How do you keep track of your holiday spending? With so many different demands on your wallet – from days out with the kids to treats and entertainment, keeping an eye on how much you’re spending during the summer holidays can be a real challenge for parents.
In fact, according to recent research, one in 10 of us will put expensive day trips on a credit card, leading to potential headaches at the end of the summer holidays (at the worst possible time of year, as you’ll then be starting to think about Christmas. ARGH!)
One way to make sure you’re not overspending, of course, is to have a regular credit check (you can do this at creditexpert.co.uk/experian-credit-check) and keep a list of everything you’re forking out for (being as honest as possible) so there are no nasty surprises, although this is something few of us like to do; and also, to make a budget and really stick to it. If you don’t spend the full amount on one day you can always spend the rest on another.
And another is to take advantage of free and cheap days out, where possible. The Visit Britain website has some excellent ideas (did you know, for example that you can often visit city farms for free?) There are some fantastic museums in the UK which you can visit for free, too, even in London – as long as you take a packed lunch, then your family day out doesn’t need to cost the earth. Sometimes I think we get so caught up in the pressure to spend money on days out for our children that we forget simple pleasures – like tramping in the woods for half a day and having a picnic lunch, for example – really don’t have to cost the earth.
Although we’ve had a gorgeous summer, of course you can’t rely on the weather. We’re big fans of movies in our house and love watching them at the cinema – but we’re also just as happy to buy one DVD (for the price of an adult cinema ticket) and watch it over and over again (ergo, Frozen. Never off the player). And making cakes, models or other crafts are all great activities you can do fairly cheaply (it may not be obvious to look at me but I am quite crafty. I can even make shortbread, from scratch. I know, right?)