We all focus on festive preparations at this time of year. However, don’t get carried away. Financial fitness ahead of Christmas is important. Tips to stay in shape…

Every year the desire to buy presents, stock up on food, drinks and deck the home with lavish trimmings consumes most of us. It’s great to celebrate Christmas with friends and family. However, know your limits.

Spending too much and forgetting the basics can cause problems the following year.

Don’t overload the credit cards

It’s easy to say, but if you haven’t got the spare money you really shouldn’t be spending. Credit is fine if you have the means to pay off any debt before incurring too much interest. But, are you aware of how much interest you are paying?

According to Bank of England statistics, UK credit card debt is now a record £72.9 billion. Lower interest rates encourage people to spend and borrow more. However, the outstanding balances on card statements grow quickly. People owe more than ever.

Before overspending on Christmas presents, paying down credit card debt should be a priority. That will help ease pressure going into the New Year.

Look for mortgage savings

The monthly mortgage repayment is a major outgoing for most families. Although interest rates have been low in recent years, never assume you’re on the best rate.

Did you arrange a fixed-term deal? Are you paying the lowest base rate? Is there a better mortgage out there to suit your situation?

It costs nothing to check. Paying more than you have to means less cash in your pocket. It’s money that could pay down other debt or be put towards Christmas.

Crucially, if you do have other debt, a remortgage might help ease the pressure. Always check with an independent financial adviser for the best advice.

Your home is at risk if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other loan secured on it.

Don’t forget ISA benefits

The ISA is often overlooked. It’s a tax-efficient way to save. The allowance for 2019-20 is £20,000.

If not for you, how about a Junior ISA as a great Christmas present for your children or grandchildren? Why not opt for tax-efficient, regular monthly payments instead of a large one-off cost? It’s also a wonderful gift for someone’s future.

Crucially, with the right conversations, you will educate and encourage saving for life.

With any financial planning, you should seek trustworthy, independent advice. Please be aware the value of investments or income from them can fall as well as rise.

If you’d like Logic Wealth Planning to help, call 0808 1234 321 or info@logic-wp.com to discuss your options.