If you were feeling a little more depressed than usual on Monday and not sure why, a British psychologist has the answer for you.
Quite simply, Monday the 19th of January is officially the most depressing day of the year.
Dr Cliff Arnall, a former Cardiff University professor, has drawn up a mathematical equation to prove that yesterday, the last Monday before payday in January, is the most depressing day of the year.
Proving depression using a mathematical equation may seem somewhat farfetched, but Andy Gilder - editor of online personal finance experts www.justmoney.co.za - says that there are a number of factors that contribute to Monday being as depressing as everybody might have thought.
"While Dr. Arnall's theory takes into account factors like body image, the cold Northern hemisphere weather and the likelihood of the first broken New Year's resolution, there are a number of very tangible factors that made Monday such a tough day for South Africans."
" Apart from the Monday and post holiday "blues", it has been a very long time since we all received our last pay cheque as most companies pay Christmas salaries earlier in December. That means we all have to stretch our monthly income just that little bit further in January."
"In addition to that, with the end of the month coming up we all know that the credit card bills from the Festive Season are just around the corner and if like many South Africans you have over indulged over Christmas, you could be in a state of genuine ‘New Year Depression', with the prospect of starting a new year in debt a genuine concern."
Starting the year on the back foot puts a lot of people into the doldrums, but we needn't stay depressed for too long, Gilder insists. Instead, why not make one more New Year Resolution?
One that affects your financial mood...
Gilder says "The New Year often brings with it things like policy renewals for insurance cover and medical aid. So, instead of signing away for another year of the same, why not be proactive in seeing whether you could be saving yourself money by moving providers or negotiating a better deal with your current one. Even if you save yourself a small amount, it will be rewarding to know that you aren't paying a cent more than you should. That, as far as the News Years Financial Blues goes, could be enough to beat them down."
"Sadly, if you've already tossed away the nicotine patch there isn't anything we can do for you, and if you have already stopped hitting the treadmill as often as you had promised yourself you would, we aren't the people to call. But, if you are looking to save some money in 2009 and want a resolution that is achievable and easy to follow out, log on to www.justmoney.co.za and compare a range of financial products and save yourself some money."