Leamington charity releases tips for staying out of debt this Christmas - The Leamington Observer

Leamington charity releases tips for staying out of debt this Christmas

A DEBT charity in Leamington has released its top tips for staying in the black over the festive season.

St Mary’s church – which runs a debt counselling service in conjunction with charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) – has launched a list of ways to avoid festive financial meltdown.

Leamington Debt Centre manager Darren Mitchell said: “All the adverts sell us the line that the best kind of Christmas is one that can be bought, which just isn’t true. The best Christmases are about making priceless memories, which is why we created the list.”

He added the Leamington CAP Debt Centre in the last few years, had seen a spike in the number of people seeking advice after Christmas.

The tips complied from experiences of CAP clients and charity advisors, include:

– To avoid overspending agree on a rule such as a set amount, ‘just for the kids’, or to buy from charity shops.

– If children have their heart set on something which exceeds budget, club together with relatives.

– Those short of a new Christmas outfit could benefit from a swapping party with friends.

– Those hosting a Christmas meal could ask guests to each contribute something such as drinks, pudding, cheese or cake.

– Aim to buy food which is certain to get eaten and put any leftovers to use for other meals.

– Home-made goodies like cupcakes, chocolate truffles, shortbread and jam are cheap to make and wrapped with cellophane and ribbon, make great presents.

– Instead of presents, offer vouchers for gardening, washing the car, cleaning, ironing or cooking.

– Think of festive activities which are free such as the school nativity, festive light switch-ons, carol services or decorating the tree.

– Never take out credit or be tempted by a Christmas loan especially as financial situations can sometimes change.

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