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Citizens Advice Oxford warns: don’t let Black Friday mean a red New Year

 A new campaign aims to keep Oxford’s residents out of unmanageable debt over the Christmas season. Each January and February, Citizens Advice Oxford expects an increase in debt-related queries: last year, advisors saw 203 clients with money issues in these months compared to 172 in for an average two-month period. And this is against an overall rising demand for debt advice.

To support its online campaign, there will be a prize draw for a high street voucher for anyone who shares their top tips on how to avoid debt on the charity’s social media channels - Facebook @oxfordcitizensadvice and Twitter @OxfordCAB - using the hashtag #stayoutofdebt.

Al Bell, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Oxford said:

 ““Before the full frenzy of Black Friday, we’re reminding people: think what you need to buy before you start shopping, set a budget you can afford and keep within it.

 “It’s very easy to spend more than you mean to on presents for family, or on going out with friends and colleagues. Every January and February, people come to us when their credit card and bank statements arrive and they realise that their debt is no longer manageable.

 “The good news is that there are things you can do to control spending and debt, while still having a good time at Christmas.

 “Some of our clients who’ve experienced financial problems will be sharing their advice on the importance of avoiding unmanageable debt.”

 Oxford East MP Anneliese Dodds has endorsed the Citizens Advice Oxford campaign.

 “The approach of Christmas can be a stressful time, and with such a long period of constrained growth in wages, many people in Oxford are already feeling the pinch like never before.

 “But there is help out there, with lots of resources available to help people with planning their budgets in the run-up to Christmas.

 “It's good to see Oxford Citizens' Advice making sure that people have access to this information and advice.”

 Citizens Advice Oxford is encouraging people to think carefully before they start their Christmas shopping this year, especially if they already have debts which they might be worried about. Al Bell said:

 “People’s situations change unexpectedly. We know that what was once an affordable debt can become unmanageable with change in circumstances, like losing a job or sudden ill health. If you find yourself in that situation, get in touch with us now for our free and impartial advice. With early help, you can avoid financial meltdown. There's no debt problem that can't be solved, if you make a plan and stick to it. Citizens Advice has online information, or our advisors will work with individuals to find fair and affordable solutions.

 “And when people are thinking about Christmas shopping, remember that a Black Friday offer might not really be a bargain. How does the price compare to last year or last month? Would it be cheaper with another retailer?”

 Citizens Advice Oxford can be contacted at its office on St Aldates between 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday, or on 03444 111 444. Online help is available at


Last updated about 2 years ago