Consumers ‘need a Christmas budget’

Budgeting at Christmas is essential if consumers are to stay in the black.

The festive period represents one of the busiest times of the year, both…

Budgeting at Christmas is essential if consumers are to stay in the black.

The festive period represents one of the busiest times of the year, both in terms of socialising and buying presents. Because of this, it is very easy for individuals to overstretch themselves. 

Indeed, research by MoneySuperMarket.com has found 30 per cent of UK adults will not be able to fund their Christmas shopping spree from their November wage. 

Only 26 per cent said they have drawn up a budget for December, while nine per cent are expecting to rely on savings in order to get by and a further eight per cent will turn to credit cards.

Unsecured lending can be very useful, however, individuals need to demonstrate a diligent attitude to repayments to ensure they do not suffer from costly interest rates. 

According to Gocompare.com, clothing (50 per cent), books (39 per cent) and perfume (37 per cent) are set to be the most popular presents in 2013. 

Kevin Mountford, head of banking at MoneySuperMarket.com, stated: "With December already upon us, many people may be dreading the cost of Christmas presents and all the trimmings. For many, this year has been a financial struggle, with the cost of living rising at a faster rate than people's disposable income."

He added it is not surprising so many people are going to struggle to make ends meet, as the yuletide period is always an expensive time of the year, although a lucky 13 per cent are set to get paid again before Christmas. 

Mr Mountford noted it is probably too late to start saving for Christmas now, but they can still be savvy when it comes to purchases. For example, clearing the balance on any credit cards is advised. 

He remarked consumers need a fresh start in 2014 and should put a plan in place so they do not suffer from a financial hangover.  

By Joe White 

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