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Costs rise for entertaining the kids…some top tips on how to save

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The cost of entertaining the kids over the summer break is rising, with parents spending an average of £600 this year, £100 more than last year.

Over half of all parents (55 per cent) worry about the cost of entertaining their children during the holidays, according to the Post Office Money’s annual Parents’ Summer Spending Report, while one in five parents (18 per cent) will dip into their savings to cover costs.

Parents have seen the cost of summer holidays increase year-on-year since 2012, with the amount spent on entertaining children up by 50 per cent over three years.

Almost half (45 per cent) of parents are set to spend on visiting attractions, including theme parks and museums, while two-fifths (42 per cent) are planning meals out. One quarter of parents (25 per cent) believe sweets and ice cream will be their biggest expenditure.

To support the costs, a third (34%) of parents will give up buying new clothes, while 33 per cent will stay in to save cash. Worryingly, 7 per cent of cash strapped parents admit they may have to give up paying household bills to make ends meet.

Henk Van Hulle, director at Post Office Money comments on the findings: “This upcoming summer break provides families with the opportunity to come together and enjoy days out – yet the cost of doing so continues to rise year after year. Despite this, many parents remain unsure of how they will pay for the costs of entertaining their children. By planning ahead and setting aside money earlier in the year, parents can avoid being stung by surprise expenses or missing bill payments, and enjoy the holidays free of financial fears.”

Parents resort to a number of measures to cover the cost of summer; one in five (18 per cent) expect to dip into their savings to pay for expenses, while 16 per cent will take a break from saving.  Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) will end up relying on their credit card, while 18 per cent will boost their funds by working overtime. Others will borrow from family and friends (10 per cent) in order to make the summer holidays one to remember.

Post Office Money’s Top tips for enjoying your summer holiday on a budget:

  • Track down deals online, there are great discounts and 2 for 1 offers to be found to theme parks, the cinema, family days out and restaurants
  • Look out for offers at local attractions and events organised by your local community, these are often free or inexpensive
  • Travelling by train can also be cheaper if you book tickets in advance and avoid travelling at peak times
  • Some museums have free entry throughout the year and the summer break is a great time to make the most of this
  • Whether you’re heading to the park, a museum or simply a day in town, take a packed lunch
  • Look out for deals at supermarkets that could save you money on packed lunches or simply eating at home
  • Organise a fun-filled day at home such as cake making, painting, crafts or start a reading club
  • Filling up at a less expensive garage or driving in a way that’s fuel efficient could mean you save extra cash
  • Volunteering for a charity or helping out in the community during the summer is a free and rewarding way to enjoy the break


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