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Today is the Worst Day of the Year: How Does it Affect Your Money?

This article was written by in Money Management. 4 comments.

How are you feeling today? According to a psychologist from the U.K., January 24 is the most depressing day of the year. There’s an actual scientific formula that has been used to determined this fact. Some of the conditions that have led to this conclusion are specific to Britain, but there are seasonal cycles that contribute to this feeling anywhere throughout the winter, which is now, at least in the northern hemisphere.

This inspired me to think about my finances. Does my spending go through seasonal cycles? Checking Quicken, I see that my discretionary expenses do jump a bit from December through March compared to other times of the year. I don’t believe this has to do much with the weather or with therapeutic spending — shopping to make one happy when sad or depressed.

Dirty snowObviously, Christmas and Hanukkah start the winter and Valentine’s Day occurs in the middle of the season. These holidays lead to more spending, at least for me. Additionally, I take a week-long vacation in February to coincide with my girlfriend’s winter break. (She is a teacher.) So for me, the winter is one of the most expensive seasons.

Perhaps offsetting this spending, I am more inclined to stay inside during the cold winter rather than go out and spend money on outside events like concerts and days spent in New York City.

What about other financial cycles? I wonder if people make worse investing decisions in the winter thanks to turbulent emotions, unpleasant weather, or both.

Image credit: scottfeldstein
Jan. 24 called worst day of the year [MSNBC]

Updated January 16, 2010 and originally published January 24, 2008. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar cordi

It is sortof depressing, I feel like I’ve been spending money out the wazoo (less than $100, all told) on the winter clearance racks, but I need to have somewhat nice things to wear at work that were also seasonally appropriate. (Windchills have been hovering around zero and pretty much everything I have is made for summer AKA no wool content.)

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avatar Lazy Man

I was reading on The Digerati Life how January 21st was the most depressing day of the year from that formula. I guess it’s just a depressing week.

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