Co-operative tells spenders to take Christmas easy

The Co-operative Insurance Society is urging the public to take it easy this Christmas as consumer debt and equity drawdown continues to soar.

The CIS tells consumers to set themselves a budget and stick to it — making sure they allocate money to activities such as socializing, present buying and food shopping.

Consumers should not use all their store cards at the same time – you may get confused and not be aware of exactly how much you&#39ve spent, which may lead to you not being able to pay off all your debts when the bills come in.

Although store cards offer discounts of up to 20% off purchases, the CIS says consumers must ensure they have the discipline to pay off the bills immediately since APR on these cards can be very high.

Other tips include buying next year&#39s Christmas gifts in the January sales and putting aside monthly savings towards the festive season.