Nearly a quarter of Brits have said they would cut their spending on food and heating to afford the cost of Christmas, according to new research.
The report from Confused.com found 22% of credit card holders said they would spend more than they intended to during Christmas. 13% would cut down on their food expenditure, while 10% would cut down on heating to pay off debt.
Last year saw a record amount spent during “Cyber Week” with consumers spending a total of £3bn during the run up to Christmas. 12% of credit card holders said they would spend more than £1,000 during the festive season, with the average person spending £528.
Stuart Carmichael, Chief Executive of Debt Support Trust said:
“THE THOUGHT THAT PEOPLE WILL SACRIFICE FOOD AND HEATING TO REPAY THEIR DEBT IS FRIGHTENING, EVEN MORE SO AS THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE CONTACTING DEBT SUPPORT TRUST HAVE CHILDREN TOO.”
Stuart implored people to seek help,
“THERE ARE OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO RESOLVE MONEY WORRIES AND PEOPLE DON’T HAVE TO STRUGGLE ALONE. IF CREDIT CARDS ARE A PROBLEM THEN A BALANCE TRANSFER COULD OFFER TIME AND THE AFFORDABILITY NEEDED TO RESOLVE THE SITUATION.”
7% believe they will struggle with their finances during 2016, with 1 in 5 admitting their financial circumstances are worse than in 2014.
The report also highlighted 27% of people would cut down on eating out, 23% on holidays and leisure activities and 7% on using their car.
Credit Transfer Tuesday
New credit card data suggests January could be a record month for balance transfers, following record online sales on Black Friday last month.
The comparison website believes January 12th could see the highest ever number of balance transfers, due to the record spending during Christmas last year.
68% admitted to not balance transferring, with 12% believing it’s too complicated, 5% fearing it could damage their credit rating and 7% unaware it was even an option.
Debt Advice After Christmas
While balance transferring can help some people resolve their debt problem, for many people, their financial problems require a more in depth review.
Some people may find they had a debt problem prior to Christmas, which they were only just managing and the cost of the festive period is the final straw.
If someone isn’t able to deal with their debt with a single balance transfer, they may require debt advice and/or a debt solution.
For anyone who is unsure about the right solution to dealing with their Christmas debt, it is important to seek debt advice for a full financial review.
If you require debt advice please call Debt Support Trust on 0800 085 0226 or alternatively you complete our online debt test.