Brits could face more financial stresses this Christmas

Posted 26 November 2014

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Christmas can be a stressful time as there’s a lot to organise, but your finances could be causing you worry too.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but we all know that Christmas can bring plenty of stress as well as merry-making. There can be a lot to organise, from planning the Christmas shopping and putting up the tree to organising the family get-together, and there can be even more pressure if you’re struggling with money worries.

Present problems

Christmas can be an expensive time, as the cost of buying gifts for friends and family can start to add up, and you could find it harder to deal with if your finances are already stretched. One thing that you could experience if you start to spend beyond your means is your card being rejected when you try to pay for presents in shops. Nearly three-quarters of respondents said that they found this a stressful financial experience; possibly due to the fear of other people being present when it happens.


Managing your Christmas present shopping isn’t easy, but it might help you to cope with the cost if you set a strict budget beforehand and avoid borrowing where you can. If you plan how much you can afford to spend on each person and what you’re going to get them, you may be less likely to overspend and buy presents you don’t need.


The most stressful financial situations for people in Britain are:


Stress trigger % of people who rate it as stressful
Being cut off from gas/electricity 80
Being cut off from mobile/internet 79
Getting a CCJ 73
Having your card rejected in store 72
Cash machine refusing to let you withdraw money 69
Missing a bill payment (e.g. a direct debit "bouncing") 69
Getting a 'red letter' or final demand for an unpaid bill 66
Being rejected for credit 64
Incurring a bank charge 62
Going overdrawn 54



Keep calm this Christmas

Having your card rejected in a store or not being able to take money out at an ATM are undoubtedly stressful situations, but these could become even worse if you ignore them and don’t do anything to fix the problem. If you bury your head in the sand and hope your financial worries will go away, debts could start to build up and you may struggle to manage these alongside your other regular bills.


If your financial problems mean that you could have a stressful Christmas this year, you don’t have to go through it alone. You might want to consider speaking to one of our expert advisors for support on what you should do next, or contacting another source of independent advice.


*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 2nd May and 12th May 2014, of whom 500 were Scottish residents.

by Christine Walsh

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