Dealing with Debt at Christmas

Dealing with Debt at Christmas

Dealing with debt at Christmas is something that has been highlighted in the recent press in the lead up to this year’s festive period. The message is, overwhelmingly, to try your best to reduce the unnecessary spending.  

Last January The Independent newspaper reported that millions of Britons are entering the New Year with a debt hangover that is likely to leave them likely to fall behind with their finances in January.

According to debt advice charity National Debtline, 16% of Britons, which is the equivalent of nearly 8 million people in the UK, fell behind in January 2018. That figure is 11% more than the same period in 2017.

Last year’s message was for people to make a plan for Christmas spending and to start saving for it earlier in the year. However a further report came out showing that in the build up to last year’s Christmas that 37% of Britons were purchasing presents on credit which was up from 33% the previous year.

The hope is that that figure reduces in 2019 so that’s what we are looking at – ways to keep your spending down this Christmas and reach the New Year in a better financial state than in previous years.

This year a number of the personal finance related websites have been developing their ideas for ways to save in the build up to Christmas.

One of the key messages being heard throughout the press is to rethink the way you buy Christmas presents. Here are a three of the best ones (in our opinion):

Best Christmas Saving Ideas For 2018

Don’t Buy Unnecessary Christmas Presents

The first is to ban unnecessary gifts. Do not purchase throw away novelty presents that will not be used again after they are opened on the day itself. Martin Lewis (The Money Saving Expert) went on a mission to get that message across on Facebook. The underlying message that backed up his thought process was that Christmas shouldn’t be a retail festival. It should be about the joy of giving, not a competition over who can afford the biggest present. Click here if you would like to read the original Martin Lewis blog.

Make Huge Savings on the Presents you do Buy

Look for huge discounts at stores such as Amazon by using the MSE discount finder. This is a piece of software developed to find the best offers amongst the millions of products by using keywords and price filters. Just enter the keywords of the products you would like to find and enter the budget levels you had in mind and let the software find the best offers available.

You can back this up by using an independent Amazon price tracker service developed by Camel Camel Camel. Again enter the keywords or even copy and paste the URL of the product you want to track and let Camel Camel Camel do the rest. It can be found here.

Christmas Food. Don’t Try and Buy the Best Just Because…

This comes in two key parts.

Part 1 – Instead of spending an absolute fortune (which is easier than it sounds) on the Christmas Turkey only to have leftovers hanging around for weeks following the big day, look for a turkey crown from the local butcher and spend less than half of what you would have spent originally whilst still feeding everyone well on the day.

Part 2 – For the rest of your Christmas food hop try the downsizing challenge. In short, supermarket products sit mainly in four categories; premium, branded, own brand and value (basics). Then during your shop try your best to downshift on every product. If you always previously bought the most expensive olive oil that was available on the shelf then try and pick from a category down. If you like it then continue to buy that brand.

If you have the time, have a look at the full list of tips and see what you can do to make savings this Christmas by clicking here.

We hope these tips help you in dealing with debt at Christmas and help make your New Year easier than in previous years.