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Consumers cut festive flab not finances

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Diets and holidays top the list of New Year priorities for UK consumers, according to the Financial Services Authority (FSA), leaving money worries out in the cold.

Recent research from the regulator has shown 48% of people are more likely to go on a diet or book a holiday than try and sort out their finances this January (13%). In addition, just less than a quarter (24%) of 16 to 44 years olds are worried or scared about bills arriving in the New Year.

The research also showed a lack of planning on the part of UK consumers, with 58% either unsure of what Christmas would cost. Those that did know overspent anyway, with 23% using loans and credit cards to bridge the financial gap.

Chris Pond, FSA director of financial capability, said: “Sorting out your budget isn’t the most interesting thing you will do after Christmas, but it could be the most important. The consequences of not managing your money properly can be devastating. If you don’t make payments on time it can affect your credit history and at worst put your home and even relationships under pressure.”

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