Athlone Credit Union have outlined their top tips to get people through the Christmas season.

 1:      Budget, Budget, Budget.
Plan how much you can afford to spend – and stick to it.

2:       Make a list.
Decide what you’re going to buy in advance. Decide in the store and you’ll spend more!

3:       Pay with cash where possible.
Avoid credit cards, store cards, catalogues and money lenders – they’ll cost you more.

4:      If you borrow be sensible. 
Borrow where the interest is right…..not on your doorstep!

5:       Compare prices.
Before you buy, compare online and between shops. You’ll be amazed at the difference.

 6:      Use trustworthy vendors.
Buy from reputable websites and check they guarantee delivery before Christmas.

 7:      Check for Sales.
Many shops will have sales before Christmas. Ask around, and maybe you could get those presents for even less!

8:       Interest Free Deals.
Look for interest-free deals when buying furniture or electrical goods – but make sure to compare prices.

 9:      Christmas Clubs.
Joining a Christmas club or buying a few savings stamps will help you now – it will also get you into the habit for next year.

 10:    Read the small print.
If you borrow or enter into a buy-now-pay-later deal, be careful. Some lenders will penalise you for paying it back early or, if you do not pay it within the interest free period, you could be subject to hefty interest payments.

11:    Under pressure? Talk to us first.
Suffering from debt stress? Already owe money lenders? Call into Athlone Credit Union to discuss your options.

12:     Friends and Family are priceless.
The best gift at Christmas is being together – and that costs nothing. Many families do Kris Kringle or Secret Santa gifts. Some families only give gifts to children. There are many ways of saving money without taking away the magic.

For further information please contact: Athlone Credit Union on (090) 647 2497 or at info@athlonecreditunion.ie.