Christmas is a time of joy and a time of giving –but if you are not careful then the weeks and months afterwards could be spent worrying about your ideal debt solution and how you are going to make ends meet.

It can be very easy to get wrapped up in the Christmas spirit and many of us may find that we stretch ourselves further than we would like and rely on credit cards and store cards in order to fund the festive season. CreditExpert believe that almost one in five households relied on credit cards last Christmas, with many others having to take out personal loans or extend their overdrafts.

But you don’t have to take on extra Christmas debt and worry about 2010 being filled with you taking on debt advice in order to repay those Christmas gifts which have long been forgotten about  – there can be another way to afford Christmas!

1: Avoid Christmas Debt – Okay, this might sound like an obvious suggestion but keeping your debt levels in check is the only way that you can avoid the Christmas debt-hangover. However, it might take a little planning…

2: Learn how to save – Even if you can just save additional Christmas spending money from one or two months worth of wages it can really make a difference to your finances. For example,  if you need an extra £200 over Christmas, saving £50 from October and £50 from November means that you are already half way to having no Christmas debt.
The longer period you can do this over, the smaller amount you need to save each month meaning that you can avoid Christmas debt with ease.

3: Up your income – Now is the time to maximise your income and there are a number of ways that you can do this to avoid Christmas debt…

  • Switch your supplier – The rising cost of living means that you could be paying over the odds with your utility bill suppliers. Consider freeing up some of your cash by switching providers. You could save yourself £100s by doing so and this can go towards avoiding Christmas debt.
  • Sell unwanted items – Use this as an opportunity to clear your house of items that you don’t need. Gather together these items (and I’m sure they’ll be a few unwanted presents from last Christmas there!) and auction them online or take a trip to your local car boot sale.

What to do if you end up with Christmas debt….

It is inevitable that, no matter how hard we try, some of us will have unknowingly overspent over Christmas or in the January sales and are left wondering how they are going to repay this debt. If you are struggling with your finances there are a number of debt solutions which can make your debt easier to manage.

An IVA is suitable for those with debts over £12,000 who cannot afford to repay their debt. Your unaffordable debt could be written off in as little as 60 months and you can avoid declaring bankruptcy.

If you are struggling with lower levels of debt, there is still a debt solution to suit you. Our debt management plans are tailored to your individual circumstances so you can benefit from one lower monthly repayment.