stressed woman wearing a christmas hat, outdoor

Here are four things that could make for a costly and unhappy Christmas to watch out for.

Christmas can be a stressful enough time of year without unexpected problems cropping up.

Here are some nightmares before Christmas and how to avoid them.

Running out of money

It's always wise to set a budget before Christmas really kicks in – and to stick to it. If you find yourself struggling to make your money last, don't resort to high-cost borrowing. Going overdrawn on your bank account without permission could cost you a small fortune, unless you have a fee-free buffer. So too could withdrawing cash using your credit card. Using a payday loan to pay for some of your Christmas could continue to haunt you well into the New Year if you can't afford to repay it on time.

You could spread the cost via a 0% on purchases credit card, which allows you a set period without interest to pay, but make sure you can ultimately afford to repay it.

Compare 0% purchase credit cards

Losing your cards

Nationwide says that requests for new cards to replace those that have been lost or stolen soar at this time of year. Keep your cards safely tucked away and don't let anyone get a good look at your PIN if you're paying for something or using a cash machine. If you're going out for the evening, consider leaving some or all of your cards at home.

And make sure you cancel any lost or stolen cards immediately. Make sure you have your card issuer's emergency helpline phone number in your phone and/or written down at home so you can call quickly.

Getting mugged

Sadly, the festive season brings an increase in street crime, with muggers particularly targeting those who look like they've been Christmas shopping.

If you're out and about at night, try to stick to well-lit and busier areas. And if you've had a few at the office Christmas party, think about getting a taxi rather than staggering through the streets.

You could also consider personal possessions cover.

This is an optional extra you can choose to add to your home insurance, and it means your possessions will be covered when they're outside your home.

And, with research suggesting that the average adult now carries almost £1,000 of belongings around with them, it could actually be worth having all year round.

Boiler breakdown

A cold house at Christmas is no fun at all. If you're worrying that your boiler might not see out 2013, it would be wise to get it checked over sooner rather than later.

You could also check your home insurance policy to see if it's covered under home emergency cover.
If it isn't, you might want to add it, although be aware that it might not cover newer boilers. Or you might think about taking out a boiler care policy. Be aware that these can be riddled with exclusions. Always shop around and read the small print carefully.

Don't risk your prized possessions – get a home insurance quote now




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