Millions struggling financially after Christmas in January

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Millions of Brits will struggle to survive January financially after overspending during the festive season, warns new research.

The study shows almost a third (30 per cent) felt pressured to spend more than they could afford over Christmas.

And one in 11 (nine per cent) have fallen into debt or further into debt as a result of overspending.

The survey of more than 2,000 adults by Money Advice Service shows men (23 per cent) and women (24 per cent) are around equally as likely to overspend.

But men (£325) expect to overspend by more than women (£299), and tended to put more of their Christmas buying on credit.

The research shows surviving financially in the month of January is now likely to be a struggle for more than one in four adults (28 per cent).

Coupled with the fact that almost half of all workers (44 per cent) were paid early in December, it means that more than 13 million people will have a longer wait until payday this month.

The Money Advice Service expects the number of people seeking debt advice to soar over the next three months. This time last year, the service assisted almost 2.6 million money and debt inquiries - 500,000 more than in an average month.

Almost half of those experiencing financial difficulty (48 per cent) say that budgeting would have helped them to prevent overspending.

Andy Webb, of the Money Advice Service, said: “Our message in January is simple. If you are struggling to survive financially this month, now is the time to act.

“There are simple things you can do to get your finances back on track.

“Firstly, look at all your regular spending at home and keep track of it throughout the month. Doing this will help you see areas where you may be able to cut back, for example: cancelling unused subscriptions.

“You might be able to raise some extra money by clearing out items you don’t want or no longer use. Also, don’t underestimate how much you waste if you throw food away - plan your meals carefully and use up your leftovers.”

The survey suggests that more than half of Brits (51 per cent) are making a financial resolution in 2016 to get their money in better shape - with saving more (24 per cent), spending less (20 per cent) and paying off debts (16 per cent) among the most popular.