- £460 will be spent by parents entertaining their own and other people’s children this summer
- On top of this, mum and dad’s taxi service will spend an average £119 on petrol
- Some are considering taking a mortgage holiday or skipping household bill paymentsto fund entertainment
As kids’ excitement builds in the lead up to the summer holidays, many parents (56 per cent) are worrying about the cost of not only keeping their own kids amused but also other people’s children too, expecting to shell out an average £460[i] entertaining their own and other people’s children, according to Post Office’s annual Parents’ Summer Spending Report.
Over four in 10 (42 per cent) parents are feeling the pressure to keep up with other parents’ spending, and mounting costs have meant that some are considering taking drastic measures.
In order to fund entertaining the kids this summer, five per cent are considering taking a ‘mortgage holiday’ and a further five per cent may forgo paying household bills. Sixteen per cent plan to cut back on their weekly shop and buy supermarket own brands, while eight per cent will sacrifice a family break in order to pay to keep the kids entertained.
Paying for entrance to attractions, days out, treats and sweets means almost one in five (17 per cent) parents think they may have to rely on their credit cards to help with costs this summer, and a quarter (26 per cent) expect to dip into their savings. Sadly, some stretched parents (17 per cent) plan on working overtime or taking on a part-time job. Over one in ten (13 per cent) will cover costs by selling items on eBay.
Ferrying the children from one place to another is also adding to the mounting costs, with parents expecting to pump £119 into their cars this school holiday. Almost half of parents expect entrance to attractions (43 per cent) will be the biggest expense, followed by eating out (34 per cent), the cost of petrol (27 per cent) and buying treats (26 per cent).
Some (29 per cent) savvy parents have saved money in preparation for the school summer holidays, with 13 per cent setting aside a separate jar of savings and 16 per cent putting money into a separate bank account ahead of the holidays.
Henk Van Hulle, Head of Savings and Investments at Post Office comments: “Parents’ finances are becoming more and more stretched so it’s not surprising so many are worried about the amount spent on entertaining this summer. Six weeks can seem like a long time to keep your kids entertained and pay for it, but there are ways to keep costs down.
“Planning in advance by saving some money each week or putting together a budget with the amount you can afford and planning a calendar of activity can help curb over-spending. Local attractions and events organised by the local community are often free or inexpensive.”
Top tips for saving this summer holiday
Track down deals online, there are great discounts and 2 for 1 offers to be found to theme parks, the cinema, family days out and restaurants
Look out for offers at local attractions and events organised by your local community, these are often free or inexpensive
Travelling by train can also 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 is a great time to make the most of this
Whether you’re heading to the park, a museum or simply a day in town, take a packed lunch as eating out can be expensive
Look out for deals at supermarkets that could save you money on packed lunches or simply eating at home
Organise a fun-filled day at home such as cake making, painting, crafts or start a reading club
With petrol prices remaining high, filling up at a less expensive garage or driving in a way that’s fuel efficient could mean you save extra cash
A day in the garden or helping with the gardening can be just as fun as a day out at an amusement park and may save you some time on gardening yourself!
 Research conducted by Opinium on behalf of Post Office between 14 to 17 June 2013. 2,004 online interviews took place, of which 601 were parents with children aged 18 and below. Parents expect to spend £65.25 a week entertaining their own children – 6 X£65.25 = £391.50. Parents expect to spend £68.61 entertaining their friend’s children from July to September £409.50. £391.50 + £68.61 = £460.11
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