We have already seen how some of our very simple tips for working parents can save you money during what can often be an expensive summer break. Below we dig a little deeper into our Family Monsters piggy bank of money-saving tips for parents.
- Have a good clear out: this is one of those perfect activities to involve the whole family – and the perfect time of year to do it! Encourage children (and adults) to dig out and sell any old clothes or toys at your local car boot or tabletop sale. List anything that doesn’t sell online or in a local parent’s group. Great for making some extra pocket money – and if you’re lucky paying for a great day out!
- Get walking: explore your local village, town or nearby city on foot. Walking instead of getting public transport – let alone driving – will definitely save you money and improve your health too. You’ll often find so much right under your noses, it’s a real win-win! Top tip? Look for local landmarks on Google maps before you head out, or simply search for ‘free local walks’ or ‘free walking tours’ online.
- Support your local charity shop: you’ll be amazed what you can find in charity shops these days – and who doesn’t love a bargain! Not only are you likely to find that next birthday gift, work outfit you needed or classic family movie night DVD for next to nothing, you’ll be doing something good by supporting one of our country’s many great and often local charities. (And sometimes it’s great to just window shop!)
- Pack a lunch or even picnic: when you head out for the day, always allow enough time to prepare a simple but healthy packed lunch or better yet picnic. Even if you don’t eat out, all the small drinks and snacks quickly add up, so this can be a real money-saver. And when it comes to picnic fun, don’t let the rain put you off – you can always hold it indoors! For some excellent tips and free resources, check out our Family Monsters Picnic Pack.
- Spread the cost of childcare: if you’re eligible for 15 or 30 hours of free childcare during term time but not school holidays, see if you can spread the cost more evenly across the year to make it easier to manage (and less of a shock come summer).
“check you’re still getting the best deal possible”
- Cut the fixed cost of monthly bills: Fix a date in your diary at least once a year (summer is a great time for this) to check you’re still getting the best deal possible for all your key utilities (not just the more obvious gas and electric, but often just as expensive phone, TV and internet). Shopping around – and sometimes simply asking your current providers – will almost always save a good amount of money for very little time on a price comparison website.
- Don’t forget your child tax credits: very simply, make sure you reapply for any child tax credits before the end of July each year.
Saved money with any of our tips above? Let us know on social media using the hashtag #MyFamilyMonsters. You can also find more ideas, information and support during the summer holidays on our Family Monsters Project website.