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7 Ways to Avoid (financial) Winter Blues
Authored By: Honor Credit Union on 1/10/2017

The holidays are over, and the temperatures might be in the single digits, but this is no time to let the winter blues set in. Did you know this is actually one of the best times to feel good about your finances?

Here are seven cheap ways to avoid the financial winter blues:

Get your finances in order
Sure Christmas shopping might have taken a big hit on your wallet, and you might need January and February to pay off credit cards, but it’s all behind you now! Once you get it paid off, you can move on. January is a good time to start planning a vacation later this year. It’s a good time to look at your budget and figure out where and how big of a trip you can take. It’s a good time to plan a big purchase because you can put a saving plan in place and work at it.

SEE ALSO: 10 New Year's resolutions you can actually stick with

Get out of the house
This doesn’t mean take a trip to the Bahamas or a ski resort. It can be simple. Visit family and friends. Maybe it’s a day trip. Maybe it’s a weekend. Winter is an important time to socialize. You never know what kind of advice you might pick up and use from someone else to better your financial situation, like saving up to buy a car.

Stay active
Take the dog for a walk. Take a stroll through downtown. It’s a good idea to be active for at least 30 minutes per day. Bonus points if you do it longer and get your heart rate up and get a sweat going! Fresh air will help clear your head. If you can catch a few sun rays, that’s great too, because the human body benefits from Vitamin D from the sun. Being active for 30 minutes a day fills your body with the good endorphins that help you get through winter!

Set goals
Whether you decide to save $1,000 or run a 5K, setting a goal distracts you from the cold winter blues. The key here is to set a realistic goal and come up with a plan you can stick with. Maybe it’s something even simpler like watching all of the Batman movies or reading all of the Twilight books. The feeling of accomplishing something puts you in a better mood.  Streaming services like Netflix for movies and Audible for books are a great place to start to take your mind off of shoveling the driveway.

Avoid wallet drainers
Do you find yourself ordering out more in the winter months? Do you buy a gym membership and then go three times between January and April? Do you crank up the thermostat in the winter? Don’t be your own worst enemy in the winter. There are countless websites that offer easy recipes with fairly cheap ingredients. There are just as many exercise apps and YouTube videos to help you get your sweat on. Throw on an extra sweater or lower your thermostat in the morning before you leave for work to save money on heating costs. The best advice is to step back and think for a minute how you could save money. If you’re unsure, just Google it. Chances are, someone has asked the same questions you have.

Brighten up your home
It’s a fact; there is less sunlight in the winter. But, you don’t have to sulk. You can brighten up your home. Light a candle at night and open the blinds during the day. You can buy some flowers to spruce up a tabletop. You can even buy some cheap fake ones. No one will know unless they are up close.

Listen to upbeat music
Whatever your favorite genre is, crank it up! Listening to your favorite songs can put you in a better mood. You might even catch yourself singing along. Music that makes you feel good has a positive impact on your energy levels. So, crank the rock music or whatever your jam is when you need to clean. Keep track of the songs that make you feel good throughout the warm months and create a playlist for winter.

Be sure to follow Honor Credit Union on Twitter @HonorCU, on Facebook @HonorCreditUnion and on Instagram!

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