Christmas is a notoriously tough time for our bank balances and I don’t know about you but it seems to be getting more expensive year on year. A recent study showed that food for even the cheapest traditional Christmas dinner will be 16% more expensive than in 2016. And that’s before you factor in the cost of presents, decorations and energy to illuminate all those lights.
It can be a stressful time for anyone, especially those in the middle of working flat out to get out of debt.
That why when CAP helps a client organise a Debt Management Plan to repay what they owe to various creditors, as well as budget for their various day-to-day needs, we encourage them to put aside an amount of money every month to save for Christmas and other future needs. For people not used to saving, such as those involved in generational debt, this opens them up to a new way of doing things and helps them to stay debt free long after they’ve finished working with CAP.
Plus, of course, it means that when December comes around, we’re able to send them a super uplifting letter saying how much they’ve saved up. It’s something our clients really value, saying it not only gives them something to look forward to but takes away a lot of the pressure of the festive season too.
Last year, 1,183 CAP clients withdrew money from their savings at Christmas - on average £193 per household. How great it must feel to receive a letter saying there’s nearly £200 waiting for them – and how encouraging to know that they alone have saved every penny of it! In total, our clients saved £196,700 ahead of the festivities, rather than relying on credit.
Not all of our clients are in a position to put aside these savings. For those going through an insolvency option, our main priority is saving for their insolvency fee. Of course, the sooner they raise this fee and are able to submit their application, the closer they are to becoming debt free and an altogether brighter future, so it’s all relative.
For every one of the people working to find a solution to their debts, whether it’s through their savings pot or receiving a treat-filled Christmas hamper, our aim is to lighten the load a little at Christmas and bring back joy into the season.
For more ways to prepare for Christmas on a budget, click here.