Avoid getting into debt this Christmas

November 4, 2013

The festive season may still seem a long way off for many of us, but it’s easy to get caught up in the celebrations and get carried away with your spending once Christmas approaches.

According to a recent report from market tracker Verdict, consumer spending in the UK is expected to rise by £88.4bn this Christmas, up £2bn on 2012 figures.

If you want to avoid the January blues that follow an overused credit card or unmanageable loan, there’s still time to plan. Spreading the cost of your Christmas shopping will lighten the blow to your bank balance and help you to afford the holiday season without the need to resort to any credit.

Make sure you carefully plan your spending. Make a list of how much you can afford to spend on gifts, leisure, food and drink etc and stick to your budget, rather than getting carried away. Also, the earlier you start your Christmas spending, the longer you will have to complete it and the less it will cut into your monthly salary.

If you simply can’t allocate enough cash for Christmas from your salary alone, try to be sensible when considering borrowing. If you have any available savings tucked away, try to use these before taking out any credit (leaving a small float available for any emergencies). Replenishing your own savings will be cheaper to replace in the long run as unlike credit cards and loans, there won’t be any interest to pay.

According to the Verdict report, consumers benefiting from Payment Protection Insurance pay outs will also help to boost Christmas spending, so if you’re due PPI repayment, why not use this to help fund your Christmas festivities?

A credit card with an interest free period could be a wise option, provided you don’t already have debts. It’s always important to ensure you repay the balance before the end of the interest free period too, or you could be stung with high interest charges when the initial period expires.

The festive season is a time to relax and enjoy the holiday as much as you can. Whilst it’s a difficult time to scrimp and save, it’s important to remain sensible and only spend what you can afford. If you’re already struggling with debts and are concerned about how you will manage this Christmas, contact one of our advisers at Scotland Debt Solutions who can advise you about how to get your finances in order. Using their expert knowledge, our skilled advisers will consider the available options based on your individual situation, providing you with the most suitable option to relieve your debt worries.

John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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