School holidays to ‘cost parents £600’ this summer

How are you going to entertain the children over the summer holiday? And how much do you think it will cost?
How are you going to entertain the children over the summer holiday? And how much do you think it will cost?
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Parents are expected to fork out £600 on entertaining their children during the school summer holidays this year, up from £492 in 2014.

The figures, according to the Post Office Money’s annual parents’ summer spending report, are 50% up on 2012.

The research shows 45% will visit theme parks and museums while 42% will be eating out more. A quarter of parents expect their biggest spending to be on ice cream and sweets.

Henk Van Hulle, director at Post Office Money, said: “This upcoming summer break provides families with the opportunity to come together and enjoy days out – yet the cost of doing so continues to rise year after year.

“Despite this, many parents remain unsure of how they will pay for the costs of entertaining their children. By planning ahead and setting aside money earlier in the year, parents can avoid being stung by surprise expenses or missing bill payments, and enjoy the holidays free of financial fears.”

Parents also expect to shell out £86 on other people’s children, around £101 on childcare and £146 on fuel to travel to the planned day trips and visits.

This upcoming summer break provides families with the opportunity to come together and enjoy days out – yet the cost of doing so continues to rise year after year

Henk Van Hulle, director at Post Office Money

Worryingly, 55% of parents are concerned about how they will afford the holidays and 50% feel under pressure to spend as much as other families. 58% have not put money aside to cover the extra spending, even though more than a third (36%) went over budget last year.

The research - conducted by Opinium on behalf of Post Office Money - revealed 23% of parents will end up paying with their credit card while 10% would borrow money from family or friends. 12% had no idea how they would cover the additional expense. Seven per cent sell items on auction sites such as eBay and 34% of mums and dads would give up buying new clothes for themselves to reign in their spending.

Ways parents expect to cover their costs this summer:

Use my credit card 23%

Dip into my savings 18%

Working overtime 18%

I don’t know how I will cover this expense 12%

Loan from friends 10%

Take up a part time job 9%

Selling items on an auction website e.g. eBay 7%

Dip into my children’s savings 2%

Tips for summer holidays on a budget:

Track down deals online, e.g. discounts and 2 for 1 offers for theme parks, the cinema, family days out and restaurants

Offers at local attractions and events organised by your community, these are often free or inexpensive

Train travel can be cheaper if you book tickets in advance and avoid travelling at peak times

Some museums have free entry throughout the year and the summer break

Whether you’re heading to the park, a museum or simply a day in town, take a packed lunch

Supermarkets deals could save you money on packed lunches

Organise an activity day at home such as cake making, painting, crafts or start a reading club