Plan your budget for Christmas or you risk a less than happy New Year.
That is the message from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), which says it is never too early, or too late, to take control of the Christmas budget.
The OFT recommends that you work out your monthly outgoings on items such as mortgage/rent, loan repayments, food, utility and phone bills, costs of running a vehicle etc., prior to festive spending.
The OFT has published a handy budget planner on its website https://www.gov.im/oft/money/
Hopefully, your budget will then reflect what you can afford to spend this Christmas!
The OFT offers a free and confidential debt counselling service.
Chairman of the OFT, Martyn Perkins MHK, said: ‘There is great pressure to buy presents and extra food and to socialise at Christmas and it is very easy to overspend or take on too much credit.
‘We’d suggest that you plan carefully what you can afford to save the heartache of starting the New Year in debt.
‘I would encourage people to seek advice early and visit our debt counselling service if they are worried that they may be overstretching their finances.’
Visit the website https://www.gov.im/oft/money/, email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01624 686510.