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Start saving for next Christmas, consumers advised

Start saving for next Christmas, consumers advised

Category: Money

Updated: 31/12/2009
First Published: 31/12/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The decorations are not yet down but consumers who have struggled financially this festive season have been advised to start saving for Christmas 2010.

As part of the Office of Fair Trading's (OFT) Save Xmas campaign, selected Citizens Advice Bureaux and other organisations will be running financial workshop sessions in the new year to raise awareness of savings options.

It is hoped that sessions will help priority groups, including housing association tenants, lone parents and those on benefits or low incomes, to better organise their finances, making Christmas 2010 more comfortable than this year.

In the 18 months to the end of September this year, Citizens Advice has dealt with over three million client debt problems and is urging people to think ahead.

"Christmas will have given many people a debt hangover that they might have been able to avoid," John Rhodes, head of financial capability at Citizens Advice said.

"We're encouraging people to plan for next year, find out about the options available and set up a savings plan. This should help reduce the need for expensive credit, and limit the financial and emotional challenges associated with problem debt."

The OFT and Citizens Advice said consumers should plan early, being realistic about what they need and can afford, budgeting accordingly; look at their options, looking into the pros and cons of post office, bank building society and credit union scheme, as well as Christmas clubs, supermarket stamps and hamper schemes; and take action, choosing the best option and start putting money aside.

David Murphy, head of campaigns at the OFT, said: "Christmas does tend to focus the mind on money issues, and we hope our campaign delivered in partnership with Citizens Advice will help people to think about the importance of making informed choices about saving for next year."

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