Studies Show that 80% of UK Homeowners will Struggle with Debt After Christmas

Christmas time is a time for over indulgence – and heck, do we all know it. As well as it being the season of good will and joy to all men, it’s slowly but surely become the season of eating too much, drinking too much – and yep, you guessed it – spending too much. In fact, studies have gone as far as to prove that as many as eighty percent of homeowners in the UK are likely to struggle with being in debt after Christmas. It’s an expensive time of year, there’s no denying that – but there are in fact a few ways that you can avoid struggling with your debt once the season is over with. We’re going to take a little look at how that can be done today, and just why it is we spend so much at Christmas.

Why do So Many of us Overspend at Christmas?

We know that it’s unnecessary, and that we can’t always afford it – and yet so many of us will and do continue to overspend at Christmas time.

Where you’re based really doesn’t have an effect statistically. Just as many people are likely to be frantically searching for payday loans online in Canada as are looking to extend their overdraft dramatically in the United Kingdom. But why do we do it?

It’s pretty simple, really. A lot of the time, Britons are driven into copious amounts of festive debt because of the mounting social pressure they feel throughout the season.

Think about it, every advert you see in the lead up to Christmas, is about Christmas. Most of these adverts will include a happy narrative about someone who gets what they really want for Christmas and so on. Likewise, there’s the pressure to meet with friends for Christmas drinks, go out for your work Christmas meal, and of course the pressure to have the most perfect twenty fifth of December there ever was. The pressure isn’t just financially, but emotionally too. When we allow the emotional pressure to mount up, spending doesn’t seem quite so extensive – but only when January comes around and the bills come through do you realise the expenses you’ve made.

Sources have reported that as many as six out of every ten thousand households in the UK will make sacrifices to buy presents, with as many as thirty one percent of them relying on credit to pay for their gifts. Likewise, three quarters of households with children will make financial sacrifices to pay for their loved one’s presents.

Is it Avoidable?

As with any sort of debt, if you plan in advance it’s certainly avoidable.

If you can, plan ahead, make a Christmas time budget, and save in advance. When you know exactly how much you’re planning to spend and what on, it takes a lot of the pressure off creating the “perfect” Christmas.

When we say budget, we don’t mean you have to miss out! You can still have a tree, a beautiful dinner and presents that’ll make the family grin from ear to ear. We simply mean give yourself a maximum spending amount, and stick to that. You’ll be able to figure out the logistics of it as you go, and how you’re going to split the money up – but knowing in advance how much money you’ll need etc will help you to save up. Remember you’re not in competition with anyone else – Christmas is what you make it.

Likewise, if you do need to lend some money – and of course this is, at times, unavoidable, then make sure you know how much you’re lending, and for certain that you can pay it back.

One of the dangers of short term loaning, is how easy it is to get a loan in the first place and then roll it over when you can’t afford to pay it back on the agreed date. This is how so many people end up in a spiral of debt that they can’t repay.

When it comes to short term loaning, ALWAYS read the small print – and know the exact figures from the word go. Make sure you go with a reputable lender, and only borrow as much as you know for certain you can afford to pay back.

Finally, we know it’s hard when you feel the pressure mounting, but just try and remember what Christmas is really about. It’s not about how much you spend and what on – it’s about the time we spend and the memories we make with the ones we love. Keep this in mind above all else, and you won’t fall victim to consumerist demands.

Melissa Thompson

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.