Staying on track over Christmas

December and January can be the most financially challenging months of the year if you celebrate Christmas. You want your family to have the most festive fun you can afford! But you also want to keep up with your Debt Management Plan payments (plus all your other bills) and stay on track to get out of debt.

Are you wondering how you’re going to stay on top of it all this Christmas and New Year? Read on for our advice.

Budget for your DMP payment - it’s a Christmas present to Future You!

We know our DMP customers are budgeting wizards. We also know it can be tempting to think of December as an exception. It’s easy to go over budget with all the Christmas presents, food, drink and travel to pay for.

But remember: Christmas comes every year! The sooner you bring your DMP to a successful conclusion, the sooner you can have the debt-free Christmas of your dreams. So if you’re planning any extra spending in December, make sure you know where in your budget it’s coming from. This could be some money you’ve managed to put aside over the course of the year. Or if you’re confidently expecting any extra money to come in over Christmas – like a Christmas present or holiday bonus – you could use that.

Avoid borrowing more

It’s never a good idea to borrow more money while you’re on a DMP. As a first step we recommend looking at alternative ways to raise money. Do you have the option of taking on a seasonal part time job to help drum up some extra cash? If not, why not try a pre-Christmas clear out? If you’ve got any old clothes you don’t wear any more, you could turn them into brand-new Christmas presents. As well as eBay, it’s worth looking at selling on Shpock, Facebook and Gumtree. Got any old phones or other gadgets knocking around? Music Magpie and CeX are great too.

We would definitely advise against trying to pay an additional debt alongside your DMP. Doing this will likely leave you short of money to pay your bills and for other essentials like food. This is especially true because your credit score is likely to be very low at the moment. This means your options to borrow again may be very limited. You may only be offered very high rates of interest, which will make this debt particularly hard to pay off.

What if you’ve already borrowed again to cover Christmas? Don’t panic. If you give us a call we can usually add the debt into your DMP. We can then split your existing monthly payment amongst all your lenders (including the new one). Don’t forget that adding an extra debt to your DMP will increase the length of time it takes for you to clear your debts.

Get in touch - we can help

It’s always a better idea to call us before borrowing again, even if you feel you have no other option. One of our Personal Finance Managers can talk through your situation and your concerns with you. Together you can decide on the best next step to make sure that you can still afford your payments towards the DMP, and that you’re not under too much financial strain.

The same applies if you’ve had a longer-term change in your circumstances. If your income will be lower, or your expenses will be higher, for more than just one month, please let us know. We’re here to help.

Look out for vouchers in the next GP+

We want to help you stay on track during the festive season. So in our December issue of GP+ we’ll be giving five of our customers the chance to have Christmas dinner on us! We’re giving away 5x £50 vouchers to put towards your Christmas shopping. So keep an eye out for the next issue of the newsletter.

And remember, we’re always here to help. Just give us a call on 0161 413 9552 and we’ll find the right option for you. We can help you keep your DMP on track for 2020.

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