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Were you feeling the pinch this Christmas?

Stuart McLellan, 59, from Lochgilphead:

"My wife and I decided not to buy anything for each other. Anyone who is on a fixed income, who can't do anything to increase their earnings, is going to find it harder because prices are going up and wages aren't. I also think the gap between rich and poor is widening, definitely."

David Cross, 48, from Argyll: "I spent probably about the same this year for Christmas, even though I think I'm probably better off this year than I was last year. Shops are exceptionally good at persuading you to part with your money - if you cannot afford it, of course they will offer you credit terms and I think that's obviously part of the reason we had the last financial crisis.

Sean McLennan, 22, from Aberdeen: "I increased my overdraft so I could afford Christmas shopping, because I see it as something you have to do, rather than a choice. I'll probably feel quite bad about it in January - in fact, that's how I'm feeling just now - but at the time I didn't think about it."

Lisa Mitchell, 38, from Edinburgh: "I think it is important to save up for Christmas rather than borrow, otherwise you end up spending a fortune. I've just gone back to work so for the first time in ages I feel OK financially, but listening to the media, people are obviously still finding it very difficult to cope. It has been this way for a while so I don't know if people are getting a bit better at budgeting and shopping, getting things a bit cheaper. It is really sad that some people think they don't have the option not to borrow money and I think it is a lot about keeping up with the Joneses. Lots of people are in difficult situations though. It is hard for everybody and it [borrowing] might seem like the easy option at the time."

Evie Noble, 18, from Strathaven: 'I did not borrow anything in order to pay for Christmas presents. I don't think 2014 will be quite as dire as predicted. People are becoming more money-savvy,so I wouldn't say things are going to get worse or be more difficult generally, because people are getting better at saving."

Interviews by Hannah Rodger

Contextual targeting label: 
Finance

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