Six tips for avoiding Christmas debt

“We expect so much of Christmas that it can be hard to not get carried away. It's near impossible to walk past a shop window at this time of year without ending up in a festively-induced high,” says Chartered Psychologist and financial adviser Kim Stephenson.

In a recent article for the website This is Money he gave five tips for avoiding spending too much over the festive season.

  • Don’t just think of Christmas, think of what you want to do over the coming year, whether it’s taking the family on a cruise, putting more money into a pension, starting a hobby or saving more.
  • Don’t us spending as a way of assuaging guilt. “A new Xbox will not make up for the time you haven't spent with your kids but making sure you take them swimming or ice staking every Saturday in the New Year will.”
  • If you enjoying buying presents – or treats for yourself – then put together a budget. “If you like buying a new dress for a Christmas party chances are you have other dresses you haven’t worn, that you can sell on eBay.”
  • Have a heart-to-heart with friends and family – not everyone can afford to take part in exchanges of expensive presents.
  • Make time for yourself. Having a hobby can divert you from thinking Christmas is the be all and end all.

Kim Stephenson added: “It doesn’t sound very Christian but thinking of yourself at Christmas may just what you need to get your through the festive season. You think you are being selfish but actually you are being realistic.

“The person who is too altruistic ends up broke but the ultra selfish person has no friends because they are stingy. So spending wisely is not about being nice or selfish, it's about being realistic.”