Today our guest blog is from Charli, who writes over at One Wage Family, here she gives us her top tips for saving money with the kids over half term!
Another half term is nearly upon us and that means many parents are faced with the task of keeping the kids entertained! Days out and activities often mean spending money, which not everybody can afford. February half term in particular can be a struggle for parents, with the often gloomy weather and being close to Christmas and the financial hit that brings. Thankfully however, there are many ways to entertain the kids without breaking the bank! Here are my six tips for saving money during half term.
Check for discount vouchersIf you are planning any trips out to attractions then always check first for relevant discount codes or vouchers. There are many sites now where you can find great deals. The Money Saving Expert site has a page dedicated to deals including those for days out. Groupon also has some fantastic offers for cheap tickets to places, so is worth checking ahead of half term. To make life easier, in many cases you just need to show a code or purchase on your smartphone, so no need to worry about printing them off.
Find free activitiesHaving fun doesn’t have to mean spending money! The great outdoors offers many ways to keep kids busy, whether its playing on the playground, riding bikes or building dens. Other places to amuse the kids for free are libraries and museums. Many museums offer free entry and not only that, some organise special events during school holidays. Likewise the National Trust hosts activities for kids during half term and many are free to attend. Local councils also often organise free activities for school-aged kids. Check out your local council’s website as you may find something for your children to do that doesn’t cost a penny.
Make a planIt can be a good idea to make a plan for every day of the school holidays. What days will you be going out and where and when will you be staying in? The benefit to having a plan for half term is that you are less likely to spend extra money on unplanned things like eating out. It can help you stick to a budget and work out how much you will spend for the week.
Take a trip to the cinemaThe Cinema can often be an expensive outing especially if you have a large family to buy tickets for and you normally buy food and drinks there. During half term however, many cinema chains offer cheaper screenings for kids. These usually take place in the morning and cost a lot less than normal ticket prices. If you take your own drinks and snacks then the Cinema can make an inexpensive trip out!
Look for local holiday clubsFor working parents, school holidays can mean needing to pay for childcare. Holiday clubs are a common form of childcare and not all cost the earth especially ones run by schools or charities. It is definitely worth doing some research as costs can vary from place to place and you want to find one that is good value. Ask locals for recommendation and book in advance if you do want to book a holiday club that is popular.
Talk to other mums and dadsOther parents will be in the same boat and so you may be able to help each other out during half term. Taking it in turns to host play-dates will keep the kids happy and doesn’t cost anything. If you need childcare then sharing with a friend can work well and save you all money. Half term doesn’t have to be expensive. Hopefully these tips show that you can spend less and still have a fun week with the kids!
Charli’s blog, One Wage Family, is all about her experiences saving and making money as a stay-at-home mum.