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Debt centre dishes out Xmas spending advice

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Debt centre dishes out Xmas spending advice

STAY out of the red and in the black this Christmas.

That is the call from a debt counselling service in Dumfries, urging people to save their cash at the start of the 100-day countdown to festivities.

Tracy Vallance is the Dumfries Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Debt Centre manager, and she said: “With personal borrowing on the rise, we are warning people to plan what they are going to spend this Christmas and save as much as they can.

“This way, with 100 days to go they can enjoy a Christmas without credit.”

Tracy added: “Every year we see people whose finances were already fragile but too much Christmas spending pushed them over the edge.

“It doesn’t have to be that way if you start early.

“Just saving £5 per week now will give you £75 to spend on presents and food.

“Of course, we’re missing a trick if we think Christmas is only about spending money.

“Memories are not about which label we buy, they are made by spending time together with family and friends.

“Once you’ve started to prepare, you can get that perspective instead of the usual last minute panic that can result in credit and the worry that follows.”

The Dumfries CAP Debt Centre opened nine months ago, and is run by the River of Life Church.

All debt clients are visited in their home by members of the local CAP centre who explain the service face-to-face and collect their paperwork.

Meanwhile, specialist teams at CAP head office negotiate with creditors and create a workable budget enabling each person to go debt free.

Tracy said: “If you are struggling to pay the bills, and you’re being chased for money you don’t have, please let us help you.

“One phone call could be the difference between a merry Christmas or a miserable one.”
CAP’s services are available to everyone regardless of age, gender, faith or background.

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