Most parents would agree that year upon year, summertime proves itself to be the most expensive season for families. As much as we love having our young ones close to us for the summer vacation sometimes the cost of keeping them occupied 24/7 can cause strain on our budgets. From holidays to the purchase of school provisions for the coming term, it can quickly add up and if you are not careful then summer enjoyment could soon become financial torment.
Now, by no means is this to suggest that you rush out to get a refund on your frisbees and paddling pools or trade in your yummy barbeques for soggy sandwiches. However this article will explore simple ways that you can have high quality fun this summer at low-cost prices.
Entertainment doesn't have to be expensive
Throughout the year many families accumulate masses of household items which simply get stowed away and forgotten about. You know the ones that I mean; the ice cream maker you got at a bargain price in the January sales or the industrial sized inflatable pool that has been gathering dust since three summers ago.
The sunny season can be a perfect time to make the most of such items. Although parks and the beach are free themselves; petrol costs, lunches, snacks, toys, spending money and other expenses are often overlooked. Before you know it, you can find that you have spent significantly more than envisaged on days out. Bringing the adventures indoors can be a more cost-effective option and by no means does this mean that you should skimp on the fun factor!
Invite a couple of other families to your house â€“ not only does this mean that you and your kids will both have people to keep you company but it also means the other parents are more likely to return the favour of accommodating you at a later date! Propose a picnic or barbeque and make a polite suggestion that everyone brings some treats to save money on providing all the food. This could also be a perfect time to get the kids involved in making fun ice cream flavours to try out on all their friends at the picnic (perfect for â€˜hiding' fresh fruit in too!). Blow up the paddling pool, polish off the outdoor furniture and you're ready for a perfect summer stay trip that costs next to nothing!
Cost-free summer adventures
Remember how hard your youngest daughter begged for that expensive shiny pink bike or how your eldest son persuaded you that he needed the state-of-the-art tennis racket for his school match? So why have they been discarded away in the garage for as long as you can remember?
Such possessions do not come cheap and making sure that material items are appreciated will also help to teach your child the value of money rather than seeing it as a disposable source. There is no better time for a bike ride or a game of tennis than a summer's day. Energetic activities are a perfect way to help your kids let off some steam. They also help to ensure that they are getting all the exercise that they need to burn off the summer barbecue and the best bit is that most of them are completely free! Try and cut out on using the car as much over summer, hop on your bike with the children and save on petrol cost, parking fees and traffic delays while you get fit!
Minimise your vacation costs
Vacations can be one of the biggest summer expenditures for families as with the cost of flights, accommodation, travel expenses and the holiday spending can amount to thousands. Despite the growing popularity of the staycation, many families are keen to dismiss it however the financial benefits of bringing the holiday to you can be huge.
If you are strapped for cash then do not rule it out and consider the memories that can be made on a adventure-filled camping trip of such like.
Many of us are lucky enough to have some of the most beautiful surroundings close by which we do not reap the benefits of and often stripping back the extravagances of a vacation can help to focus on what they are really about; spending time with the ones you care about the most.
If you are going abroad there are many ways that you can make your holiday as cheap as possible whilst not compromising on enjoyment. In the first instance, if you are saving up for your vacation make sure that your chosen savings option gives you the highest returns on your money â€“ seeking relevant financial advice could help you to find to savings option best suited to your needs. Shopping around can also save you hundreds on both your holiday and also travel insurance and foreign currency. Also try trading in the use of your credit card for a prepaid currency card to help you budget, control your spending and avoid hefty charges for foreign uses.