Christmas can be a fun and magical time, but it can be extremely expensive too. The average family spends around £800*, most of which is spent on food, drink, cards and decorations. Last year, National Debtline received 61% more phone calls from people asking for advice after overspending.
We want you to enjoy Christmas without falling into money troubles. If you are worried about money, or have overspent already, there is still time to get yourself back on track. Pine Court Housing Association has joined up with other Merseyside housing associations to give you some tips to help you through the festive period.
Worried about your bills this month?
It’s easy to get carried away over the festive season, but don’t neglect your rent and bill payments, you don’t want to start 2017 in debt.
If you are worried about paying your rent during the next couple of weeks, talk to your landlord so that they can help you. There’s no point burying your head until the New Year.
Contact us to discuss your concerns:
Tel: 0151 709 6878
Top tips to avoid over-spending this Christmas
1. Make a list, and check it twice – buying on impulse can be dangerously expensive.
2. Time your heating, so it’s only on when you are at home.
3. Turn down the heating while you cook Christmas dinner, the excess heat from the kitchen will help to warm surrounding areas.
4. Make your own Christmas cards – it’s a great way to spend time with your family, gives a personalised greeting, and can save you money.
5. When decorating your Christmas tree and house, switch to LED Christmas lights to reduce your energy consumption by up to 90%.
6. Turn your fairy lights off when you leave the house or go to bed, this will save on your bills and reduce the risk of fire.
7. Watch out for illegal money lenders or loan sharks. They seem friendly at first, but are bound to bite you back. Talk to your housing association if you have concerns about this.
8. It’s not too late to switch – compare your energy tariffs and prepare to switch provider to save £££. Find out more about switching here.
9. Give an IOU – If you’re planning a large purchase like a TV or games console, consider waiting for the January sales. Instead give a nicely-wrapped IOU, telling them you’re waiting for the sales.
If you have money worries, or are concerned about debt, you can talk to a number of organisations who can provide free confidential advice and support:
National Debtline – 0808 808 4000 – www.nationaldebtline.org
Citizens Advice – 03444 111 444 – www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Illegal Money Lending Team – 0300 555 2222 – email@example.com
Liverpool Council Benefits Advice www.liverpool.gov.uk/benefits-and-grants/benefits-advice/
You can also find advice and information on our website here.
The ‘Merseyside Housing Associations Working Together’ group was formed following the introduction of Welfare Reform, as a collaborative effort to support customers through the changes imposed.
Members of the Group are: Crosby Housing Association, Halton Housing Trust, Helena Partnerships, Knowsley Housing Trust (First Ark Group), Liverpool Mutual Homes, One Vision Housing, Magenta Living, Plus Dane Group, Regenda Group, Riverside, SLH Group, Steve Biko Housing Association, Symphony Housing Group (BBCHA, Cobalt Housing, Liverpool Housing Trust), Pine Court housing Association, Wirral Methodist Housing Association and Your Housing Group.