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Keep Christmas spending in check

Roger Edwards

Christmas spending is expected to hit £29 bn this year, which is good news for retailers but not for people who end up going into debt to fund the festivities.

Whipped into a frenzy by festive adverts and fuelled by the children’s overwhelming excitement of Santa’s arrival we’re all guilty of getting carried away and overspending at this time of year.

But festive cheer will quickly turn into the festive blues when January comes around and with it the credit card bill. Far from suggesting we turn into a nation of Scrooges, just taking some responsibility for the family finances will mean that the Christmas spend is kept in check and the January hangover not quite as severe.

Taking responsibility doesn’t just mean cutting back it also means looking at ways of safeguarding the income that pays for all those gifts. People need to ask themselves how they would fund Christmas next year should their circumstances change.

For example if a serious illness meant that the main salary was reduced or stopped coming in altogether. It’s not the most light-hearted of subjects, but taking a little time to put a strategy in place will enable the family to keep up with bills and other expenses should the worst happen.

But don’t let clients wait for the Christmas frenzy to be over before they look at their protection needs. With only days before the gender directive kicks in, advisers should encourage people to take advantage of cheaper prices and buy now.

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