ALMOST a third of UK adults are expected to fund Christmas by using Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) schemes, according to new research from the Citizens Advice Bureau.
It has published a study that claims around 15 million people will use BNPL schemes to cope with the cost of Christmas. This follows a Park Christmas Savings study revealing this Christmas will cost the average UK family over £730 – a figure that’s pushing consumers towards delayed repayment services.
However, this short-term fix can result in long-term money troubles.
Not planning effectively for Christmas can lead to an unwanted spiral of debt, with more than seven-in-10 Brits (71%) admitting that they have struggled to budget for Christmas this year.
The Citizens Advice study also reported that 21% of BNPL users miss a payment or pay late and 10% are visited by enforcement agencies or bailiffs as a result.
Over half of people (55%) say they leave Xmas financial planning too late, with October cited as the month that most Brits begin to start planning their festive spending.
Katherine Scott, Director of Marketing for Park Christmas Savings, said: “As we approach the festive season, it’s crucial to consider the true cost of celebrating Christmas.
“While it may be tempting to turn to Buy Now Pay Later schemes for immediate relief, it’s important to recognise the potential long-term consequences.
“Christmas is, undoubtedly, one of the most financially stressful periods of the year, so it’s hardly a surprise to see a rising number of people using delayed repayment services. The cost of living crisis has hit everyone hard and we all want to treat our loved ones at Christmas?
“At Park we know from experience – having helped millions save over the last 56 years – that many people get themselves into debt trying to give their families the perfect Christmas. They join Park to help them avoid that debt trap.
“To be financially savvy and prepared for Christmas, it is imperative to think ahead with your savings by putting a little aside throughout the year. It can be difficult, particularly if you’ve not got much left at the end of the month, but by starting small, with what you can afford, you can maximise your chances of a financially stress-free Christmas.
“With Park Christmas Savings, you set your savings goals and select the gift cards and vouchers you would like to receive the following November.
“You can pay weekly or monthly, and you can adjust your target through the year for free if your circumstances change. When November arrives so do your gift cards a vouchers, allowing you to enjoy buying gifts, food, decorations and more without worrying about increasing your debt.
“By signing up early customers can break the cost of Christmas down into much smaller, manageable monthly or weekly amounts. Plus, we have our team of experts and our Park Agents who can support you and help you manage your order throughout the year without compromising your financial well-being.”
For more information about Park Christmas Savings visit: https://www.getpark.co.uk/budgeting/