Now that the school holidays are on us, or very close depending on where you live, parents are under pressure to keep children amused. And we seem to associate that with spending money on them. Which is not necessarily a good idea in these financially challenging times for many.
So this is a very short piece that says you don’t need to spend a lot of money to keep your kids happy! There are lots of things that they can do that don’t cost money, and there are lots of places that you can take them that still allow free entry. Museums, parks, gardens and libraries are all open throughout the summer months and many of them don’t charge. Some of them might need a little bit more thought than normal but it will be worth it. Think of the money you’ll save! And your kids might learn something new as well.
If you do have to spend money – either to go on holiday of to keep the kids amused at home, then there are some golden rules that you need to be aware of:
- Don’t stop paying your regular bills to give you extra money for the summer.
- Don’t use your mortgage or rent money to go on holiday.
- Check the rate you have to pay if you take out a loan or credit card to pay for holidays.
- Don’t, ever, use your credit card to withdraw cash.
But the most important bit of advice we can give you is that you need to plan. It’s really too late to do that for this summer but to be organised for next year you need to get a grip on what you spend. Compare it to what you earn every month and try to make sure that the money you spend is spent as efficiently as possible so that you can put a little bit aside every month. That way there will be a bit in the bank in time for the next holiday.