CAP Ballymena Centre Manager Valerie Roebuck said: “We’ve had to put out this advice because we know what a pressure there is to buy this time of year and we needed to be a voice saying that it’s OK not to spend loads – especially if money is already tight.”
“The point is this, none of your family and none of your friends want you to struggle through January and February with essentials like paying your household bills because you spent out on them.
If you are thinking of a Christmas loan or maxing out the credit cards or overdraft, we want you to re-consider and take action to avoid worry in 2016.”
Valerie also added that if anyone is already struggling with debt to seek help from one of the free debt agencies, of which Christians Against Poverty Ballymena is one.
Ballymena’s Christians Against Poverty Offers Christmas Advice
1. Talk to friends and family as soon as you can. Set a limit on what you spend, agree to do a family secret Santa where you all only buy one thing or agree to buy just for the children. If a child has their heart set on one big present, see if relatives will club together with you.
2. Be bold if you’re doing the cooking this year and ask family if they would contribute something. Eg “Can I leave you in charge of bringing the Christmas crackers/cake/pudding/drinks?”
3. If there are people you really want to thank with a gift, consider making them something: Christmas biscuits, nice jam, mince pies or something crafty like home-made decorations for the tree. This and some well meaning words in a card will go a long way.
4. Gift your time or talents in the form of a home-made voucher promising to bake their favourite cake on demand, do an hour’s ironing, babysitting, car wash or Winter car check.
5. Grasp every free activity going in your local community. Be there for the local Christmas lights switch on; attend the nativity at your kids’ school; see what your local church has on offer. See what you can do to help others and spread Christmas cheer.
Christians Against Poverty – CAP is a UK charity helping lift people out of hardship through an award-winning debt counselling service as well as money courses, job clubs and groups to help people break addictions. For more information about looking after our money and the services offered by CAP click here.
Hopefully as Christians Against Poverty offers Christmas advice, we will find it helpful so all of us can enjoy a happy but debt free Christmas!