PEOPLE of all ages and from all walks of life are facing the consequences of their Christmas spending spree.

One way to tackle the struggle to make ends meet for residents in the Cumnock area is to join the local credit union.

Formerly called Cumnock and Doon Valley Credit Union, the team at the not-for-profit organisation are ready to offer their services.

Now known as Sovereign Credit Union, they are urging people to plan ahead for Christmas 2018, following some shocking figures which emerged last week.

The National Debtline revealed that 37 per cent of residents bought Christmas presents on credit while 16 per cent will fall behind in January because of their spending.

John Marshall, chairman of Sovereign Credit Union in Cumnock, said: “While Christmas is a period of family and fun it can leave us financially overstretched.

“One way to avoid a financial hangover next year is to join a credit union now. If you open a Christmas Savings Account with Sovereign Credit Union your money is locked away until November. You can then draw your savings in cash.

“We want to help people to be financially prepared for the year ahead.”

Mr Marshall endorsed three new year resolutions recommended by the National Debtline and Association of Credit Unions.

Make a plan for 2018 — Setting a budget is the single biggest step you can take to get on top of your finances.  Sit down and work out how much money you have coming in every month, and what you need to spend. 

Join a credit union — You might not be able to start actually saving in January, but you can get ready by joining your local credit union, which is a great way to save. 

Deal with any debts you have now — Open all statements and get a handle on how much you owe. Write a list of your debts, together with balances and repayment dates. You are not alone. Free, independent advice is available from charity-run services such as National Debtline.

Sovereign Credit Union can be contacted on 01290 420044, or call in at 11 The Square, Cumnock. Opening hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10am-2pm; Wednesday and Saturday 10am-noon.