Keep your costs under control this year – and still have fun.
It’s very easy for families to zone out when it comes to spending and summer. Sunny days are perfect for extra ice creams, beach trips, buying new clothes and taking trips – all of which cost money. But you don’t have to get carried away by the feeling of freedom during the summer and eat into your autumn budget. There are plenty of ways to keep spending under control while still having a summer to remember with your family.
So we asked the experts at the Solution Loans Money Blog and here are their top tips:
Budget for everything
It doesn’t sound like much fun but the reality is that if you know you’re sticking to a budget when you’re spending then you’re likely to enjoy whatever you’re doing a lot more. From family days out to a summer weekend by the sea, create a realistic budget that takes account of all your essential payments (see how here) and then find creative and enterprising ways to work within that.
Rediscover your local area
Travel costs a lot, whether you’re taking the train or filling up the car with petrol. Even if you’ve lived in your current location for years you might still be surprised by just how much there is to do locally that you haven’t yet tried. So, instead of heading off for a hot car journey, take the kids to explore what’s right on your doorstep and have an enjoyable time without worrying about travel costs.
Pack your own picnics
If there’s one thing that sends the cost of summer shooting up for families it’s food and drink. Although the occasional meal out is fun for everyone, if you’re doing this on a regular basis then you will soon blow through any budget that you have. If you’re planning a day out then take your own sandwiches with you. When you head off on holiday, make sure you’ve got multipack snacks, as opposed to buying this all individually on the boat/train/at the airport. And, instead of paying for expensive, sugary juices and drinks cartons, just grab a bottle of squash from home.
Choose a staycation
There are many smart reasons why choosing to stay in your immediate area for your vacation this summer could be good for the purse strings. Holidaying overseas always tends to cost morein terms of unexpected expenses and costs, and you’ll also find yourself paying transaction fees with each payment unless you’re willing to carry a lot of cash. Staycations can help you to cut the cost of your trip, in terms of both travel and daily spend, so there is more in the budget for the fun stuff.
Kids love camping and while it may not be the ideal holiday for every adult, it’s certainly appealing when it comes to minimising spending. Camping also has many benefits, from forcing kids to turn off electronics, to spending time in nature and the open air. If you already have the tents then all you need is a scenic place to pitch them and you’re ready for al fresco summer fun.