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For cash strapped consumers, Christmas can be a dangerous time of year. Caution is thrown to the wind and they succumb to the temptation of joining the festive shopping crowds and spend their way into a financial hangover in the New Year. When the Christmas Debt statements start to land on the doormat.
For retailers and service providers everywhere, however, Christmas is a time when their revenue receives a much needed boost. Some retailers find that sales around the Christmas period account for up to 30% of their annual turnover. It’s in their interests to make you spend and they’re very good at making you do it.
Christmas Debt – You’re Encouraged to Spend
Retailers know exactly how to market Christmas to consumers and they also know how to take advantage of our financial guard being dropped for the festive season.
They can’t be blamed for this, their survival depends on selling as much as they can at a time when people are already predisposed to buy. However, the knowledge that the sense of urgency around the festive season has been deliberately instilled by clever and relentless marketing, can help you spot and resist it.
Spend on your debit card only
It can be helpful to put aside a little each month just for Christmas and many people do. If, however, you haven’t done so (plan now for next year), make a commitment to do your Christmas shopping on your debit card rather than your credit card. You can’t get into Christmas Debt if you only spend what you have and having that limit imposed is likely to help you keep better track of what you’re spending.
This may mean that family members may not be able to get the same expensive gifts as their peers, but it can be helpful, especially for youngsters to hear “I’m sorry, we can’t afford it” once in a while. It’s honest and helps them appreciate the value of money at an early age.This can be a gift that will last them far longer than the mass produced plastic toys they’ll be bored with by Boxing Day.
Have a Simpler, More Solvent Christmas
Starting the New Year solvent is a gift you can give to yourself and to your family. Keeping your finances under control in the festive season will leave you starting 2019 without the dread of having to deal with Christmas Debt and months of imposed cost-cutting as you try to pay it off.
Make 2019 the year you take back control of your money and make a start planning for next Christmas on a secure financial footing. A New Year’s Resolution that’s certainly worth sticking with.
From all of us at Lines Henry, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year