How to keep a tight grip on the purse strings and not stifle the fun.


The school summer holidays are a great time for everyone to be together as a family, to watch your children grow and to enjoy some warm weather together. However, if you’re not careful, it can also end up being a pretty expensive time whether your major costs are wet weather activities or the constant requests for chips and ice cream. If you want to make sure you don’t over spend during the school holidays this summer then here are some top tips.


Spending hot spot: boredom


Boredom causes kids to complain and when you’ve had enough of listening to those complaints you’re more than likely to cave into demands for expensive days out or meals. The solution? Find all the free (or cheap) adventures in your local area – look for the forests and lakes, walking trails or public pools. Write these on slips of paper and make a “boredom jar” – when someone starts complaining, get them to pick an activity from the boredom jar that everyone does together.


Spending hot spot: food


Children like to eat – especially when they’re teenagers. And in the summer there are so many more temptations for little stomachs, from ice creams through to the latest burger promotions that they have seen on TV they are watching more of because they’re not at school. If you want to avoid over-spending on food then schedule those treat moments instead of getting forced into them spontaneously. Plan a trip to an ice cream parlour that everyone can look forward to – and which you can budget for. Take your own food when you head off for a day out or plan a trip to a restaurant that you have vouchers for.


Spending hot spot: your summer trip


The annual vacation is a serious hot spot for spending during the school summer months. If you leave it until the last minute to book and pay for your trip then you could be rushed into paying more than you thought you were going to, just to ensure that you get to go. If you’re not prepared for currency conversion or the costs of travel then you’re much more likely to pay more, according to the personal finance experts Solution Loans. Instead:


  • Search flights or travel on the basis of when is cheapest, as opposed to the exact time you want to go
  • Look for deals where young children travel or eat for free
  • Consider an all-inclusive deal where all the food is included in the cost
  • Plan a staycation and have your holiday within 50km of home to reduce travel costs


Spending hot spot: FOMO


The Fear Of Missing Out is a fast track to reckless spending under any circumstances and especially when you have growing kids who won’t be this age forever. Instead of spending on expensive experiences or travel look for other ways to mark the moment instead. Even something as simple as camping in the garden or having a BBQ by a local beach or lake can create the most wonderful memories that you’ll never forget – and which won’t eat through your budget either.