THE local arm of a debt charity is calling for Crewe people to prepare early for the festive season rather than rely on expensive credit.
Christians Against Poverty (CAP), which specialises in helping people on a low income, says it sees many struggling to cope with the cost of Christmas.
Manager of the Crewe CAP Centre Tim Oakley said: “It probably fills a few people with dread to think that Christmas is just 100 days away but this is actually a great time to stop and consider how you can help yourself between now and then.
“There’s a lot of hype from marketing people about buying the perfect Christmas, which we know in our hearts isn’t real life, but we all so easily get swept up in it. Before all that hits our TV screens, now is the time to get together our own personalised plans for an enjoyable, stress free celebration.
“There are loads of ways to get started – the main thing is setting yourself a target and deciding on your tactics. The last thing your family would want is to see you in financial trouble in 2017.”
CAP recommends the following to start saving for Christmas:
Regularly saving supermarket stamps
Storing supermarket loyalty points from Nectar/Clubcard
Putting money away each week in a dedicated savings account
Hiding away a special box for presents and buying something to put in it each week
Considering taking on a Christmas job – retailers recruit in September
With 100 days to go, the charity also suggests using the time to make Christmas craft projects like knitting, making jam, brewing or growing something special.
“My other top tip is to manage expectations early.
“If you think Christmas will be difficult, talk to family early and decide what you can afford together. They may want to chip in with bigger items or you may decide on a ‘presents for children only’ rule.
“Time is on your side to make these arrangements now.”
Christians Against Poverty gives a free service to help people with debt problems and budgeting regardless of age, gender, faith or background.