Consumers Still Need To Organise Finances During Christmas

By: Tom_dawson
The true cost of Christmas for many consumers is falling, according to a new set of findings.

In research carried out by Halifax Unsecured Personal Loans, based on the Retail Price Index categories from the Office of National Statistics, the price of numerous items usually bought over the festive period has fallen during the past year. Leading such decreases are toys, in which the cost of such products has gone down by six per cent, while jewellery and turkey has each seen a one per cent price fall. Furthermore CDs, socks and woolly jumpers have both decreased by two percentage points. As a result of such price decreases, a number of Britons may find the financial pressure they face in the approach to the festive period diminishing, thus leaving them in a more capable position to meet other demands on their spending such as loans, utility bills and plastic cards.

However, it was not all good news, as the real price of books has gone up by two percentage points, with confectionery posting an increase of one per cent. Meanwhile, the real price of toys has fallen by some 45 per cent during the past decade, with socks and woolen jumpers decreasing by 42 per cent. Research from Halifax also indicated that the cost of spirits and brussels sprouts has decreased by 26 and 18 per cent. Over the last ten years, the cost of confectionery has gone down by three per cent.

Remarking on the findings, Neil Chandler, head of Halifax Unsecured Personal Loans, claimed that as well as spending money, the time of year also acts as an ideal opportunity for consumers to get their financial management back on track, whether this involves switching current accounts or making personal loan repayments.

He stated: "Our research shows that the cost of traditional Christmas favourites has actually fallen - good news for Christmas shoppers. However, just because the real price of items such as toys, CDs and Christmas cake has fallen, doesn't mean we don't need to budget and organise our finances." The expert added that "there's no reason why sorting your finances should take any longer than decorating the Christmas tree".

After taking the time to get their monetary situation in order during the winter months, those Britons who find that their expenditure is not matching their income may wish to apply for a personal loan to help supplement their spending. Speaking earlier this year, Samantha Owens, head of personal finance at Moneyfacts, reported that those considering applying for a loan should "act sooner rather than later" as a number of money lenders have either increased the rates of interest attached to their borrowing products or withdrawn from the market altogether.

However, she asserted that prospective borrowers should still be able to find cheap loans, particularly if they wish to take out a large sum of money, if they act now. The Moneyfacts representative added that Britons could find that applying for a loan is "a very different picture in a few months' time" in comparison to the present situation.
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