Warning over Christmas spending

More than six million Britons will not be able to pay their bills because of excessive spending this Christmas, according to new research.

The insolvency body, R3, said about three million people were still trying to pay for what they spent in Christmas 2008 let alone this year.

Chris Williams, of Norwich-based insolvency firm McTear, Williams & Wood and a council member of R3 in the East of England, said: “”Christmas can be a treacherous time for those who are already struggling to make ends meet. While many people have been careful in their spending throughout the year, worrying numbers are set to break these good habits, resulting in a financial nightmare for the New Year.”

Mr Williams added: “R3 members are expecting 154,355 personal insolvencies in 2010 for the UK, and the first few months of the year are likely to see the greatest number of casualties.

“We’re urging people not to spend more than they’re earning and to seek professional advice as soon as possible if debts start mounting up.”

According to a GfK NOP poll of 1,000 people, commissioned by R3, 8pc of people said they have borrowed money either from a bank, friends or family to pay for Christmas.

Thirteen per cent said they do not think they will have enough money left over after paying for Christmas to comfortably pay their other household bills.

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