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How to deal with a Christmas debt hangover

Dealing with a debt hangover

We’ve probably all been guilty of over-spending a little at Christmas, but when a little becomes a lot and January’s bank statement leaves you feeling as deflated as a burst balloon on Boxing Day, those feel-good moments which accompanied your yuletide generosity can quickly fade to anxiety, regret and worry for the future.

However, following the handy hints below should ensure that any financial hangover passes as painlessly as possible:

  • Accept that the first few months of 2017 are going to be difficult. All unnecessary spending should be cut and disposable income should be used to repay debts incurred in the run up to Christmas. January isn’t the time for frivolity, it’s the time to get a grip on your finances and get them back on an even keel.
  • Prioritise the debts you have – look at what you are most worried about and repay them first.
  • Make a budget and stick to it. It’s also advisable to be open with family members about this.
  • Contact key creditors and let them know you have a problem – they are trained to help and may be in a position to be flexible with repayments.
  • If you are still struggling, consider approaching charitable organisations such as Citizens Advice and Rights Fife who offer debt-counselling free of charge.
  • Plan ahead for next Christmas – think about what you could do differently to ensure you don’t find yourself in the same predicament this time next year.

Finally, remember you are not alone and most people will be finding their finances stretched at this time of year. Don’t suffer in silence and share any concerns you have with someone you trust. We also recommend speaking to your Housing Officer immediately if you have any concerns about paying your rent – please see our ‘Make paying your rent a priority’ article for more information and advice regarding this.