How to manage your Christmas in an IVA

Posted: 7th Dec 2015

by Rory McGimpsey

One of the most common misunderstandings about an IVA is that Christmas somehow needs to be toned down or diluted for clients in debt. Having worked in this industry for four and a half years, I can assure you that Aperture has absolutely no desire to perform the role of Scrooge or The Grinch. While it is true that the arrival of the holiday season invariably puts some strain on household finances, there is no reason why those in an IVA should be deprived of festive fun and enjoyment.

The key to enjoying a happy Christmas while insolvent is budgeting and planning. The Money Advice Service website, as always, is a tremendous resource that offers hints and tips for those debtors fretting about financing the holiday period. The MAS provides a simple, but effective four step guide for Christmas budgeting.

As the website explains: “The average Christmas spend per household is around £500, which includes food, presents, travel and decorations, among other expenses. To begin your budget, make a list of family and friends you will be buying presents for and allocate an amount for each person. If you are hosting dinner then consider how many people will be coming over and how much you need to spend on food and drink.”

Money Saving Expert has some equally helpful and practical tips for enjoying the festive period which you can find here.

Its guide recommends questioning expenditure habits and exercising caution: “What can I afford to spend on Christmas? Christmas is one day – don’t ruin the whole of the next year for it.”. One of the issues arising from Christmas is the pressure exerted by retailers to spend money that most of us just don’t have. Money Saving Expert highlights the need to prioritise and separate the essential from the indulgent. It states: “You could always make a No Unnecessary Present Pact (Nupp) with friends or at least agree to a Secret Santa or £5 to £10 cap on gifts?” Another excellent suggestion is to cut back on food expenditure: expensive doesn’t always mean best! “Don’t be a retail snob. Taste with your tongue, not by looking at the packaging. And buy what’s right for you, not the shop”, says the website.

In one of my previous incarnations, I briefly worked on the other side of the fence for a creditor. When a client called us about Christmas, we were trained to say that as Christmas is a known expense, all seasonal expenditure should be accounted for. At Aperture, we know that life is rarely that simple and believe that our clients have as much right as anyone else to enjoy the festive season. We all want to enjoy a happy and stress free Christmas period, making the most of the season for our family and friends. While we can’t offer a payment break for Christmas, at Aperture we are committed to helping our clients do the best for their families this Christmas. So, Christmas isn’t cancelled this year – or any year! Debt doesn’t preclude happiness, so enjoy your Christmas. With that in mind, Aperture wishes all of you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday period.

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