Thousands of families are being warned not to overindulge in the sales this month after almost eight million people started 2018 with a debt hangover that left them unable to afford basic bills.
As Black Friday offers finally draw to a close and the pre-Christmas sales begin, consumers are urged to not give into temptation, as figures show the number of people going over-budget at Christmas is up 11% year-on-year.
AA Financial Services said households could be sleepwalking into financial crisis if they get carried away by the hyped pre-Christmas sales.
Its report also found the number of people making cost cuts to further their salary has soared since September, up from 54% to 79%, reflecting economic uncertainty ahead of March’s Brexit and continued stagnant wages.
Of those that are taking cost cutting measures, 40% are switching to a cheaper energy provider while 28% are rethinking everyday expenses such as where they buy groceries and compare insurance policies.
And amongst those making the cuts are predominantly those with children below five, with the cost of raising a family top of the list of financial strains.
Overall, 89% of parents with children under the age of four – are looking to make financial cutbacks.
David Searle, at the AA, said: “The quarter on quarter increase in the proportion of households looking to save money on their fixed monthly commitments is a clear indication of the squeeze many are feeling, as salaries fail to keep up with the cost of living.
“Many people start a New Year with resolutions to get their finances in shape, and it’s important in this new era of pre-Christmas retail sales that consumers don’t let the festive period land them in a position of difficulty for 2019.”