E: Christmas can be an expensive time of year, but that doesn’t mean households have to rack up extra debt.
While Christmas can be a happy time of year that sees friends and family come together for festive fun, it can also be an expensive experience, leading many households to pile up credit card debt.
People may struggle to meet the expectations placed on them in December. Family and friends may expect an impressive spread for dinner, amazing gifts that they have been hinting for all year and stunning decorations that put everyone into the festive spirit.
The traditional trimmings of Christmas cost money and the bills can start to pile up for some families. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are ways to cover the cost of the festive season without hammering a credit card.
It may seem obvious, but planning a realistic budget as early as possible is an easy way of avoiding getting into debt. Set a limit and manage expectations of those you will be treating at Christmas.
Being savvy and shopping around to find the best deals is a simple way of saving money. The internet offers a quick way of making comparisons without having to spend hours on the high street.
Everyday bills take priority
While you may want to go all out for Christmas, you must pay your everyday bills first. Failing to do so could have severe consequences, so you must get your priorities right.
Avoid extended credit agreements
Pay for goods outright, rather than being lured into extended credit agreements, as these add to your debt and usually see you spending more overall.
Keep out of your overdraft
If you don’t already have an overdraft, don’t set one up to cover the cost of Christmas and if you do have one don’t use it. Overdraft charges and interest can make using it more expensive than a credit card. If in doubt, always check with the bank to find out which is cheaper.
Stay away from Pay Day lenders
The adverts for this type of lender are everywhere and can be tempting when you’re trying to cover the cost of Christmas. However, with sky-high interest and charges for late repayments, these loans are expensive and should be avoided.
Get organised for next year
This is another tip that, again, may sound obvious, but being organised for next year can save you getting into debt again. Learn from this year’s mistakes and plan what you’ll do differently next year.
If you do get yourself into debt over Christmas or are already struggling to pay creditors, there are some schemes that can help. In Scotland, you can enter into a debt arrangement scheme (DAS), which sees a large chunk of the debt written off so that repayments become more affordable.
Protected trust deeds are also an option for those who owe £8,000 or more. This legally binding arrangement sees an individual coming to an agreement with their creditors that lasts around four years. After this time, any money still owed is written off, meaning the debtor is free from their financial woes.
Sequestration can also be used to solve a person’s debt problems, but it is typically seen as a last resort. Under this agreement, an individual transfers their assets over to a trustee in order to provide creditors with the highest level of financial satisfaction possible.
Originally posted 2016-12-15 11:04:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter