2nd January 2015
If you’re suffering a financial hangover after the festive period, make sure you follow these steps in order to get back on track.
According to credit checkers Experian, 35% of us will be facing the new year with a financial hangover after overspending at Christmas by an average of £207.
Combined with the fact that most, a total of 80%, people are paid early in December means that it is difficult to stretch our money until the end of the month.
Over half, 53%, of those who were paid early in December struggle to meet their bills by mid-January and 49% of us will dip into savings to cover the shortfall, while 36% will use credit.
Julie Doleman, managing director of Experian Consumers, said: ‘Over-spending at Christmas can happen easily, with unexpected costs building up quickly. For those facing into January with a financial festive hangover, it’s important to understand how your spending decisions over the coming weeks might affect you in the longer term.
‘Starting off on the right foot now will help you get the most out of your New Year right from the beginning, allowing you to make progress towards achieving your goal – whether that’s saving for a big purchase or life event, or simply getting your finances under control.’
Doleman said the fastest way to get your finances in check is ‘understanding them’ and setting out a budget can help to do this.
‘Understanding exactly how much money you will need to spend on bills, credit repayments and essentials such as food and heating will help you plan out when and how you intend on spending any remaining money,’ she said. ‘This alone will really help you avoid over spending and will also help ensure you have enough to cover your bills and credit repayments, avoiding late or missed payments on your credit report.’
If you are concerned about missing the payments on loans, overdrafts or credit cards you should speak to your bank or lender straight away. Doleman said the impact f a missed or even late payments will stay on your credit report for six years and could affect any future credit applications.
‘This will not only affect your chances of getting credit at all, but also if you are offered credit you will be charged a higher interest rate,’ she said.
For those who are planning to use credit to get them to the end of January, Doleman advises staying within any agreed credit limits.
‘Try not to max out any credit cards you have and remember to bring your balances back down to below 35% as soon as you can so that you don’t negatively affect your changes of getting any credit you may need in the future,’ she said.