Friday 2nd December 2016
Do you have Christmas debt worries at this time of year? Worried that you can’t give your children everything they want? Everyone wants Christmas to be a time of happiness and no one should be worrying that their children will wake up on Christmas day without the presents they wanted. This time of year can put parents under financial pressure as they struggle to find money to buy presents.
If you are at the stage where your debts are at a level where you are defaulting on monthly payments or struggling to pay bills then you should seek debt or IVA Advice as soon as possible. Reducing your monthly payments on credit cards or loans by entering into an IVA can relieve a lot of pressure at any time but can be even more beneficial at this time of year. Unfortunately many will put off seeking debt advice before Christmas making matters worse.
Millions of people struggle during Christmas time but don’t want to cut back on what they spend or cancel Christmas completely so they put themselves into further debt. Studies show that things have become so bad for some families that they have decided to opt out of Christmas completely.
No one wants to wake up on Boxing Day staring at their bank account knowing that they have spent far too much on Christmas than they should have. Some people may say that nobody is forcing you to buy Christmas presents but times like these are what you look back on and are important for the building of your family and the memories that go with it.
Some parents will go weeks and even months without buying anything for themselves just so they can make their children happy on Christmas day as they believe this is of more value to them. Most people see Christmas presents just as a part of childhood and a normal thing that every child gets so imagine waking up on Christmas day with no presents?
Even without Christmas many parents struggle with money issues, so this time of year brings an added amount of financial pressure. This leads to credit cards being extended, loans being taken out from the bank and maybe high interest pay day loans for a short term fix until they get paid. This only makes your financial position worse in the long run.
There are many things you can do to save money before and over Christmas. You should plan for affordability, not desirability. Calculate your budget and see what you can afford, everyone wants the best and most expensive things but sometimes this just isn’t realistic.
If you are one that likes to eat out at takeaways or restaurants cut down on the amount of times you do this. You may also try to reduce the amount you spend at that restaurant. Maybe you could cut out the starters or deserts! No one is saying that you have to completely stop but cutting down on them will save a significant amount of money.
Inviting friends over to your house rather than going out could be another way to save money leading up to Christmas. Going out on the town will cost a significant amount more than if you were to invite your friends round and can be just as entertaining.
A large amount of families expenditure goes on energy be it gas or electricity. . It is possible to reduce costs on these in a number of ways. Switching lights off or not have as many on will bring savings. Replace high usage bulbs will low energy alternatives or LEDs. Turning the heating down just one degree or setting it to switch off a little earlier can bring good savings. Watching the TV all the time can come at a very high cost and cutting down on this will go a long way to help save money for the Christmas period. Large Plasma TVs generate a lot of heat and are expensive to use. LED TVs are cheaper to run so consider the energy consumption when purchasing these items.
There are of course many ways to reduce debt and save money, too many to mention here.
We can help to ease your debt with an IVA. An IVA is an arrangement whereby an Insolvency Practitioner will negotiate with your creditors on your behalf in order to reduce your monthly payments on unsecured debt such as personal loans, credit cards etc. to a more manageable level. An IVA seeks to protect a family home should this be owned by the debtor so there is reduced worry over the family home being repossessed.
An IVA will generally stretch over a time period of 5 years and at this time any outstanding debt will be legally written off. An IVA will also take into account essentials such as, mortgage or rent, food, household bills, allowances for motor expenses etc.