I feel like I can read your mind. You’re clearly thinking ‘why should I start saving for the summer holidays now?! We’ve only just done Easter!’
Amazed by my mind reading skills, right?
We all know kids are expensive little things that demand entertaining, don’t we? Need I remind you, you are about to embark on 6 weeks of trying to entertain them, with no school to break it up. There’s only so many hours you can waste bathing them or sticking them in front of the TV, trust me.
Sooner or later you’re going to have to spend your money on them. This is where the planning and saving comes in!
This is where you need to get your organised head on. You might want to even go as far as to buy a planner from the pound shop.
Make a list
List every free and paid for activity you could possibly do with your children. You have 6 weeks to fill, so search Tripadvisor or ask your Facebook friends if you have to. I would suggest planning two paid activities and three free activities for the six weeks to keep it manageable.
By my calculations (bearing in mind, holiday dates vary up and down the country) it’s about 12 weeks until the kids break up.
Start saving for the summer holidays NOW
You should try and put aside at least £10 per week between now and the beginning of the summer holidays. If you wonder how you’re going to magic £10 per week out of thin air, then check out my tips for making and saving money. The more you can put away, the better, as it’ll give more flexibility to your plans, allowing for bad weather or spontaneous invitations to exciting places.
Now that you’ve made a list, concentrate on just the activities that will cost you money. Don’t make the mistake of estimating costs, properly research your chosen activities and write down the exact cost of the outing.
Seeing all of those costs written down on paper make it clear just how expensive your summer will be. Imagine spending all of that money without planning for it. Imagine how hard that would have hit your pocket! I bet you’re beginning to see why planning and saving is absolutely necessary.
Add the cost of all of your excursions together and check the total. Will £10 a week cover it, or do you need to save a little more?
Work out exactly how much you need to save over the next twelve weeks and stick to it.
Search for money saving deals
If most of your activities are for local attractions and events, your local newspaper will be your best friend in the coming months. This is where local companies like to advertise and will offer money off coupons for their days out.
Sign up for Groupon too, they constantly have great deals and you might be tempted to do something a little further a field that you hadn’t previously considered thanks to an amazing bargain.
Like the Facebook pages of all the places you plan on visiting, they often run promotions and even competitions, you never know, you might win a day out!
Cut costs where possible
Going to a farm with a friend? Try and car share.
Spending a day away from home? Take a pack-up.
Bring flasks, pack snacks, walk if it’s close enough, park in a residential area to avoid paying, wear old clothes for messy adventures, check if there are deals on that make it cheaper. If you have to pay individually for three but four would get a family-saver ticket, then borrow a cousin or invite a friend.
Always be creative!
Hopefully I have now extolled the virtues of planning (and proven I’m not insane for suggesting you need to start saving for the summer holidays now -like, immediately). Do you have any tips to add? Do you already do this? I’d love to know!