It’s December, Christmas adverts are now in full force and cities are lit with colourful lights. The Christmas spirit is filling us all with joy and hope and all that’s on everyone’s mind is food and presents. It is important to note before I continue that unlike some, I am not against this, in fact I think Christmas should be embraced; we need something to take our minds off the terrible weather after all.
There is one problem I have with Christmas though and it’s the thoughtless consumerism.
Christmas is a happy time of year but it is often forgotten that happiness is gained neither by spending the most money possible nor buying the most extravagant gifts. For me at least, it is gained by giving, and seeing those relatives you would only ever associate yourself with once a year. Everything comes to a standstill (sometimes physically due to the UK being unable to deal with even a light sprinkling of snow) and you are encouraged to eat and drink yourself into a coma and forget your worries.
With the focus on consumerism that has commanded the Christmas holidays for as long as I can remember it is no surprise that these times are fraught with consumer borrowing. From maxing out credit cards to getting short term payday loans and in some cases taking advantage of longer term finance such as guarantor loans. This is not a problem in itself; however a lot of people get by on the premise of dealing with their new found debt in the New Year. Why think about it now? It’s Christmas after all.
Now I understand that having a massive blowout over Christmas has become as much of a tradition as a Turkey dinner, but it should always be done with thought and planning, never carelessly, especially when you are financing the spending with money that doesn’t technically belong to you. In some cases the fallout of frivolous spending can create financial hardship that can last weeks, months, and in some cases years.
So When Should I Borrow?
There are times when borrowing money over the holidays is a good idea, and in some cases it is a necessity. Some people will not get paid until after Christmas, so getting the extra help you need when buying presents is definitely not frowned upon. The important aspect of borrowing over Christmas is that you have a plan to pay it back, make sure you can before next Christmas comes around, otherwise you will find yourself struggling to wade through more and more debt each year.
When looking to borrow money for Christmas remember that short term fixes are not always the best in the long run, a Credit Card for example can be a more viable solution than a payday loan. Even though it may take an extra week to have the funds available, in certain circumstances they are much easier to pay back due to their repayment flexibility.
When Shouldn’t I Borrow?
Even though it’s Christmas you should never borrow on a whim. When you have no realistic way to pay back your debt borrowing is never a good idea. While forgetting your troubles and buying that 50lb turkey may feel like a great idea, you could find yourself reflecting on all the waste in the New Year while you struggle to pay your basic monthly bills.
So in conclusion it may be tempting to spend spend spend over the Christmas Holidays but please remember, you will have to pay this money back, and one less present can save you a long road to financial recovery in the coming year.