The festive season is only just over. You’ve taken down your decorations, got back into your usual routine and committed to your New Year’s resolutions. But should you already be thinking about Christmas 2018?

We know next Christmas is probably the last thing on your mind. But by taking a few simple steps now, you can be sure of avoiding any festive debt for 2018.

Don’t worry if you’re already behind with your finances. We’ll let you know how you can get help for credit card debt and any excess festive spending.

Preparing for Christmas 2018

Affording Christmas 2018 means you need to make a budget – and stick to it. By creating a comprehensive household budget, you can see how much you’ve got for all your expenses. And what’s more, you can also commit to setting aside a bit each month for your festive spending.

Start by working out how much you’ve got coming in every month. This can be wages from any jobs or any benefits you receive.

If you get rent from a lodger, this counts as an income too. Write down everything you’ve got coming in and add them all up. This will give you a monthly total income.

Next, work out what you spend every month. To do this, you’ll need to write down all your household expenses and bills.

This includes bills such as your rent or mortgage payments, gas, electricity and water bills, and council tax payments. You also need to include any insurances you pay for, including car, contents, buildings or life insurance.

Don’t forget about things you pay for other than bills. For example, you’ll spend some money every month on food shopping and travel. And if you pay for any regular prescriptions, write these down too.

When you have a total figure for your monthly expenses, subtract this from your monthly income. The figure you have left is your disposable income.

You can then think about putting aside some money every month or every week for Christmas 2018. Even if you can afford to save £10 a week, this will leave you with £520 at the end of the year. This will make a big difference when it’s time to start your Christmas shopping for 2018.

Getting advice for festive debt

Christmas can be an expensive time for everyone. If you’ve fallen behind with your bills because of festive spending in 2017, don’t panic. There is help available – and seeking it early can mean you get back in control of your finances.

If you’re currently worried about your finances, have unsecured debts from personal borrowing and would like to speak confidentially and free of charge 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.

You can also visit the Harrington Brooks website 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 England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Should you choose to undertake a plan or arrangement, there may be consequences to consider. These include restrictions on future expenditure, lending and on your ability to obtain further or future credit. If you do choose one of our solutions then fees, terms and conditions apply. For further information and advice, please visit the Harrington Brooks website.

The services that we provide may be available at no cost from Government and charity based providers. Further information can be obtained from the Money Advice Service.