Summer holidays on a budget

Written by Hannah S on 12 August 2021

Whether you’re planning to take a trip or stay closer to home, the key to planning how to spend your summer holidays is to manage your budget and do some research on what’s affordable for your family.

Research what’s available

Depending on your financial circumstances, it may seem difficult to find options for the summer holidays. However, there are resources available to find local activities for you and your family.

  • Are there any activities or clubs running at the village hall or local community centre?
  • If you have kids, is their school offering any summer activities?
  • Is there a park, swimming pool, or museum nearby? What exploring can you do in shared spaces?

Making free fun at home

There are also several ways to keep your family entertained through the summer months without spending much money at all.

Take advantage of outdoor spaces

Do you have a garden? Is there a park nearby? Planting fruit, vegetables, and flowers can be a constructive and educational way to spend the summer months.
Many families are also finding joy in painting rocks and pebbles which they leave in public spaces for others to find.
You may also have noticed little doors in trees when you go on a family walk. Setting up a ‘fairy garden’ or home can be a magical way to build something with your kids. All you need is some outside space and a bit of creative thinking.

Take advantage of what’s in the house

Have you got a bag of flour that hasn’t been touched in a few months? Why not try out baking some treats or experimenting with something more exotic like making slime?
If you’re working or don’t have time to supervise time in the kitchen, why not assign your kids a scavenger hunt? Or ask them to find a book on the shelf and draw a picture of their favorite part of the story?
Remember, there’s no shame in having a movie night either. Instead of going to the cinema, snuggle up on the couch and watch a classic adventure film, and then ask your kids how they would handle the same situations.

Build a budget

Building a budget should always be the first step in working out what you can afford to do. There are various templates and products available to help you with this, but here are the key things you should include:

    • Your household income

How much do you make? How much does your partner make? Do you have any additional income, such as benefits or family support?

    • Your regular bills

What expenses do you know you have every month? This should include bills for water, electricity, gas, internet, mobile phone, and car insurance – among others.

    • Your food costs

How much do you need to spend on feeding your family every month?

    • Credit cards and payment agreements

Do you have monthly credit card payments? Do you have any debts with payment arrangements already set up? If so, it’s really important you keep up with these payments, so make sure they’re included.

    • Any other costs

Do you need money to travel to work? How about new clothes for your kids? What products do you use for self-care?

Once you have your budget, subtract your expenses from your income, and see how much money you have left over. Is there anywhere you could make cutbacks?

Common places where it may be possible to reduce spending include:

  • Meals out and takeaways
  • Leisure and entertainment
  • Socialising
  • Clothing and cosmetics

Good financial wellbeing means managing your money effectively and understanding the impact your finances can have on every aspect of your life, both good and bad. Find out more about how to improve your financial wellbeing.


Filed under Money Management

This article was checked and deemed to be correct as at the above publication date, but please be aware that some things may have changed between then and now. So please don't rely on any of this information as a statement of fact, especially if the article was published some time ago.

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