AnglicareSA is encouraging the community to be financially savvy during the Boxing Day sales because impulse shopping can put individuals and families at risk of starting the New Year with significant debt.
General Manager Community Services, Nancy Penna, said while the lure of some great discounts can be hard to avoid, it’s important to think about personal debt levels and the unavoidable expenses which will have to be paid in the first few months of 2017.
“This time of year is one of the busiest for our financial counselling services as many individuals and families come to the realisation that they need to pay off their credit cards or loans,” Nancy said.
“During January and February in 2016 AnglicareSA met with almost 300 individuals and families needing the assistance of our financial services program and we’re expecting this number will be even higher this year.
“Demand for this type of service increases anywhere from 20-30% during this time of year and our services and counsellors are operating at capacity.
“Over the past six months alone, we’ve provided financial advice and support to almost 1200 individuals and families.”
Nancy said all too often people will come to organisations like AnglicareSA seeking assistance when they are already deep in debt and under financial stress, and her advice to people is to get help early.
“Bills won’t stop arriving and as well as paying off Christmas debt, families and individuals will also need to start thinking about paying school fees and buying school uniforms in the coming months.”
“Debt can cause a huge amount of stress so it’s important that when shopping you ask yourself ‘can I afford this and do I need it’, before making the purchase.
“We cannot say this enough times – our advice to people who are concerned about their finances is to seek help as early as possible.”
Some important financial tips leading into the New Year include:
- Start thinking about what bills will be arriving in early 2017
- If you’re going to Boxing Day sales write a list, set a budget and stick to it
- If you are in financial trouble, seek assistance as early as possible
- Contact your creditors – let them know what is happening and don’t just ignore the bills piling up
- Avoid using payday loans at all cost – a financial counsellor can help you find an alternative.
If anyone in the community would like to make an appointment to talk to someone about their finances they can call AnglicareSA on 1800 759 707 or visit www.anglicaresa.com.au