How to Reduce School Holiday Debt


Aug 04, 2014 by Smart Blog

According to research by TSB, the average cost of keeping the kids entertained this summer could set families back a staggering £250. To avoid letting this expense push your holiday costs into the red, we’ve put together some simple ideas on how to entertain your little ones for next to nothing!


Combine Your Efforts

Do your friends or neighbours have children? Are they looking for cheap things to do over the summer? Then why not pool your resources and cut the costs! 

According to TSB’s research, 44% of parents are planning to enjoy picnics and other activities with friends, neighbours and relatives who are based in their local communities. Sharing DVDs, toys and other play materials is also expected to be a common trend – but then they do say that sharing is caring! Spread the love with other families this summer and save yourself a packet.


Family Matters

For those lucky enough to have grandparents or other older relatives living nearby, why not ask if they’re willing to provide some free childcare while you’re at work? Just under one quarter (22%) of parents plan to leave their kids with grandparents this summer but by doing so you could save yourself vital money.

If there are no family members living close enough to play childminder then speak to friends and research local community facilities to see what other options there are at your disposal. You may free day activities and clubs which older children can attend if you’re stuck for ideas.


Go Free or Go Home

Not all family-friendly activities have to cost money so why not introduce a “go free or go home” policy for any days out or events? Many museums, art galleries and other public attractions offer free entry and are a great way to keep the kids entertained (and educated) throughout the summer.

Visiting local parks and outdoor areas is another great (free) option that is based a little closer to home while indoor activities you can try include watching films, building dens or even camping in the back garden.

Getting to kids to read to each other or stage a play is another great idea and one which will help support their education when they return back to school. You can use toys, old clothes and accessories such as scarves to create costumes and even allow your children to paint their own backdrops using craft supplies. This will not only make the activity more enjoyable but it can also help to spread it out over a number of days to provide lots of free fun.


Lead by Example

Despite all your best money-saving efforts, chances are you’ll still encounter a few additional costs over the summer – whether from buying extra food to keep hungry kids satisfied or in order to pay for your annual holiday.

To give yourself, and your kids, the most enjoyable time make sure you save money in advance of the season. So far, around one third (34%) of parents do this so follow their example and show your kids the importance of regular budgeting.