You’ve given presents, partied hard and can no longer fit into your favourite jeans. But is the worst is yet to come?
You get a text, e-mail or letter with details of your monthly bank or credit card statement…and the path can take one of five turns.
You are the smart one
As you’ve been monitoring what you spend and budgeted before Christmas you know exactly what to expect. It’s likely that you’ll have already viewed your bank balance before you’ve received your statement. There’s no fuss, there’s no drama. A little part of you even wants to brag about how disciplined you’ve been. But then you realise most of your friends are moaning about how skint they are and how they’ve overspent. You could nod your head and smile, fist pump or gloat, but you’re more sensible than that. Your approach to personal finances is more disciplined and more like Ned Flanders than Homer Simpson…which is never a bad thing.
You are the lucky one
This type of person is rare but so annoying. You know you’ve overspent. You had a great Christmas but since January the 2nd you’ve been scared about getting your statement. You know you’re overdrawn, but you don’t know by how much. You’ve spent all your savings and credit cards and payday loans are not an option. Then, from out of nowhere, you’ll get a letter through the post informing you of a £1000 tax rebate that gets you out of debt and pays for Christmas. Or your parents decide that they didn’t give you enough for Christmas and transfer £500 into your PayPal account for no reason. You don’t quite believe it. And neither do we. These people are very rare.
You are the relieved one – but have no idea how
You’ve not really done a lot of budgeting before Christmas. Although you had a rough idea of what you could spend. But there were a couple of times where you went overboard without thinking of the consequences to your bank balance. A few drinks here, a few extra presents there, and before you know it you’ve lost track of your spending quicker than the time it takes to pull a cracker. You also remember flashbacks of your Christmas party while singing Mr Brightside and deciding to buy everyone at the bar a round of Tequila. Then comes the moment of truth. You open your statement and look hurriedly towards the balance. Is it black or is it red? Or is it just a little bit in red? And…..IT’S BLACK! You fist pump and dance for a few seconds because your balance is still in credit. You start to wonder if being a bit more attentive to your finances and budgeting would mean you were less stressed so you make a promise to watch your spending for the new year, but not before you’ve had three Jaeger bombs and a KFC to celebrate.
You are the plan B one
The festive season is over. You had a wild time, and you didn’t send any drunken texts to your ex. But fast forward to January. The hangover has worn off, you’ve started work again and you’ve just come home to find the bank statement through the letterbox. You open it. If you’re in credit it’s business as usual. If you’re in the red you resort to plan B. That doesn’t mean raiding the back of the couch to find cash or signing up for medical trials. It means using your savings or credit cards for everyday purchases while your overdraft recovers from a stern thrashing because you’ve overspent. Though you’re quite chilled about being overdrawn. You know that you can repay any money back comfortably, but you’d rather not have to use savings, loans or credit cards to restore your bank balance in to the black. You then text the ex to see how they are.
The too scared to open it one
Sound familiar? You’re not alone. Most of Christmas will have been spent partying and getting festive cheer. But when anyone says ‘keeping track of your finances?’ you’re likely to have replied ‘ain’t nobody got time for that!’. You know you’ve had a good time because you’ve been tagged in a record number of party photos on Facebook and Instagram. Not to mention that your name was also trending on twitter at one point. But you know you’ve overspent, not by a small margin, but more like a country mile.
The one saving grace is that your January bank statement isn’t being delivered in two envelopes because you’ve been living a champagne lifestyle with nothing more than a lemonade income during Christmas. Your credit cards have been haemorrhaging money that your income simply won’t match.
You’ve not been this scared since watching Stranger Things or the Saw films. Do you open the statement? Lyrics by R Kelly suddenly seem familiar as your mind is telling you no. But your body…your body is saying yes, open the statement. And like Natalie Imbruglia, you’re torn because you can’t decide to open it or not. You hope in some crazy turn of events that everything returns to normal…at least by July.
Seriously though…however you decide to open your bank statement after Christmas, don’t be afraid to seek financial advice.
If you’re currently worried about your finances, have unsecured debts from personal borrowing and would like to speak confidentially to an advisor who can talk to you about the benefits and considerations of a range of debt solutions and personal insolvency solutions, then please get in touch by calling 0800 048 1764.
What’s important to say it that the advice comes without judgement, without obligation and is on your terms and time; and it’s free to call us from a UK landline and most mobiles.
Visit www.harringtonbrooks.co.uk to request a call back at a time to suit you. By requesting a call, you are under no obligation to use our services. Harrington Brooks provide solutions to customers living in the United Kingdom.
Should you choose to undertake a plan or arrangement, there may be consequences to consider, including restrictions on future expenditure, lending and on your ability to obtain further or future credit. Fees, terms and conditions apply. For further information and advice please visit www.harringtonbrooks.co.uk.
The services that we provide may be available at no cost from other government and charity based providers. Further information can be obtained from the Money Advice Service at https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/where-to-go-to-get-free-debt-advice