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Consumers Should 'Avoid Being A Turkey This Christmas'

Dec 16, 2007
Britons are being urged to take the time to consider their spending carefully during the upcoming festive period, it has emerged.

Pointing towards research carried out by WorldVision, Callcredit reveals that consumers wasted some 2 billion pounds on unwanted presents over the course of last Christmas. And with this being a figure which could have a greater impact upon people's capacity to manage their finances, cutting down on unnecessary expenditure could greatly reduce financial pressures. In doing so, many could find that they are able to make payments on other sources of financial demand such as personal loans, credit card statements and household bills with far greater ease.

Consequently, Owen Roberts, head of MyCallcredit, urged people to take the time to consider their money management during the festive season so as to avoid spending difficulties in the first few weeks of 2008. He said: "With Christmas costing the average person more money year-on-year, we should all take time to make sure our Christmas spending doesn't leave us with a financial hangover in the new year."

As a result, the credit report provider has urged consumers against being a "Christmas turkey" this year. In addition, people were advised to take the time to make use of price comparison websites and check out deals available online in a bid to ensure that they are getting the best offer possible for their products.

However, those considering making use of the internet to help fuel their spending over Christmas, whether this ranges from searching for an online loan to using price comparison websites, were advised to do so with caution. Callcredit urged computer users to use different passwords and pin numbers while online to help avoid becoming a victim of online fraud. As a result, people were also recommended to change log-in details frequently and to shy away from obvious codes such as their date of birth or mother's maiden name.

Meanwhile, it may be advisable for shoppers to resist the temptation of panic buying as the Christmas season approaches, as doing so could see them make use of uncompetitively-priced credit which could exacerbate their debt difficulties in the new year. Alternatively, those looking to borrow money, whether via a loan, store card or otherwise, were advised to get a copy of their credit report. In taking out such a financial document, people may find that they are more likely to secure a cheap loan and other types of low-rate borrowing.

Additionally, Callcredit suggest that people should not overspend on what seem to be "bargain special offers". Those who find that they have come across a deal which seems almost too good to be true were advised to ensure that products are either returnable or that they can get a refund should they turn out to be faulty or damaged. In turn, those who find that they have to meet the costs of repairing such items themselves or buy extra presents to replace them could see their finances coming under more pressure.

For people worried about their capacity to mange their money over the Christmas period and the first weeks of the new year, a cheap personal loan could prove to be an effective solution. However, consumers should ensure that they opt to borrow from a reputable provider. Earlier this year, Jubilee Tower Credit Union and Citizens Advice warned that although loan sharks can offer what seem to be easy loans, consumers struggling to manage their money should not succumb to such temptation. The organisations advised that choosing unreputable lenders could well see people struggle with unmanageable levels of debt in the weeks following Christmas.
About the Author
Steve Smith writes for 1 Stop Finance Shop, a one stop, Personal Loans Shop, with information on bad credit loans and debt consolidation loans available on site.
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