Spend less now for a happier New Year

TVNZ website picks up our media release from a week ago

Spend less now for a happier new year
TVNZ 25 December 2010

Inexpensive but meaningful Christmas presents are the key to avoiding a stressful New Year, lobby group Family First says.

Setting strict spending limits over the Christmas season will help families avoid racking up debt, adding to hardship and worries during the holidays and when school starts again, Family First director Bob McCoskrie said.

“We want to encourage families to focus on planning and spending time with families, and giving gifts that aren’t necessarily expensive but are still thoughtful,” he said.

“While children will initially be excited by expensive gifts, their long lasting memories will be around family time and activities together.”

Financial stress could cause real problems for families over the holiday season, and is a major contributor to family violence over the period.

People are warned to avoid loan sharks, and companies offering instant cash which could incur very high interest rates.

“It is better in the long term to re-prioritise spending to avoid excessive debt,” McCoskrie said.