Gateway Gazette

Blue Monday Takes Toll, Says Poll :(

Blue-MondayEdmonton, January 19, 2015 – A new poll from ATB Financial reveals that nearly half (46 per cent) of Albertans are feeling above-average to high levels of stress in January. Considering today is thought by many to be the most depressing day of the year (Blue Monday, as it is commonly known), the poll’s results make sense.

“We’re in the heart of winter when it tends to be cold and grey and the holidays are over,” says Robert Roach, Senior Analyst from ATB’s Economics & Research team. “Many of us are feeling the Christmas spending hangover and our holiday high has shifted to a low.”

When given a list of possible reasons for feeling stress at this time of year, 46 per cent of Albertans chose lack of sleep and 45 per cent said financial stress, such as overspending, worries about the economy and job security. Personal and family health issues, back-to-work pressures and the weather are other sources of stress for Albertans, our poll showed.

“Low oil prices and the impact that will have on Alberta are likely reasons financial stress scored so high,” adds Roach. “An economic slowdown is forecasted for our province in 2015 and for a lot of us, that brings uncertainty.”

There are some interesting differences between Alberta’s two major cities when it comes to who’s feeling what. In Edmonton, 37 per cent of respondents said they feel back-to-work stress in January, while 25 per cent of Calgarians feel the same way. And 24 per cent of Calgary respondents say they worry about the economy, while 15 per cent of Edmontonians said the same thing.

The good news is Albertans seem to be responding to stress responsibly, revealing they are taking a number of measures to ease the pressure. Thirty six per cent are participating in fitness activities, 35 per cent say they are spending less on unnecessary expenditures, 27 per cent indicate they are paying down debt and 21 per cent are planning to save more.

We know money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does help with the bills, so here’s a Blue Monday gift. ATB is giving away $1,000 every hour until midnight ($2,000 if you’re a customer) in our Blue Monday contest. Details at ATB.com/BlueMonday.

You don’t have to win a contest to deal with financial stress. ATB TrackIt – a free, online and mobile money management tool – allows you track your balances and spending from all North American bank accounts and credit cards, set and achieve financial goals, tackle your debt and calculate your net worth. ATB TrackIt is available now, exclusively to ATB customers.

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