10 Tips On How To Avoid A Financial Hangover This Christmas
We often experience a surge in new debt enquiries after the Christmas festivities are over. It is extremely important that consumers prioritize their spending more so within the Christmas period due to the costs. We urge all consumers not to forgo their mortgage payments, utility payments or loan payments in preference for festive expenses. The following guidance is aimed to prevent people suffering from common financial headaches after the festive period.
We are aware that Christmas is a time of giving, but you don’t want to put yourself in a troubling position with bills and debts you can’t afford to pay. It is all too easy to overspend – there are tempting offers and pressures which encourage spending, but you must be aware of how much you can afford and keep to within these boundaries.
If you do find yourself in an uncomfortable financial position at any point in your life please do not hesitate to contact us as we can offer you the free guidance you may need to find a way forward.
Financial tips for the Christmas period -
1. Plan early for Christmas – Be realistic and budget accordingly. Work out how much you are going to spend on each family member or friend – stick to it. Ensure to manage expectations accordingly to what you or ‘Santa’ can afford.
2. Don’t forget the everyday bills – Remember rent, mortgage, utility bills, food bills, council tax and other existing debts still must be paid – the consequences can be severe if they’re not paid. Even though its Christmas, get your priorities right.
3. Don’t bank on an overdraft- If you need more money, don’t just run up an overdraft without talking to your bank first – it will work out to be much more expensive in the long run so reconsider your actions.
4. Keep things simple – If you can afford to pay for your goods outright by cash, cheque, or debit card, don’t be persuaded to take out extended credit agreements unless they really do work out cheaper.
5. Shop around – Try as many different places as possible to find out the best price. Buy what you want and not what other people say you need. Be wary of extended warranties; the cost of a repair could be less than the cost of the warranty and remember you have consumer rights to reject goods that are faulty.
6. Buy safe to be safe – Whatever the deal, whatever the temptation, don’t buy from traders you don’t trust and don’t borrow from unauthorized lenders. The initial savings and convenience may prove to be detrimental in the future.
7. Read the small print – Check for hidden extras in any credit agreement. Work out the total amount payable. Ensure that the monthly instalments are within your budget before signing. Interest free credit can seem attractive, but if you don’t pay on time, or miss a payment, you could have to pay a lot more.
8. Do your own credit checks – If you are going to use a credit card, shop around and compare terms. Some cards charge high interest rates but provide interest free periods or discounts. Budget for all these costs and put the payments dates in your diary.
9. Be organised – There’s a lot to remember at Christmas. If you’ve borrowed money don’t forget that it won’t be long before you make a payment. Make sure you pay on time, even if its only the minimum, or you will be faced with additional charges.
10. Start planning and saving for next Christmas – Once Christmas is over, it’s worth looking at what you did well and what you didn’t. Learn from your mistakes and start planning how you will do things differently next year. This might also be a good time to start saving for next Christmas.