts.
December is an expensive month due to actual Christmas but it’s also a month full of social events for many and 37% of millennials said they would borrow money to avoid missing an event that they really wanted to go to.
It seems like millennials are struggling to make and stick to budgets and even talking about their financial situation with friends, partners and family. 42% admitted to having hidden debt from their loved ones and 35% are worried about them finding out. However, 41% say that they felt comfortable seeking financial help or support online.
The Christmas festivities are over now and hopefully next Christmas can be handled better financially for millennials. It’s important to have your own savings to use when needed instead of taking out costly loans and it’s essential to learn to budget and plan properly. FOMO, Fear Of Missing Out, seems to be a big thing for this generation and it’s understandable, but borrowing lots of money just to go to events is not very sustainable. Pick the events you really want to attend instead and focus on just a few.
Who’s feeling the January blues already? It’s been quite grey and dull so far already but there are a few things that can help you feel better:
- Plan something to look forward to, like a weekend away or a holiday, but also take the necessary steps to save up for this event. Set up a direct debit to your savings account of maybe £10 a week or collect all your change in a jar and watch your savings accumulate.
- Take care of yourself and try to eat healthily and exercise. If drinking has been excessive over the holidays, why not try Dry January to give your liver a break?
- Give your home an overhaul and declutter each room. This is something I’m really enjoying at the moment and it feels so good not to have as much stuff.
- Make the most of the dark cosy evenings by cooking hearty meals, watching films, snuggling up on the sofa under a blanket with a good book and a giant mug of hot chocolate.
If Christmas 2017 was a financial struggle for you, then try to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Set up a new dedicated savings account just for Christmas 2018 and start putting some money away now to pay for the most expensive month of the year. Being prepared solves so many issues and will make the holidays much more enjoyable.