At Christmas, it can be tempting to go overboard when spending on your loved ones. According to figures from the Bank of England, in 2016, families borrowed £1.5 billion in loans and credit to pay for the festive season, while the average American shopper took on $1,003 worth of debt. Unfortunately, for many families, panic sets in during the festive season and it becomes easier to add to existing debt. So, how can you keep paying your existing debts without forfeiting Christmas for your loved ones?

How Much Can You Afford?

Those who are struggling with debt already may benefit from trying to manage this debt before the holiday period by consolidating them. According to Creditfix – debt management professionals report that one third of people in the UK pay for Christmas using a credit card. It may be tempting to apply for more credit during the festive season. Avoid this by working out how much you can afford to pay towards your debts each month as this will give you a realistic budget to work with for gifts, food and drink.

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Get Control Over Current Debts

Those who are struggling with debt already may benefit from trying to manage this debt before the holiday period by contacting an independent debt adviser. Debt management plans consolidate debts and an adviser can come to an agreement with your creditors to stop interest provided a payment goes through each month. At Christmas, it may be even more tempting to apply for more credit. Avoid this by working out how much you can afford to pay to your debts each month as this will give you a realistic budget to work with for Christmas.

Try Budget Supermarkets

The food shop can be the most daunting during the holiday season. Turkey for all the family as well as all the trimmings can add up to over £100, depending on how many mouths you have to feed. Budget shopping may be the answer. The average British family spends an overall £800 on Christmas, with the majority of this going on food and drink, but a significant amount of this could be going towards your existing debts. Try shopping for food and drink in budget supermarkets or use an online tool like Mysupermarket to compare prices. Avoid having too many people over for dinner if you can or try to eat at someone else’s home for the year while you pay off your debts.

The best thing to do while you are paying off debt, is tell your family and friends that you are working with a budget for Christmas. They are sure to understand and may even help you to budget your money effectively.