Citizens Advice Bureau are offering advice to keep down the cost of Christmas

Echo: Here to help: (L-R) Gill Grout, Janet Kendrick (seated), Sue Murray, Joan Brown and Rachel Healey. Here to help: (L-R) Gill Grout, Janet Kendrick (seated), Sue Murray, Joan Brown and Rachel Healey.

THOUSANDS are expected to hit the shops this weekend in a last-minute, pre-Christmas buying spree.

But how many of them will be thinking about the post- Christmas debt hangover which could dominate their finances for months into 2014?

Research from the Money Advice Service suggests one person in three expects to start 2014 with Christmas-related debts, while gifts and festive entertaining is estimated to be costing an average person £487 this year.

Worse still, one person in ten is said still to be paying off last Christmas’s debts with payday loan companies’ sky-high inter est rate loans likely to this year’s celebrations.

Other research suggests a quarter of us is spending more than we can afford, while a fifth of parents feel obliged to buy children this year’s must-have present –most likely a £430 Xbox One.

The Citizens Advice Bureau, along with many other of organisations which help those in debt, are already gearing up to help people who get into financial difficulties after overspending.

Sue Murray, district manager of Rochford and District Citizens Advice Bureau, said: “Many people come to us at the start of the year, when festive cheer has given way to a realisation of the amount built up on credit cards within a short time.

“The bills still need paying and people can find themselves paying for many months and years.”

She added: “It’s about managing expenditure more effectively, and being aware of what you’re spending. People have to be sensible and know what their budget is.”

Mrs Murray stressed people shouldn’t be afraid to ask for financial advice.

She added: “There are other organisations that can help over the telephone, if people don’t want to be face to face.

“Wewant people to seek advice from whatever free source is available as early as possible.”

The Citizens Advice Bureau can be contacted by calling 0844 4770808.

**

CAB TIPS TO STAY SOLVENT THIS YEAR

- Remember everyday bills should be paid first.

- Be realistic about what you can afford. Agree a budget, either for each person or in total and stick to it ! Pay with cash or a debit card.

- Shop around, look out for discount vouchers and don’t forget to use any store loyalty points or vouchers you may have.

- Use websites such as megashopbot.com to compare the prices of goods.

- If you are spending more than £100 online, pay by credit card, so you are legally protected if your purchase doesn’t arrive.

- If you are thinking about getting a credit card, look for the best deals, including 0% interest and cashback.

- Shop sensibly and avoid unsecured online retailers and unauthorised traders.

- Avoid payday loans with high interest rates which can make Christmas an even more expensive time !Be organised and don’t overbuy food which ends up being thrown away.

- If you are cooking Christmas dinner, ask guests to bring some food or wine.

** 

Plenty of pricey presents

THE Citizens Advice Bureau’s money-saving advice coincides with the release of one of the most hotly anticipated – and expensive – festive gadget wars to date.

Video game manufacturers Microsoft and Sony released their respective new games consoles on to the market last month – prompting groans from thousands of parents, expecting to be pressurised into buying them for Christmas.

Sony’s Playstation Four, aboove, sells for £350, with games, such as the popular Call of Duty, costing as much as £50 each, and accessories such as controllers costing similar sums.

A console, two controllers and two games could cost as much as £500, yet Sony it is selling every unit it can get its hands on, while online retailer Amazon has said anyone who ordered theirs after November 13 won’t get it until after Christmas.

Microsoft’s rival XBox One costs £430 with games and accessories also in the region of £50 a go.

Apple is also pitching for parents’ cash, with new versons of the iPod touch and iPad launched in time for Christmas.

A new iPad starts at £399 – plus £35 for the “official” Apple case to go with it.

Comments (13)

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3:58pm Sun 22 Dec 13

emcee says...

If you bow down to pressure from your kids to buy them £500 worth of consoles and games then you either have more money than sense or are a weak parent. Spending £500 on a child is unnecessary, more so if you cannot afford it.
OK, so it may feel good treating your kids to something special, but there is a very fine line between treating and spoiling.
If you bow down to pressure from your kids to buy them £500 worth of consoles and games then you either have more money than sense or are a weak parent. Spending £500 on a child is unnecessary, more so if you cannot afford it. OK, so it may feel good treating your kids to something special, but there is a very fine line between treating and spoiling. emcee

6:18pm Sun 22 Dec 13

InTheKnowOk says...

With most people finding it hard to make ends meet, it really gets my goat when I see the sign 'ONLY' ... Everything is always being described as 'ONLY' £250, 'ONLY' £499 ....
With most people finding it hard to make ends meet, it really gets my goat when I see the sign 'ONLY' ... Everything is always being described as 'ONLY' £250, 'ONLY' £499 .... InTheKnowOk

11:14pm Sun 22 Dec 13

serial thief says...

InTheKnowOk wrote:
With most people finding it hard to make ends meet, it really gets my goat when I see the sign 'ONLY' ... Everything is always being described as 'ONLY' £250, 'ONLY' £499 ....
Im a shoplifter, so most presents I've got this year have been free!
[quote][p][bold]InTheKnowOk[/bold] wrote: With most people finding it hard to make ends meet, it really gets my goat when I see the sign 'ONLY' ... Everything is always being described as 'ONLY' £250, 'ONLY' £499 ....[/p][/quote]Im a shoplifter, so most presents I've got this year have been free! serial thief

12:10am Mon 23 Dec 13

Ian_SE says...

So, CAB want to advise people on how to stay out of debt?

That all seems very noble until you find out their advice line (0844 477 0808) costs 40p/min from a mobile phone including the built in 7p/min Service Charge to their benefit.
So, CAB want to advise people on how to stay out of debt? That all seems very noble until you find out their advice line (0844 477 0808) costs 40p/min from a mobile phone including the built in 7p/min Service Charge to their benefit. Ian_SE

1:12pm Mon 23 Dec 13

Kim Gandy says...

serial thief wrote:
InTheKnowOk wrote:
With most people finding it hard to make ends meet, it really gets my goat when I see the sign 'ONLY' ... Everything is always being described as 'ONLY' £250, 'ONLY' £499 ....
Im a shoplifter, so most presents I've got this year have been free!
You're just an idiot, a pointless human being
[quote][p][bold]serial thief[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]InTheKnowOk[/bold] wrote: With most people finding it hard to make ends meet, it really gets my goat when I see the sign 'ONLY' ... Everything is always being described as 'ONLY' £250, 'ONLY' £499 ....[/p][/quote]Im a shoplifter, so most presents I've got this year have been free![/p][/quote]You're just an idiot, a pointless human being Kim Gandy

1:14pm Mon 23 Dec 13

Kim Gandy says...

Diligent use of Ebay, easy pay on QVC and a trip to the High Street have kept my costs down.

I have limited my present list due to financial restraints and those I care about will be getting smaller, but meaningful gifts, things I have selected to suit their likes and personalities.

Not for me the push and shove of department stores and shopping malls. Give me a cup of tea, a shortbread and my laptop and I can make good use of Google to search for the items I want.

I'm more than happy with my finds.
Diligent use of Ebay, easy pay on QVC and a trip to the High Street have kept my costs down. I have limited my present list due to financial restraints and those I care about will be getting smaller, but meaningful gifts, things I have selected to suit their likes and personalities. Not for me the push and shove of department stores and shopping malls. Give me a cup of tea, a shortbread and my laptop and I can make good use of Google to search for the items I want. I'm more than happy with my finds. Kim Gandy

1:17pm Mon 23 Dec 13

Kim Gandy says...

Ian_SE wrote:
So, CAB want to advise people on how to stay out of debt?

That all seems very noble until you find out their advice line (0844 477 0808) costs 40p/min from a mobile phone including the built in 7p/min Service Charge to their benefit.
Well they are a charity, they need to be funded. And the "advice line" is usually for you to phone up and book an appointment, meaning you will not be on for more than two minutes.

And you can just drop in to the CAB anyway - and book your appointment there and then.

Good God, people are forking small fortunes out to enter TV competitions and vote on daft "reality" tv programmes all the time.

Hopefully, a call to the CAB will not have to be made on a daily or weekly basis.

As for 0870 and 0844 numbers there is a website you can go and look up the landline numbers of all such companies who charge you to call them. This is www.saynoto0870.com It has saved me a fortune in calls.

There are all sorts of big companies who do this nowadays and this website gives normal call rate alternatives. I use it all the time.
[quote][p][bold]Ian_SE[/bold] wrote: So, CAB want to advise people on how to stay out of debt? That all seems very noble until you find out their advice line (0844 477 0808) costs 40p/min from a mobile phone including the built in 7p/min Service Charge to their benefit.[/p][/quote]Well they are a charity, they need to be funded. And the "advice line" is usually for you to phone up and book an appointment, meaning you will not be on for more than two minutes. And you can just drop in to the CAB anyway - and book your appointment there and then. Good God, people are forking small fortunes out to enter TV competitions and vote on daft "reality" tv programmes all the time. Hopefully, a call to the CAB will not have to be made on a daily or weekly basis. As for 0870 and 0844 numbers there is a website you can go and look up the landline numbers of all such companies who charge you to call them. This is www.saynoto0870.com It has saved me a fortune in calls. There are all sorts of big companies who do this nowadays and this website gives normal call rate alternatives. I use it all the time. Kim Gandy

2:32pm Mon 23 Dec 13

serial thief says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
serial thief wrote:
InTheKnowOk wrote:
With most people finding it hard to make ends meet, it really gets my goat when I see the sign 'ONLY' ... Everything is always being described as 'ONLY' £250, 'ONLY' £499 ....
Im a shoplifter, so most presents I've got this year have been free!
You're just an idiot, a pointless human being
Why should I pay for things in shops? There the real criminals. I don't agree with big organisations charging a fortune for stuff when they get it really cheap. Go on Kim, break the law for once in your life, beat the ques, and save yourself a bit of money!
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]serial thief[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]InTheKnowOk[/bold] wrote: With most people finding it hard to make ends meet, it really gets my goat when I see the sign 'ONLY' ... Everything is always being described as 'ONLY' £250, 'ONLY' £499 ....[/p][/quote]Im a shoplifter, so most presents I've got this year have been free![/p][/quote]You're just an idiot, a pointless human being[/p][/quote]Why should I pay for things in shops? There the real criminals. I don't agree with big organisations charging a fortune for stuff when they get it really cheap. Go on Kim, break the law for once in your life, beat the ques, and save yourself a bit of money! serial thief

4:22pm Mon 23 Dec 13

runwellian says...

I have saved a fortune this year, I simply cancelled Christmas!
I have saved a fortune this year, I simply cancelled Christmas! runwellian

4:57pm Mon 23 Dec 13

Living the La Vida Legra says...

serial thief wrote:
InTheKnowOk wrote:
With most people finding it hard to make ends meet, it really gets my goat when I see the sign 'ONLY' ... Everything is always being described as 'ONLY' £250, 'ONLY' £499 ....
Im a shoplifter, so most presents I've got this year have been free!
Big words from a little _______ I wounder if you have stolen anything?
Wow what a fabulous person you are your mother must proud of you and what you've made of her little soldiers life! Hold your head high for you have reached your goals and when the people open their presents on the big day have a warm feeling of failure and that feeling of being a leech on the life of family and friends Merry Christmas to everyone ( But you ) ;)
[quote][p][bold]serial thief[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]InTheKnowOk[/bold] wrote: With most people finding it hard to make ends meet, it really gets my goat when I see the sign 'ONLY' ... Everything is always being described as 'ONLY' £250, 'ONLY' £499 ....[/p][/quote]Im a shoplifter, so most presents I've got this year have been free![/p][/quote]Big words from a little _______ I wounder if you have stolen anything? Wow what a fabulous person you are your mother must proud of you and what you've made of her little soldiers life! Hold your head high for you have reached your goals and when the people open their presents on the big day have a warm feeling of failure and that feeling of being a leech on the life of family and friends Merry Christmas to everyone ( But you ) ;) Living the La Vida Legra

4:59pm Mon 23 Dec 13

Living the La Vida Legra says...

serial thief wrote:
InTheKnowOk wrote:
With most people finding it hard to make ends meet, it really gets my goat when I see the sign 'ONLY' ... Everything is always being described as 'ONLY' £250, 'ONLY' £499 ....
Im a shoplifter, so most presents I've got this year have been free!
Big words from a little _______ I wounder if you have stolen anything?
Wow what a fabulous person you are your mother must proud of you and what you've made of her little soldiers life! Hold your head high for you have reached your goals and when the people open their presents on the big day have a warm feeling of failure and that feeling of being a leech on the life of family and friends Merry Christmas to everyone ( But you ) ;)
So good I post this twice
[quote][p][bold]serial thief[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]InTheKnowOk[/bold] wrote: With most people finding it hard to make ends meet, it really gets my goat when I see the sign 'ONLY' ... Everything is always being described as 'ONLY' £250, 'ONLY' £499 ....[/p][/quote]Im a shoplifter, so most presents I've got this year have been free![/p][/quote]Big words from a little _______ I wounder if you have stolen anything? Wow what a fabulous person you are your mother must proud of you and what you've made of her little soldiers life! Hold your head high for you have reached your goals and when the people open their presents on the big day have a warm feeling of failure and that feeling of being a leech on the life of family and friends Merry Christmas to everyone ( But you ) ;) So good I post this twice Living the La Vida Legra

5:29pm Mon 23 Dec 13

serial thief says...

Living the La Vida Legra wrote:
serial thief wrote:
InTheKnowOk wrote:
With most people finding it hard to make ends meet, it really gets my goat when I see the sign 'ONLY' ... Everything is always being described as 'ONLY' £250, 'ONLY' £499 ....
Im a shoplifter, so most presents I've got this year have been free!
Big words from a little _______ I wounder if you have stolen anything?
Wow what a fabulous person you are your mother must proud of you and what you've made of her little soldiers life! Hold your head high for you have reached your goals and when the people open their presents on the big day have a warm feeling of failure and that feeling of being a leech on the life of family and friends Merry Christmas to everyone ( But you ) ;)
So good I post this twice
It's called having the bottle to do it. Why should I pay for stuff?
[quote][p][bold]Living the La Vida Legra[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]serial thief[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]InTheKnowOk[/bold] wrote: With most people finding it hard to make ends meet, it really gets my goat when I see the sign 'ONLY' ... Everything is always being described as 'ONLY' £250, 'ONLY' £499 ....[/p][/quote]Im a shoplifter, so most presents I've got this year have been free![/p][/quote]Big words from a little _______ I wounder if you have stolen anything? Wow what a fabulous person you are your mother must proud of you and what you've made of her little soldiers life! Hold your head high for you have reached your goals and when the people open their presents on the big day have a warm feeling of failure and that feeling of being a leech on the life of family and friends Merry Christmas to everyone ( But you ) ;) So good I post this twice[/p][/quote]It's called having the bottle to do it. Why should I pay for stuff? serial thief

5:46pm Mon 23 Dec 13

Living the La Vida Legra says...

We can all steal ! Bottle has nothing to do with it But I have a feeling of self worth and the joy of adding to our community and not being a drain on everyone. But this is the season of good will so I don't wish you any malice
We can all steal ! Bottle has nothing to do with it But I have a feeling of self worth and the joy of adding to our community and not being a drain on everyone. But this is the season of good will so I don't wish you any malice Living the La Vida Legra

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