Work out a budget – and stick to it. It’s all too easy to overspend at Christmas. We all want to give our loved ones the best that we can, and to be taken in by all those tempting adverts and offers.
So be realistic and work out what you can afford for each person. Manage expectations if you have to.
Don’t forget the other bills
It may be Christmas but the rent, mortgage, utility bills, council tax and other bills still need to be paid. Missing these payments may have serious consequences so make sure that your priorities are right.
If you can pay outright for your purchases, then do so. Avoid extended credit agreements unless they really do work out cheaper and you know that you can afford the repayments. Remember that the charges and interest on unauthorised overdrafts can be painfully expensive. If you must borrow, then speak to your bank first. Look for the best credit cards deals and keep an eye out for interest-free offers. Don’t forget, though, that those deals will come to an end. Make sure that you can afford the repayments.
Try as many different places as you can – both online and on the high street – the first may not be the cheapest. Beware of extended warranties which cost more than the cost of repairs. Avoid buying from unauthorised traders and, whatever you do, don’t borrow from unauthorised lenders.
Be organised… and plan
It’s easy to get carried away at Christmas. If you’ve borrowed money it won’t be long before you have to start paying it back, and if you miss a payment, or pay late, the costs can be very high. So budget carefully for the repayments. And once Christmas is over, why not start saving something each month for next year?
If your spending does get out of control, leaving you with debts you can’t repay, then you may get a hangover that lasts well beyond Christmas and the New Year. If you do get into that position then it’s crucial to take advice as soon as you can. Speak to one of the experienced members of the team. Call us, an initial conversation is always free of charge.
And have a wonderful, debt free Christmas and 2016!