Citizens Advice Medway is a registered charity that offers free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to the whole of Medway on a range of issues including Housing, Welfare Benefits, Employment, Debt, Family Law and many others.
Citizens Advice Medway is warning people against getting into debt to pay for Christmas.
The Advice charity is warning people not to rely too heavily on credit to get through the festive period, but recommends making presents and focusing on low cost Christmas events.
Dan McDonald, Chief Executive Officer for Citizens Advice Medway, said: "These are difficult times for a lot of us and the temptation is to say ‘at least we’ll have a great Christmas’ and use that as an excuse to spend what we haven’t got.
"Over indulging on presents for everyone in a mile radius is no longer in fashion.
"Most of us have seen our income squeezed significantly and will be scaling back so we mustn’t feel the pressure to over consume."
Last year the charity helped people who had racked up record levels of debt and saw firsthand the devastating after effects that overspending can have on families.
Dan McDonald continued: "Decide what you have to spend. Make a list and be realistic. Paying in cash may help you keep control. Let your children see your careful planning – you will be teaching them a valuable life-long lesson.
"It is fair to say that Christmas has become incredibly commercialised and so many people have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. You cannot buy love. Do not feel guilty if you cannot afford the latest present for your children. Your love and affection will last longer in the memory than any toy can and do not fall into the trap of reciprocal gift giving and buying out of obligation. Enjoy all the low cost things on offer – the lights in town, get togethers, making mince pies, playing family board games, seeing your kids in the school nativity.
"Sadly, the reality is that high levels of debt does not make for festive cheer."
Other Tips from the charity include:
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION AND ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT:
Business Development Manager, Citizens Advice Medway
01634 383 760