A free debt advice charity has called for UK consumers to make a plan for next Christmas after research has shown that up to 8 million people expect to fall behind with their finances this January as a result of Christmas costs.
The Money Advice Trust, which runs National Debtline, has joined with the Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL) to issue the call.
A poll of more than 2,000 British adults, conducted by YouGov for National Debtline, found that 16 percent of Britons say they are likely to fall behind in January as a result of Christmas spending. This represents a marked increase from 11 percent last year and is equivalent to an estimated 7.9 million people in the UK.
More than half of UK consumers admitted that they had not saved for Christmas in 2017, with only 14 per cent putting money away from before the summer.
Almost a quarter polled stated that they are likely to start saving earlier for Christmas 2018. However, the charity and credit unions feel that the figure should be higher.
Joanna Elson OBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, said: ‘After the celebrations of the Christmas period, January is a challenging time for many households with the impact of festive spending taking its toll on household budgets. With millions expecting to fall behind with their finances in January, we want people to be financially prepared for the year ahead.
‘At the start of this New Year, when resolutions are being made, I would encourage everyone to look at their personal finances and make a plan if they can for 2018. Set a household budget, look at joining a credit union in preparation for next Christmas and seek free advice at www.nationaldebtline.org if you are struggling to cope.
‘Taking these first steps to make a plan for your finances can make a huge difference for the rest of 2018.’