One in Four Britons to Experience Debt After Holiday Season

Many of us feel the pinch when it comes to Christmas. As wonderful as the festive season is, it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on us to spend a considerable amount of money on creating the ‘perfect Christmas’, whether this be on buying presents for loved ones, food and alcohol for the Christmas festivities, or the amount spending travelling to see family and friends near and far, the costs soon start to add up. Millions of people in the UK are accumulating debt to be able to have Christmas, according to statistics.

A recent poll carried out by comparison site uSwitch which surveyed over 4,000 consumers showed that a staggering one in four of Britons will be starting the next year with a credit debt average just under £500 (£452). The same poll revealed that across the UK, British shoppers end up loading almost £8.5 billion of debt onto credit cards in order to pay for Christmas. Many are also using high cost loans in order to cover the costs of festive season too. (Source: Payday Bad Credit)

With Britons bombarded with adverts on social media, TV and radio, it is no surprise that many feel the pressure to spend more money during the month of December, but the consequences can be dangerous. It can lead people ending up getting into a cycle of debt, or spending the rest of the following year paying all their debts off.

Some suggestions have been made about Black Friday which offers the opportunity to save money on household brands, although also encouraging unnecessary spending.

In the study by uSwitch, over half surveyed believed that it was likely they would still be making repayments on Christmas spending for this year in the following December. Almost half (48%) stated that they were worried about the level of debt they could end up accumulating over Christmas and paying into the New Year.

The Disposable Income Index (DII) for 2017 by Scottish Friendly, an ISA provider revealed some stark findings about Christmas debt too. Over three-quarters of households that had children stated that they had made financial sacrifices in order to buy Christmas presents.

This was most commonly in the form of using their credit card to pay for purchases, or through taking out a high cost loan or unsecured loan. Similarly, millennials were found to really feel the pinch too. Three quarters of those surveyed also said they were making financial sacrifices to buy things for loved ones at Christmas time. It was estimated that around 14% of these millennials intended to take out a payday loan so they could achieve this.

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Banking Backtrack – 6 Tips For Reconfiguring Your Financial Priorities

What are your Financial Priorities?

In order to achieve your goals, you need to make them concrete. Evaluating your financial priorities is the first step in successfully restructuring your expenses to meet your long term goals. Making a list of priorities in order of importance is necessary in order to restructure your financial priorities and ensure that you are taking steps forward, rather than simply making ends meet. Achieving your financial goals may require assistance from a personal loan to put you ahead, or may involve assistance from a trusted financial advisor. The following six tips are essential in order to successfully re-evaluate your financial priorities.

1. Remain on top of bills

Are you earning more than you are spending? The most important step in separating our most fundamental financial needs from the rest is ensuring that your income exceeds your expenses. Debt consolidation using a personal loan allows you to combine your existing debt and make one monthly payment through a lower interest rate as offered by a personal loan. This makes your debt easier to pay off, providing you with an allocated time frame to repay the consolidated loan rather than having multiple and confusing monthly payments of various debts. Consolidating your debt through a personal loan saves you a lot of money in interest and helps you remain on top of your bills.

2. Decide what is important

Your financial priorities will change over the years, particularly if you start or expand a family. Reviewing your spending habits over the last few months will give you a general idea of what your spending habits indicate is important to you. For most of us this will be food, education needs and other necessities and preferences. However, it is important to view whether your spending habits align with what you hope to accomplish in the future. What would you most like to do with your money? This leads us to point three.

3. Look at the big picture

While immediate needs and obligations are important, it’s important to consider your finances in accordance with your ‘big picture’. Too many people configure their financial priorities simply to make ends meet. Whilst this may be all that your income can afford, the only way to truly get ahead may be to apply for a personal loan. Using a personal loan to start-up your dream business, take the holiday your family needs or get the surgery you have been waiting for, ensures that you are taking steps forward rather than remaining financially stagnant. Creating measurable goals that can be accomplished, keeps you motivated and ensures your money is being used to further your ambitions.

4. Maintain an emergency fund

For many of us, an emergency fund is something we will “start later in life when I have more money”. However, when reconfiguring your financial priorities, ensuring you have money aside for an emergency situation is vital. When the financially unprepared are hit with an unexpected and expensive emergency, they are left scrambling for whatever funding is available. Often this will result in costly terms and interests rates. Comparing the rates of various personal loans in advance can ensure that if you require a loan for an emergency situation, that you receive the best terms available.

5. Optimize your returns

Are there any other strategies you could employ in order to maximise your goals? This may include seeking advice from a financial advisor in regards to investing your money in stock or a property. Investing your money can further your wealth and help you gain financial independence. Considering ways to optimize your returns is therefore an important step in the assessment of financial priorities.

6. Review regularly

Once your priorities have been ordered it becomes vital to remain on track and regularly consult your list of priorities. It can also help you track when your strategies have been successful and when may be the best time for you to make your move, secure a personal loan and achieve what you outlined in your ‘big picture’.

Being aware of your financial priorities ensures that you remain focused on the most important aspects of your financial life. Evaluating your goals and your spending habits ensures that your money is spent in a way that reflects your priorities, and furthers your ambitions. Reviewing your situation periodically will ensure that your financial priorities are current, so that your money is used in a way that most satisfies you.

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