I have been having ongoing issues with money and debt since my hours at work were reduced during the pandemic. These have been slowly increasing back to normal but overspending during the Christmas period has set me back again. Can you help?

I’m sorry to hear that the pandemic impacted on your hours at work and your financial situation. Many have found themselves in a similar position, with reduction in hours and loss of employment.

Additionally, the festive period can be an expensive time, with January having to be one of the most frugal months of the year for many.

Getting back on track and being honest with ourselves about our financial position is the first and most important step when dealing with debt.

Priority Commitments

It is important to look at priority commitments in the first instance and get these under control. Missed payments on debts such as mortgages, rent, council tax, or utility bills can be problematic, as there are usually more serious consequences associated with not meeting these commitments.

They can cause several potential legal problems, such as eviction from rental properties, repossession of property if you own your own home, disconnection of service, fines, and even imprisonment in some cases. If you are behind on this type of debt, it is important that you deal with this as a priority.

Non-Priority Debts

Non-priority debts include credit and store cards, personal loans, overdrafts, and catalogue debts, and personal debts to friends and family members.

Despite their grouped title, it is still important that we deal with these types of debts before they get out of control.

Putting A Plan in Place

By assessing our current situation and putting a plan in place to deal with our finances before they become more problematic, we can help to remove some of the stress associated with debt.

Sometimes, by simply negotiating payments with our creditors over a longer term, or at a reduced rate, we can get back on track.

Additionally, many people in Scotland are not claiming the financial support they are entitled to, including benefits and grants. By checking for additional sources of income that may be available to us, we can help to improve our financial position.

As well as looking at increasing our income, it is also important for us to look at ways we can try to make savings on expenditure. This can include avoiding unnecessary waste of food and energy, budgeting, and planning meals, as well as seeking other discounts that may be available to us, including reductions on council tax and other essential expenditure.

Support from

Every person’s situation is different, and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution when it comes to our finances, which is why seeking help when we need it is a good idea.

Advice Direct Scotland run, providing free information and support on a wide range of debt-related issues. Our specialist debt advisers can work with you to assess your current situation, look at your incomings and outgoings, and consider what to do next.

This includes informal arrangements with creditors, as well as options of more formal debt solutions that may be appropriate in some circumstances. We are also able to look at additional sources of financial support that may be available to you.

To access support, you can visit, or call 0808 800 9060 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) to run through your options with one of their specialist debt advisers.

I hope this helps and you get your situation resolved!