More evidence has emerged of the extent Scots are worried about how they’ll be able to cope during Christmas.
As a leading debt help company in Scotland, we’ve already helped many people across Scotland in December enter into a Trust Deed, or the Debt Arrangement Scheme and advised on other alternative formal debt solutions including the Minimal Asset Process route to Sequestration.
However, the UK debt charity Stepchange commissioned a survey and it found that 30% of people in Scotland are expected to struggle to afford Christmas. A further 31% of people said that they expect to cut back this year. 3% said that they wouldn’t celebrate Christmas at all this year.
Problem Debt Can Happen to Anyone
The cost of living crisis is continuing to take up a large proportion of income with the survey showing that as many as 12% of the respondents said they feel that they had no choice but to rely on credit this Christmas.
With inflation showing no sign of easing, and with energy bills set to worsen in 2023, more people may end up with problem debt than ever before.
Statistics released by Trust Deed Scotland® earlier in the year showed that over 57.4% of our customers waited over a year before they did something about their unaffordable debt, however, the survey was conducted prior to the pressures of the cost of living crisis really squeezed most households.
Tips to Help Avoid a Christmas Debt Hangover in 2023
There are many guides available to help you have a more affordable Christmas for you and your family from Money Saving Gurus such as Martin Lewis to Mrs Mummy Penny.
Here are our top tips to enjoy a more frugal Christmas this year:
Calculate your budget – Calculate your budget and think about what you can realistically afford to spend. Christmas is one day and you don’t want to ruin the whole of the next year for it.
Don’t buy unnecessary presents – We’re all struggling right now so consider making a ‘No Unnecessary Present Pact’ (NUPP) with friends, family or colleagues or at least agree to a Secret Santa with a £5 to £10 cap on gifts. Sometimes all it takes is one person to make the first move and everyone else is grateful for the gesture.
Visit charity shops – Don’t only would you be giving to good causes but you could find unwanted, or next-to-new items and save some money in the process.
Buy a cheaper Christmas day meal – You don’t need to get a fresh turkey bought in. Save money buying a frozen turkey or simply choose a more cost-effective alternative such as a Steak Pie. OK, it may be more of a traditional Scottish meal for New Year’s day but you’ll save money in cooking time alone.
Look out for deals – From wine to early sales, keep an eye out for supermarket and online deals. Claim any cashback that’s going from TopCashback and Quidco.
Start saving for next year, now – Putting a small amount aside each month, from this month onwards may help you make Christmas 2023 more affordable, and stress-free.
Many of these tips may help with short term money management, however, if you are really struggling to manage your finances, with excessive interest and charges, or if you are not meeting your minimum payments on debts like credit cards, you may need to consider what your long term options may look like.
Help With Unaffordable Debt In Scotland
You should seek help as soon as possible if you feel that you are struggling with debt.
Unaffordable debt can cause stress and anxiety, especially at this time of year with many people also reporting that it gives them sleepless nights,
Tailored Scottish debt advice is available from our experienced debt advisers. They’re there to help you, not judge you, so don’t worry. You don’t even need to leave it until 2023 – check your options today and see if a formal debt solution is right for you or not. You will be able to make an informed decision and should you choose to enter into a formal debt solution, there are no upfront setup fees to pay. Try our Wizard tool to get started, or call us on 0141 221 0999.