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12 ways to a debt-free Christmas

Posted 23 October 2012

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Christmas is a time for family, friends and fun, but don't forget the fourth f - your finances. Follow our 12 tips and look forward to a festive season that doesn't end with a pile of fresh debts to worry about.

Christmas is a time for giving but getting ready for Christmas can be expensive. By taking control of your finances you can help to avoid money worries at this time of year. 


The best way to avoid a post-Christmas debt hangover is to budget long before the festive season starts and to make sure that you only spend what you can afford. 

Unfortunately, not all of us are that disciplined, so this is easier said than done. That’s why we have created these twelve common-sense tips to help you:

Be Realistic

Don’t leave your Christmas shopping to the last minute. Start planning as soon as you can – based on what you can afford – and stick to the plan! 

Downsize your list

Big lists lead to big bills! Whittle your Christmas list down to the people who matter most.

Take advantage of coupons and discount vouchers

Check out our great range of free voucher codes, offers and 'money saving' discounts and start saving today!

Raise extra funds

It’s easy to spend money at Christmas – but it is easy to earn money too. Why not organise a Christmas fair to sell off things that you no longer want? Then you will be able to cover your Christmas expenses as they arise and you won’t have to play catch-up later.

Avoid credit

If you can afford to pay for goods in cash, do so. Don’t take credit unless it really does work out cheaper. 

Be wary about ‘Buy now, pay later’

Are you sure you’ll have the money later? Penalties for late payments can add up!

Look for freebies

Giving someone a gift doesn’t have to mean buying them a gift. Keep an eye out for gift worthy freebies and you’ll soon have plenty of free stocking fillers.

Cut back

Look at the regular treats you buy and decide if you can do without on the lead-up to Christmas – this will help towards your gift budget.

Shop second-hand

Shop second-hand and make the most of your budget. You can find great gifts (including new items) at a fraction of what you’d pay elsewhere.

Make some of your gifts

Use your spare time to make gifts for the people on your list. It’s cost effective and fun!

Undo your slip-ups

If you spend more than you mean to, don’t stress it; fix it! Return items, work some overtime…do what you can to get your debt-free Christmas back on track.

If you think you’ve over-spent, get help!

Don’t ignore it or hope it will go away - the Debt Advisory Centre can provide help if you need it.

At the Debt Advisory Centre we wish you a very merry debt-free Christmas and hope that these useful tips help you to celebrate in ways that bring you and your family joy, not debt.


Merry Christmas



by Shelley Bowers

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.