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How to avoid a New Year debt hangover

Christmas is often filled with festive fun, but overindulging can leave you short when January arrives.

From budgeting to staying on top of repayments, there are ways you can manage your money over the winter holidays, without ruining your start to the new year.

1. Plan a budget

Creating a Christmas budget, which outlines all your costs and your incoming money, can help you get a clear idea of your cash flow. You’ll be able to see what you’re able to spare after your bills, rent and any other necessities are paid.

You may also find areas where you can cut back on your spending.

Use our budget planning tool to help.

2. Stick to your budget

Planning a budget is only useful if you stick to it. Holding on to any receipts, alongside checking your bank or credit card statements and noting down what you’ve spent, can help you stay on top of your money. Try reviewing your budget once or twice a week over the Christmas period to help you keep track.

Avoid buying little extras if they’re not accounted for in your budget. It may seem harmless, but small costs can add up and take a chunk of money from your budget.

3. Stay on top of your bills and repayments

Falling behind on your bills, rent or other payments can be harder to catch up on and you may be charged for late or missed payments. Prioritising these outgoings is important. You could try putting your bills and rent or mortgage money aside until your payments are due, so you don’t accidentally use the money.

If you’re an HSBC customer with access to our mobile banking app, you could use the smart money tools to help stay on top of your money.

For example, our Balance After Bills feature (available on compatible devices) estimates what you'll owe for the month ahead, based on your regular bills. It then shows you how much you’ll potentially have left over, once scheduled bills (standing orders and Direct Debits) are paid.

Explore: 9 steps to financial wellbeing

4. Save where you can

Saving money at Christmas may seem difficult but putting some money aside (if possible) can help cover costs next year.

You could round up your spending to the nearest pound and add that to a savings account. Or you could add money to your savings account once you’ve been paid. Separating the money you want to save from your main account can help prevent the temptation to spend it.

Saving little and often can soon add up. And by continually doing this, you can turn it into a habit to help your savings grow.

Explore: Challenges to help you save money

5. Set financial goals for the next year

Christmas can be the ideal time to set yourself financial goals for the coming year. Think about what you want to achieve and how you can achieve it. It could be something simple, like saving a little more each month, or getting on top of any existing debts you may have.

You could even set mini-targets throughout the year, where you review your progress or re-evaluate your goals. Find out more about:

6. Ask for help

If you’re struggling, or worried about your finances after Christmas, ask for help. You can speak to a family member or friend for advice, or even speak with your bank about steps you can take to get your finances in order.

Dealing with any debts early may help them become more manageable.

If you’re worried about rising living costs, there may be ways you can reduce how much you’re spending, as well as support available.