A debt charity in Suffolk has issued seasonal savings advice to help people avoid the temptation of loans during the festive period.

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The Ipswich branch of Christians Against Charity, which provides free support to people with spiralling debt problems, has compiled a top 10 tips for the “seasonally skint”.

Centre manager Jayne Green said that using credit cards to cover the expenses of Christmas can often make a “fragile situation worse”.

“What starts as a bit of an income boost can lead to difficulties when working hours get cut, the washing machine breaks or someone is ill,” she said.

The charity has raised frugal suggestions such as swapping outfits with friends for Christmas parties, looking for free events locally rather than those that charge and buying meaningful presents instead of expensive ones.

It also recommends Christmas cooks do not overspend on the meal and that they request festive guests make a contribution so that hosts aren’t left too out of pocket.

Other ideas include agreeing with relatives in advance to just buy for the children, recognising that not everyone can spend so extravagantly as some, and making home made presents if possible.

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