Cash-strapped families worry over Christmas debt

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Christmas is just 73 days away but few Brits, it seems, are likely to get into the Crimbo spirit any time soon. A new poll has revealed that many British families are already worried about whether they can afford the food and gifts associated with the season.

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The survey, by moneysupermarket.com, quizzed 4,000 people about their Christmas money worries and found six out of 10 are concerned about the cost - a seven per cent rise on last year.

A third of those polled said they would be making significant cut-backs in order to avoid spiralling debt and more than 50 per cent were worried about how little they had to spend this year.

Kevin Mountford, head of banking at the site, said: "This year will be tougher than most as a result of the increases in the cost of living and widespread pay freezes."

Mr Mountford had this advice for hard-hit consumers: "The best bet when it comes to funding a busy period like Christmas is to take a 'jam jar' approach to saving and put a little aside each week."

He added: "Vouchers are also a great way to save and doing their homework can save consumers some serious cash."

However, for some Christmas spending is the least of their worries. Research by Oxfam recently revealed that one in six low-income parents have gone without a meal in order that their children may eat.

It might be the season of good cheer but for many Brits, Christmas may well be cancelled.

Are you worried about how to afford Christmas and will you be cutting back on your seasonal spending? Leave a comment below...