How not to go into the red over Christmas

Video: Simon Read offers some advice on ensuring you enjoy Christmas without the financial hangover

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The Independent Online

One in three of us will pay for Christmas on credit: in the South East, 35% will use credit cards, store cards and overdrafts to ensure the children get gifts and the turkey is on the table.

Why do so many of us struggle? Well, the average cost of Christmas per person is expected to be £508 this year.

So that means many of those enjoying the festivities will wake up in the New Year with a financial hangover.

The simplest way to avoid getting into a New Year financial mess is not to spend more than you can afford.

To do that you need to budget carefully: make a list of all the people you’re buying presents for and how much money you have available. Then allocate a set amount to each person.

If you are determined to borrow to pay for Christmas then don’t be tempted by expensive payday loans or store cards.

Use an overdraft if you need to – but tell your bank first and agree a limit.

Or you could get a credit card that charges 0 per cent on purchases. Right now you can get 20 months interest free with the Halifax.

The best thing to do is Budget and stick to it, and start saving now for next Christmas.

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