Prevent debt this Christmas

MOUNTING DEBT: Joe Michna from the Citizens Advice Bureau
MOUNTING DEBT: Joe Michna from the Citizens Advice Bureau
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RESIDENTS should avoid giving themselves a financial headache in the new year by spending wisely over the Christmas period.

With many tempting offers and pressures to buy at this time of year it’s easy to overspend but Hartlepool Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) bosses are offering advice to ensure people avoid a Christmas debt hangover.

The town bureau’s chiefs say planning, budgeting and organisation are all key to avoiding money problems at this time of the year.

In a list of 10 top hints to avoid going in the red in the festive period, they have urged residents to plan early for Christmas.

People shouldn’t forget the everyday bills including rent, mortgage, fuel and food costs that still have to be paid.

Shoppers shouldn’t bank on an overdraft and are advised to keep things simple by paying outright and not being persuaded to take out extended credit agreements.

CAB bosses advise people to shop around and try as many different places as possible to find the best price but say under no circumstances should residents buy from unauthorised traders.

Check for any hidden extras in credit agreements and residents should do their own credit checks when using credit cards.

Bureau bosses urge people to be organised and learn from any mistakes when planning for next year.

Joe Michna, manager of Hartlepool CAB, in Park Road, said: “While Christmas is a time for giving, it’s essential to plan and budget in advance to make sure you are not caught short when it comes to paying the bills and other expenses in the new year.

“Much like the unwanted woolly jumper, the results of Christmas spending can stay with you for longer than you might like.”