Top tips for tackling Blue Monday and making the most of your cash this week
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There is little real evidence to prove that today, Blue Monday, really is the most depressing day of the year.
It is supposed to be the day we all suddenly discover the true level of our post Christmas debts, the day we dread the most.
In reality, with credit card apps and mobile banking, we are all more on top of our finances than ever before, but it is fair to say that many of us still feel down in January.
The combination of the bad weather, the lack of anything to look forward and the stoic trudge towards the most anticipated pay day of the year all leave us feeling gloomy.
We can’t change the weather but these top tips can help you make the most of the cash left in your wallet this week
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Empty the freezer
Dig out those slices of turkey that were carefully stored away after Christmas, hook out a bag of frozen peas and grab some rice from your store cupboard - and you have everything you need for a tasty risotto.
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Or turn all of that past-its-best veg lurking in the bottom of your fridge into a hearty soup that you can then take to work for a healthy lunchtime treat, saving you a fiver on your lunch bill and helping you with that new year health kick.
Walk to work
This is an all-round win - save yourself the hassle of de-icing your car, save cash on petrol and get some fresh air and exercise to boot.
Walking to work instead of driving could be your saviour this week.
Remember that hoard of miniatures in your bathroom cabinet, the one you add to every time you go away? Why not dig into the stash and save yourself a few pounds on your next supermarket trip, you could even avert a trip to the beauty aisle completely if you have been clever enough to stash shower gel, hand soap and body lotion too.
Make use of your loyalty points
Now is the time to cash in those loyalty points that you collected during your Christmas spluge.
Use your Clubcard points to pay for a little treat like a pizza or a cinema trip that will give you something to look forward to, trade in your Nectar points to get money off your food shop or check any online cash back accounts such as Quidco, you could find you have £50 or more waiting for you.
Sell your unwanted Christmas gifts
Find your local Facebook sales group, register with Gumtree or use the old faithful eBay to sell your unwanted gifts, clothing that you bought but never wore or the kids toys that have been cast aside in favour of the latest gadget.
You could be quids in, you will have more space at home and someone else gets a bargain.
Spring clean your finances
Check your direct debits - could you switch your phone contract over to a cheaper, sim only deal? Are you paying too much for gym membership? Could you save money on your broadband package?
These won’t improve your finances immediately but over the course of the year, you could be hundreds of pounds better off - money you could away for a holiday or for Christmas gifts, making Janaury 2017 less daunting.