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Rather than spending money they don’t have and racking up more debt, Scots are being encouraged to save money this Christmas.

Financial experts say that Christmas should be a time for Scots to sort out their finances, rather than getting deeper into needless debt.

It turns out that around one in three of us are paying for Christmas presents, food and drink with our credit cards and the average personal debt now owed in the UK is more than £8,000.

Unable to meet debts

And every January, there’s an increase in those who are unable to meet their debts and so many will be left with a financial hangover that they’ll struggle to get rid of before Christmas comes round again.

So they will be trying to pay off what they spent this Christmas when they will be faced with having to spend lots of money all over again.

However, there’s still time to take a different approach with money saving experts saying it’s time to think differently about how we spend or waste money, particularly on presents that may never get used and for people we rarely see.

Indeed, one of the recommendations this year is that rather than buying presents for various nephews, nieces and grandchildren, the present giver should put money into a savings account or even start a pension for them.

Top tips to reduce spending

To help save cash this year, the money saving experts have put together their top tips to reduce spending at Christmas:

  • Put together a gift list and stick to it – there’s no point buying presents on impulse and you only enjoy a bargain if it’s something you were going to buy anyway
  • There’s a growing trend to offer homemade vouchers promising your services for housework, babysitting or even dog walking
  • Go for a winter walk and collect twigs and pine cones that you can spray silver to create homemade decorations
  • Try a portion planner for your Christmas dinner to keep the food costs down.

Struggling with debts

For those who live in Scotland and are struggling with their debts, then it’s advisable to seek advice on what you can do to resolve your financial situation.

Among the organisations offering debt advice is Scotland’s Trust Deed.

They have a team of experienced debt advisers who can discuss potential solutions, including a Scottish trust deed, bankruptcy or a debt administration scheme.

They are available to speak with every day on (0141) 297 1178 and their advice is confidential and impartial.