81% of UK shoppers will be left in debt this Christmas Thursday 13 December 2007 PDF Print It looks like retailers could be in for a good Christmas after all as research reveals that 37 million of us will end up breaking the bank this Christmas. In a survey conducted by accountants Armstrong Watson, credit cards look to be the most likely cause of the mounting debt with 58% of respondents admitting they are likely to max out their plastic so they can ‘afford’ to buy their loved one’s presents and all the festive trimmings. “While we don't want to dampen the festive spirit and promote ourselves as having Scrooge-like qualities, it's worrying how many people don't appear to be sticking to a budget and will greet the New Year with mounting debt. Credit crunch alarm bells don't seem to be ringing too loudly and with added confidence from the drop in interest rates down to 5.5%, people don’t appear to be listening to their financial conscience when it comes to filling the Christmas stockings,” says David Squire, financial planning director, of Armstrong Watson. Over half those questioned confirmed they are likely to spend more than they did last year which marries up with recent online shopping figures which confirms nearly £5 billion shoppers purchased online last Christmas and this year it is expected to rise to £7 billion. David continues: "If you are going to splash out this Christmas I'd advise you take swift action in January 2008 and make it your New Year’s resolution to minimise the impact of your debt hangover. For example, avoid the temptation of alluring store cards which mask outrageous APR figures with the charm of 10% off purchases if you sign up on the spot. Instead look out for 0% credit cards that offer balance transfers with a minimum transfer handling fee, budget wisely and stick to it. “Minimise your outgoings and aim to pay off as much per month as possible - but be realistic. As an incentive, the quicker you pay off your winter overspend the quicker you'll be able to save for some summer sun to banish your winter blues!" -ends- Notes to Editors: Issued on behalf of Armstrong Watson by Beattie Communications. Contact: Danielle Bishop Tel: 0113 213 0303 / 07713 149 186 or Annemarie Robson Tel:07795 470 394. Armstrong Watson spoke to 1,000 people across the UK in employment between the ages of 18 – 65 during December 2007. Armstrong Watson is one of the leading independent providers of accountancy, business and financial advisory services to owner managed businesses across the North. The firm has 15 offices throughout the north of England and south west Scotland, has 36 partners and employs 400 staff in a variety of specialist divisions such as: Business Enterprise Services, Business & Personal Tax, VAT, Corporate Services, Corporate Finance, Payroll, Insolvency & Corporate Recovery, Agriculture, Computer Solutions and Office Equipment, Financial Planning and Wealth Management. Armstrong Watson is registered to carry out audit work by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. A 2007 survey by Accountancy Age has ranked Armstrong Watson as 27th in a list of the UK’s top 50 accountancy firms. To visit the Armstrong Watson website go to: www.armstrongwatson.co.uk. Issued on behalf of Armstrong Watson by Beattie Communications. Contact Danielle Bishop on 0113 213 0303 07713 149 186 or Annemarie Robson on 07795 470 394. This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Beattie Communications(Leeds) in the following categories: Men's Interest, Women's Interest & Beauty, Personal Finance, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.