Do you fear what I fear? How to avoid a post-Boxing Day debt hangover – Manitoba

You’ve decked the halls, splurged on the presents, cooked the Christmas turkey and scoped out the Boxing Day sales — and the last thing you probably want to do in the midst of all that is worry about how much you’ve spent.

And while financial advisors recommend coming up with a plan to tackle post-Christmas debt and avoid overspending next year, it seems a lot of us try to ignore the problem — until it’s become a bigger problem.

‘The majority of people, I would say, probably don’t plan ahead and have the debt hangover in January.’
– Sandra Fry, Credit Counselling Society

“What we hear from people is there’s an enormous amount of stress and peer pressure and family pressure to spend money on presents and entertain during the holidays, and people are in such a rush that they go out and spend money without thinking about the budget,” said John Silver, executive director of Community Financial Counselling Services in Winnipeg.

In fact, he says his organization actually sees its client load drop during the holidays.

“People don’t come to us and say, ‘It’s Christmas, what am I going to do about money?’ We see them in the end of January, middle of February, when the credit card bills start coming in.”

He says his clients often have maxed out credit cards, and those without credit cards might have dipped into other lines of credit or taken out payday loans.

A recent survey from Prairie Research Associates suggested that Manitoba spend an average of $654 on presents. ‘What we hear from people is there’s an enormous amount of stress and peer pressure and family pressure to spend money on presents and entertain during the holidays,’ said John Silver of Winnipeg’s Community Financial Counselling Services. (Megan Benedictson/CBC)

Sandra Fry, a Winnipeg-based credit counsellor with the Credit Counselling Society, sees much the same thing.

“The majority of people, I would say, probably don’t plan ahead and have the debt hangover in January,”…

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