THE fallout from coronavirus spreads far wider than our physical health and with constant warnings of job losses and the prospect of full-time hours being cut to part-time, it’s hard to remember when our finances have been more precarious.

The temptation to slap everything on the credit card and worry about it later is a very natural one, but don’t do it.


Take a minute to think about the average credit card interest rate, which is about 20 per cent and massive in comparison to the Bank of England’s Base Rate.

An outstanding balance of £3,000 today, on which we make only the minimum payment, will take about 30 years to repay. That’s right, the baby will be grown up and working by the time the stroller is paid for.

The art of budgeting isn’t rocket science; here is a simple technique to budget for just about anything and with Christmas only 12 weeks away, now is the perfect time to give it a go!

1. Make a list of the sorts of things that need to be paid for: gifts, food, drink, transport, new clothes, entertainment and so on.

2. Make a realistic costing for each of the above.

3. Total them up and divide by 12 (number of weeks)

The answer is the amount we need to save every week to cover the cost of Christmas without hitting the credit card.

Theoretically it works, but if we miss a week or two out, or on the odd occasion, can’t manage the full amount, don’t worry about it.

Surely anything put aside in advance has got to be a good thing hasn’t it?

Useful websites

Step Change -

National Debtline -

Christians Agains Poverty -

Citizens Advice -