According to a report from the Post Office, the average family will need to spend over £400 to keep their kids happy and entertained this summer. The costs include visiting attractions, getting takeaway on hot summer nights and eating out on road trips, and the cost of petrol as they drive longer distances than normal.
This makes school holidays the most wonderful time of the year for children, but almost – if not more – financially stressful on parents than the dreaded Christmas shop. Morrisons even found that a majority of families – almost two thirds – are expecting to go into debt over the summer.
Around 20% have said that they dread the summer because of all the pressure to splash out and keep their children entertained. Parents are also concerned because with pressures to splash out come a conflict of interests, as most are looking to save into Junior ISA, offered by providers like Scottish Friendly, for their children’s future. However, there are tips and tricks that all families should consider that can keep them saving and keep them from going into debt.
Make the most of what you have
Your home isn’t such an uncomfortable place, so why not stay in for a staycation? Cut off all the phones and outside distractions, make a rule that mum and dad aren’t allowed to stress about cleaning for a few days, and let the kids run wild while mum and dad relax. Rent some DVDs that the whole family can enjoy, but don’t keep the kids from their favourites either. According to the Mirror, rental service Blockbuster is offering a Kids Summer Movie Rental Pass that would allow them to rent to their hearts’ content for just £5.
There are also a host of voucher and discount websites that can shave half or more off the standard price of going out for a meal, to the movies, for a night out bowling, and much more. Places like Littlebird.com and hotukdeals.com are just the tip of the iceberg, so web-savvy mums and dads should hit the internet to find the voucher websites that work best for them.
Speaking of vouchers, make sure that you are taking advantage of your employer’s child voucher programme if it is available to you. This lets you pay for your childcare before tax is taken out of your salary, ensuring that you are saving money even if you’re not able to take time off work with your children this summer.
Free is the key
Look for free things everywhere you go, as the summertime usually means free educational and fun activities for the whole family. Companies like Briitsh Gas and Asda are offering swimming and other free activities all summer, while almost all major retailers offer loyalty points cards that could get you discounts or free gifts in the post.