Those who want to avoid debt management problems in the new year need to be "disciplined" over how they use credit now, an expert has said.
Chartered financial planner at Edinburgh Wealth Management Michael Garvey said people need to make sure any debt they take on is only for cash-flow purposes, expressing the view that many people will probably do this because of the greater awareness of the need to be careful in a time of austerity.
He added: "We have got to budget exactly how much we want to spend and be disciplined about not exceeding that budget and disciplined with regards to paying down the debt that has actually been accrued while it is not costing anything and just using that debt as a means to an end."
The expert noted that those who have been sensible should not find matters too hard in the months up to March when they come to pay off credit card bills, but those who fail to be disciplined could end up in difficulty.
Mr Garvey's suggestion that consumers may be wiser when it comes to Christmas spending may be proved true as other research has suggested a large number of consumers plan to make cutbacks to ensure they balance their books.
A study by Churchill published this week revealed 25 per cent of consumers will spend less on presents this year than they did in 2010.
However, this survey still indicated that the typical individual will spend £370 on festive gifts, which may stretch many budgets.
Posted by Paul Thacker