Festive season ‘can be stressful for many’

Households up and down the country will now be gearing up the festive season, full of cheer regarding the family fun and revelry the Christmas and new…

Households up and down the country will now be gearing up the festive season, full of cheer regarding the family fun and revelry the Christmas and new year celebrations can bring, but many might also have some anxiety regarding the associated costs of this expensive time of year.

Indeed, new research carried out by the Debt Advisory Centre (DAC) has shown almost one-fifth (19 per cent) of Britons will struggle to deliver the Christmas they want this year due to the high costs associated with the season.

Overall, one-third (32 per cent) of respondents to the poll stated they "dread" Christmas, as they simply cannot afford it.

Almost half (46 per cent) of 25 to 34-year-olds fell into this category – many citing the additional financial pressures of having a young family and getting on to the housing ladder for their lack of affordability – with one in three (31 per cent) of this group stating they will be foregoing the traditional festivities this year due to their lack of funds.

Meanwhile, 13 per cent of over-55s in the UK also stated they are in this position at present.

Households from all backgrounds may be feeling the pinch when it comes to delivering the fantasy Christmas experience in the current financial climate, with costs not simply extending to buying presents for friends and loved ones, but also the expenditure of the traditional Christmas dinner and entertaining throughout the festive season.

Overall, just over half (52 per cent) of respondents to the poll said they will be able to afford to foot all of the expenses of the coming festivities through their monthly income, while 36 per cent said they plan to dip into their savings.

Meanwhile, 13 per cent stated they would need to borrow to be able to pay for Christmas expenses over the coming weeks, with this figure rising to 21 per cent for individuals aged from 25 to 34.

Spokesperson for DAC Ian Williams commented: "Christmas is an expensive time of year for many of us, so if finances are already tight it's no wonder that some people dread the season.

"It's dispiriting to hear that one in five Brits surveyed think they won't get to celebrate much because they simply can't afford to. However, cutting back on celebrations may be a more sensible decision in the long-run than using credit to cover the cost."

He added that should households feel their finances are becoming excessively stretched, then adding to this anxiety through additional borrowing can be a mistake.

Indeed, with one in ten people who borrowed money to fund last Christmas still paying this debt off, taking the time to properly assess one's financial limits could be a more positive decision to make.

Anyone wishing to receive advice on ways to cut back on their existing expenditure or who may be struggling with excessive borrowing should consider contacting an independent financial adviser, who will have the necessary knowledge and expertise to steer them in the right direction to get their finances back on track.

By James Francis

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