21st November 2021 | 4 minute read

Borrower wellbeing app calling on Brits to avoid unnecessary debt this Christmas

The impact of the pandemic meant that 20% of people spent less on Christmas last year than they had in 2019, but with lifted restrictions, 2021’s Christmas celebrations could be the biggest yet. 

In 2020, the average Brit spent £740 extra in December, 29% more than in a typical month and in 2019 this was a huge £1,129.

For much of the UK, Christmas celebrations come with a sizeable price tag and the pressure to make this Christmas extra special could lead to overspending and the risk of some consumers falling into more debt than is comfortable for them.

Borrower wellbeing app, ilumoni, understands the impact of borrowing and the burden it can result in. A recent report undertaken by the company revealed that over a quarter of UK borrowers admit they typically buy something on credit and then feel guilt or regret later, something that may be amplified by the festive period. 

Furthermore, the report also unveiled the mental and physical toll that debt can cause, with upwards of one in four people regularly losing sleep over their borrowing, with 29% of UK borrowers regularly feeling stressed, down, depressed or anxious about their borrowing. 

ilumoni is therefore encouraging Brits to be more mindful of how their spending over the festive period may impact their debt and future finances through the #GetDebtFit campaign, which aims to help borrowers think about how to improve their debt, educating and empowering them to make smart decisions about their borrowing. 

In addition to educating the general public through its app, partnerships and various resources, the app provider has kicked off the #GetDebtFit campaign with a competition, where one individual is in with the chance to win a £2,033 cash prize, which is equivalent to the average UK household credit card debt*, as well as a series of free of charge sessions with Personal Finance Coach and UK Money Blogger Tolu Frimpong, to help build healthy money habits into the new year. 

The competition is free to enter via ilumoni’s Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram page, so let them know how you plan on getting debt fit in 2022, using the hashtag #GetDebtFit to be in with a chance of winning. Full competition details can be found here

ilumoni hopes that this competition will allow someone to take the pressure off this Christmas and keep it off in the New Year with the financial coaching setting the winner on the right path for future financial success. 

Alongside the competition, ilumoni, in collaboration with Personal Finance Coach Tolu Frimpong, has outlined three tips for keeping on top of your finances this Christmas: 

Set a budget

Setting a budget is always a good way to avoid overspending, especially at Christmas. And those little stocking fillers can really add up! It can be tempting to have ‘one last blow out’, but if you’re already stressed or anxious about your debt (and 29% of borrowers feel this way a few times a month or more) it’s really not worth it. Agreeing to a budget limit with family and friends is a great way to manage how much you spend, and you could even play Secret Santa instead, so you don’t need to buy for everyone separately.  

Always know your debt.

If you don’t, you can’t possibly make good decisions about your borrowing and that glass of festive sherry won’t help either! 83% of UK borrowers think they make good decisions about their borrowing product choices yet over half (58%) aren’t happy with how they manage their borrowing. 

Make sure that’s not you by really getting under the skin of your debt - know what you owe, how much you’re repaying and most importantly, how much it’s costing you in interest. Even with the best intentions, Christmas can still be a drain on resources and it’s hard not to feel that pressure. So start off in a strong position by considering how to better manage any existing debt now. This doesn’t need to be hard work – the ilumoni app could also help you do this, potentially highlighting how you could find smarter ways to repay or clear debts faster.

Remember debt isn’t just for Christmas.

More than 1 in 5 UK borrowers (22%) say they typically buy something on credit and worry about how to pay for it later, so bear that in mind and, if you do need to borrow, shop around and compare terms. Some cards charge high-interest rates, but provide interest free periods or discounts, for example. Budget for all these costs and put the payment dates in your diary.  

Taking control before Christmas doesn’t have to make you a Scrooge and by the time New Year’s resolutions come round, getting on top of debt won’t be one of them. 

The competition is open to all UK residents over the age of 18, with the winner being announced at 18:00 on Tuesday 14th December on ilumoni’s social channels. 

*As calculated by The Money Charity in their report, The Money Statistics, October 2021 

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© 2022 by ilumoni

ilumoni is a trading name of Monely Limited registered and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (928933 and 928681), registered in England and Wales (Company number 11886611), Registered Office: The Barnsley Digital Media Centre, County Way, Barnsley, S70 2JW

*As referenced in the FCA's financial lives report and/or the credit card market report.