‘Christmas makes me feel like a failure, I’m a single mum and can’t afford the presents my son wants’
18.11.2023 - 07:42
With its bright lights, cheery music and messages of goodwill, Christmas is meant to feel like the happiest time of the year. But for some it’s also a time of financial hardship and worry, with even more strain on already stretched purse strings. And this year, the nation’s households are going to be a staggering £3 billion worse off compared with the 2022 festive season.
“Sadly the cost of living crisis looks set to have a serious effect on households this year, making it harder for people to feel the Christmas cheer,” explains Adam Bullock, UK director at TopCashback. “It will be very rare that a household will not be affected.” As a result, celebrations for the 2023 holiday season could look very different. Having experienced money issues in the past, Maddy Alexander-Grout, 40, knows what it’s like to have to scale back the festivities and is buying all of her presents either secondhand or in the sales after experiencing a “bumpy” 12 months.
“Ten years ago I was £40,000 in debt,” she says. “It was a really scary time and I began receiving debt collectors letters and I ended up with bailiffs at my door. I packed up my stuff in the middle of the night and moved back to Southampton where my family lived to start a new chapter.
“That Christmas I had to have some very difficult conversations with family and friends as I told them about my situation and that I couldn’t afford to celebrate the way I was used to.” Maddy’s story isn’t unusual, particularly in today’s climate. While the big day may be more than a month away, 44% of Brits say they have committed to reduce non-essential spending to help cover the extra outlay. Great expectations For Agatha O’Neill from Tunbridge Wells, rising costs have left her figuring out how
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