Guiding consumers since 2009

The worst day of the year, mathematically

By Staff Writer

If you are feeling a little more depressed than usual this Monday and not sure why, a British psychologist has the answer for you.

In 2005, Dr Cliff Arnall, a former Cardiff University professor, drew up a pseudo mathematical equation taking into account factors like Christmas Time debt, the time since your last pay cheque, your post holiday blues and the standard Monday morning blues to prove that today is the most depressing day of the year.

Although Arnall has since dismissed the notion as a self fulfilling prophecy that he put together as part of a PR practise for a travel company, one cannot help but admit that Arnall's theory has merit, particularly when it comes to personal finance.

Andy Gilder, general manager of online personal finance experts www.justmoney.co.za, says that there are a number of factors that contribute to today as 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 have a number of people in a state of genuine ‘New Year Depression', with the prospect of starting a new year in debt a big factor."

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...

"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."

Recent Articles

Featured What’s the deal with underwriting?

When you apply for a long-term insurance policy, a financial adviser will ask some personal questions about your lifestyle, family history, health, and even ask you to take some medical tests. This process is called underwriting, but is it really necessary?

 

How are you taxed on your retrenchment package?

Unemployment is one of the biggest problems in South Africa. The emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation with a lot of companies retrenching their employees.  When retrenched, you’ll receive a retrenchment package, but do you know how much tax you’re liable for?

Car repossessed – don’t be taken for a ride

When the country is facing an economic downturn, chances are your finances will feel the pinch. This can lead you to make bad financial decisions such as skipping your vehicle payments. But every decision has consequences and if you don’t pay your instalment, the bank will repossess your car. But what can you do when this happens?

 

Why you should consider gap cover

Your medical aid should protect you from incurring large medical bills when you’re sick. But what if your plan doesn’t cover the full cost of your medical expenses? We got in touch with insurance experts to find out whether gap cover is worth having.

Deals

Office furniture at discounted prices at BDK

Price: Available on request
When: Daily
Where: Johannesburg

Da Vincis Happy Hour Special

Price: Available on request
When: Daily
Where: Cape Town

Use your Absa card and get 30% cashback at Dis-chem

Price: Available on request
When: Daily
Where: Nationwide


Latest Guide

Guide to debt rehabilitation solutions