Can you afford Christmas?

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christmas debt

christmas debtMore than one in 10 Brits who took on debts to fund Christmas last year are still struggling to clear their loan repayments as this year’s festive season draws ever closer.

Christmas can be a costly time of year, with the pressure to buy presents, fabulous food, pretty decorations and more.  It’s all too easy for Christmas finances to quickly spiral into debt.

A survey from the Money Advice Service survey revealed that 49% turned to borrowing money to get through Christmas 2011. With the typical total cost of Christmas now hitting £592, this year is set to be another big strain on the budget.

Debt management

When you’re struggling it’s difficult to know where to turn. There are plenty of debt management companies out there with glossy adverts that will promise to solve your money worries if you pay them to handle your debts – but these companies often charge huge fees and can actually make your debt problem worse, not better.

Lloyds Banking Group and the Money Advice Trust launched a study into debt management companies and discovered that debt management plans set up by fee-charging companies were actually ‘more likely to fail’ than free help.

In one case it was revealed that a borrower paid £400 a month into a debt management plan – £300 of which was kept as the company’s fee!

Christmas for less

That Christmas turkey can really gobble up your cash. A recent survey revealed that the cost of Christmas lunch for six people now comes to an average of £93 – a big expense for any family.

But you don’t have to fork up nearly £100 for a festive feast. For example you could get everything you needed for Christmas lunch for eight people for under £20 (or £2.49 per person, to be precise!)

Here’s what you could get for under £20:

  • Whole basted British turkey (2.6-3.8kg) = £9.00
  • Maris Piper potatoes (1kg) = £1.00
  • Morrisons Savers sage & onion stuffing (85g) = £0.15
  • Morrisons Savers Brussels sprouts (1kg) = £0.75
  • Morrisons Savers parsnips (850g) = £0.70
  • Morrisons Savers mince pies (2 packets of 6) = £0.60
  • Morrisons Savers Christmas pudding (for two puddings) = £1.70
  • Morrisons Savers carrots (1kg) = £0.55
  • Morrisons Savers cranberry sauce (85g) = £0.50
  • Morrisons Savers brandy butter (200g) = £1.00
  • Icing-topped fruit cake (900g) = £3.40

Total cost: £19.95
Cost per person: £2.49

Plus, with the MyFamilyClub Saving Pack you could get even further discounts with the Morrisons gift voucher over Christmas and beyond.

Win Christmas on us!

You also have the chance to win Christmas on us this year as we offer a helping hand with your Christmas expenses every week.

This week, if you give us your money saving tip you could be in with a chance of winning a £50 Toys ‘R’ Us voucher to spend on your Yuletide gifts!