Dont Let Blue Monday Keep You Down

2017-01-06   minute read

Rob Shier Mary Plahouras

Debt Solutions

What is “Blue Monday”?” The term “Blue Monday” was coined by psychologist Cliff Arnall when he calculated the third Monday in January as the most depressing day of the year. Why? Because it is said to be a combination of the weather, rising debts and a return to work after holiday and New Year celebrations. Blue Monday 2017 will be on Monday, January 16, 2017. Even though there is little proof that the effects of Blue Monday are real, it is still widely regarded as being the most depressing day of the year and demand for debt counselling tends to increase during the days, weeks and months following Blue Monday. We all make financial mistakes. But our capacity to learn from our mistakes is key. If Blue Monday is exasperated by your pre-existing debt problems, you can combat Blue Monday by taking control of your financial situation which may entail starting with a review of your credit bureau report from Equifax and from TransUnion to ensure:You recognize the information reported on your credit file.The information reported, by your creditors, on your credit file is complete and accurate. If the information is inaccurate and you wish to initiate an investigation to update or remove certain information from your credit file, you will need to complete and submit a Consumer Credit Report Update document to the appropriate credit bureau. Information regarding the credit bureau can be found throughEquifax orTransUnion. Five Tips to Help You Combat Blue MondayBudget for the holiday celebrations. When you buy gifts for others, think of what you want to buy and how much you can afford to spend. Make a shopping list and do not deviate from that list.Avoid impulse spending sprees. Purchase only what you need and pay by cash or debit. If you need to pay by credit, try to only use one credit card.Forget the wants and focus on your needs. Purchase a journal or a pocket book and get into the daily habit of journaling your expenses. Journalizing can become a powerful motivational factor in your daily life by helping you visualize your spending and sticking to your budget.Paying yourself first is motivational. Paying interest is depressing. Open a new investment account (i.e. Registered or Non-Registered Tax-Free Savings Account, GIC, Mutual Fund, etc.) and from each pay cheque, get into the habit of paying yourself first by investing at least 10 per cent of your net income into your new investment account. If 10% is not doable, start with five per cent and work your way up. Budget for the remaining funds to pay your monthly non-discretionary (ie: rent) and discretionary expenses (ie: entertainment).Look at flyers for stores that offer discounts and try shopping using coupons. How a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) Can Help While a LIT cannot stop the sun from hiding, especially in the months of November to March, you can do your part by staying active and supplementing your loss of sunshine with vitamin D. We all know that an unmanageable debt load can lead to feelings of shame, anxiety and depression. Don’t feel ashamed of your debts – you are not the first Canadian facing debt issues and you will not be the last. Instead, take control of your financial situation by speaking with a qualified professional to become better informed of all available options and the merits and consequences of each. Stay focused on becoming debt-free and in due course, your outlook on your finances and your future will improve for the better. A LIT can help you become debt-free sooner. As a federally licensed professional appointed by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, the LIT will listen, review and discuss your financial concerns with you. The LIT will provide you with a financial appraisal of your particular situation outlining the best-fit solutions to deal with your debts, even if a solution does not involve the services of the LIT. Rob Shier is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee and practices in the Greater Toronto Area and Mary Plahouras holds a Master of Laws in Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law from Osgoode Hall Law School and is an Estate Manager at MNP’s Toronto and Markham locations. To learn more about how MNP Ltd. can help you, contact our local office at 416.515.3921 or

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