A Derry debt advisor is warning people in the city not to feel pressured into spending money they don’t have at Christmas.
Aidan McCrea, Money and Debt Advice worker at the Resource Centre says Christmas can create enormous pressure - especially for parents - to spend and get into debt.
“Be realistic and budget accordingly,” he says.
“Christmas Shopping on impulse is dangerous, so make an old-fashioned shopping list and stick to it.
“Shops spend a fortune on targeting impulse spending – having a list will help you beat this and stay focussed.”
Aidan says people need to remember that everyday living costs do not stop at Christmas.
“With unemployment rising and wage growth relatively flat, while prices are going up, it’s going to take a greater proportion of household income to heat your home, put food on your table and petrol in your car.
“In short , day to day living will take up more and more of your money, which can make it hard to pay the bills.”
He says people need to be aware of what advice services are available and urges anyone struggling with debt to seek help.
“Dealing with the problems of debt can be daunting and if you are having problems coping with your credit payments you should never be afraid to ask for help.
“The sooner you act the sooner you can get your life back on course.”
You can get more information, and free, confidential and independent debt and benefits advice, by contacting The Resource Centre on 7135 2832 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org