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Debt charity warns people to seek advice amid 'financial hangover'

The number of people seeking money advice in the aftermath of Christmas has gone up Credit: Press Association

The number of people seeking money advice in the aftermath of Christmas has gone up, according to National Debtline, the free service run by the Money Advice Trust.

The organisation says more than 2.5 million people across the country are likely to seek advice about tackling their debts or managing money a result of Christmas spending.

Research last month showed that 35% were borrowing to pay for presents, 23% to pay for food, and nearly one in four felt under pressure to overspend in the run-up to Christmas.

This year, 215 people went through online advice sessions from National Debtline as early as Boxing Day, compared to 157 people on Boxing Day 2014 and just 45 the year before.

in Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire,

10%
likely to fall behind on finances in January as a result of Christmas spending
5%
likely to seek debt or money advice as a result of Christmas spending
27%
plan to start saving for Christmas earlier this year than last

The National Debtline has put together their top three New Year's resolutions for people worried about their spending:

  • Set a budget for 2016 - sit down and work out how much money you have coming in every month, and what you need to spend. Don’t forget to account for annual expenditure, like car insurance or road tax, by dividing it through by 12.
  • Open all of your statements - open all of your statements and get a handle on how much you owe. Write down a list of all of your debts, together with the outstanding balances and repayment dates for each. It can be extremely tempting to ignore those envelopes that land on the doormat – especially in January – but resist the urge to bury your head in the sand. Ignoring the problem will only make it worse.
  • Seek free advice early - free, independent advice is available from charity-run services including National Debtline – so seek free advice as early as possible, and resist the appeals of commercial debt management companies whose high fees and charges will only add to your debts. The earlier you seek free advice, the quicker and easier your problem will be to solve.