Christmas is on the horizon and its one of the times of the year where our usual frugal spending habits can be forgotten. But in order to avoid a stressful start to 2020, its important to make sure you keep an eye on the pennies and do not spend your hard earned cash unnecessarily.

With Christmas being the time of luxury food and drink and extravagant gift buying it is hard to avoid spending some extra money. However it is good to have a reality check and remind yourself that Christmas is only one day of the year and you don’t want to be suffering financially for the whole of the new year. It will really put a dampener on things when that credit card statement lands in January 2020, and you realise you can’t afford a holiday this year because you went a bit over the top with your Christmas trimmings.

Something we see often as mortgage advisers, is people coming in for advice on consolidating unsecured debt by remortgaging with additional borrowing. Although this can work out financially beneficial on a month to month basis for some people as most credit card minimum payments will be quite high, its not something that should be taken lightly.

We always warn our clients that it can work out more expensive taking short term debts and spreading them over the longer period of your mortgage. This is especially true if you benefit from the 0% interest rate credit cards that are about. There are also risks involved with taking previously unsecured debts and securing them against your home.

For some however this can be a great way of pulling everything together financially after a time of hardship where debts have accrued for a specific reason, e.g redundancy or illness preventing a monthly income coming into the household. However it is important that remortgaging against your house is not seen as a back up plan that can be relied upon each time you go on a spending spree.

As with all financial matters if you are thinking of remortgaging you should seek independent financial advice.

Sammy McCann BSc (Hons), Cert CII (MP)
9th December 2019

Setting yourself up for a happy new year