Debt and Christmas
Debt and Christmas seemingly go hand-in-hand, and this is a very serious problem, that people seem to be perfectly fine accepting as normal.
Over the next month, thousands of people around the UK will put themselves in unnecessary debt in order to try and have ‘the perfect Christmas’ – an idea manufactured in order to get people to spend more money.
Although the main cost of Christmas is usually the presents for others, the other costs of food, drink, and days/nights out all add up, and it quickly becomes difficult to think about the ‘boring’ things such as loan repayments, credit card and utility bills once you get caught up in the excitement of Christmas; particularly when everyone else is telling you what they’re buying, and how much they’ll be eating and drinking.
Change Your Mind-Set
At Christmas we often think about what we want to buy, and then try to find a way to pay for it. This year try figuring out how much you have and then trying to see what you can buy. Just this slight change in point of view, can be the difference between going into the new year in debt or not.
Although most agree that all children should get presents at Christmas (if possible), many people – including several here at Debt Assist HQ – have found that a ‘secret santa’ for the adults’ presents works wonders in saving money. Setting a realistic budget (although £50 seems a lot, it’s cheaper than lots of £10 presents) on a present for just one person, not only means that everybody who takes part is saving money, but also that the adults get one good, thoughtful present instead of lots of lesser presents. Wins all around.
Universal Credit, or the lack thereof, is a problem we’ve talked about several times before. However at this time of year it seemingly becomes a much bigger problem. When signing on to Universal Credit for the first time, it takes five weeks to get your first payment, which means if you are applying NOW, you will struggle to have any money at all before Christmas. In the mean-time you are getting further into debt to simply live, let alone prepare for Christmas.
A DWP spokesperson said: “If people think they might be eligible for universal credit they should apply without delay and advance payments are available for those in urgent need.”