Friday 15 July 2016

Finance Fridays – School holidays on a budget

Welcome to this week's Finance Fridays. Last week we were looking at some of the details of matched betting. This week we are thinking about cutting the costs of keeping the kids entertained during those long summer holidays. Some of the ideas I've listed have been tried and tested by us over the years whilst others are on this year's to-do list.

Summer reading challenge – My daughter loves doing the annual Summer reading challenge. Sign up for it at your local library. The main thing children have to do is read six books throughout the holidays but there's also games to play and competitions to take part in.

Build a den – My pair don't need any encouragement for den building especially indoors. Expect to find duvets missing from beds and demands of food to be eaten in it!

Make a island map – Go small or go big on your map. It can be done in a day or added to over a number of days. I always liked to include a swamp and quicksand for some reason. If your children have any small figures be they animals or humans they can base the map on that.

Loo roll crafts – Never throw out a loo roll in the summer! They can be used make binoculars, indoor skittles, snakes or characters for a puppet show. The list is endless.

Water parks – Sounds expensive? Think again you will be surprised how many are council run and free. In Sheffield the jets coming out of the Peace Gardens are always popular. Over in Clifton Park at Rotherham the Water Splash area is an acre big and even has changing rooms available all at no cost.

Make use of memberships – We have family memberships for English Heritage, National Trust and a local gardens. Not only do they allow us free entry throughout the year but often during the summer when they have special events and trails.

Make a film – Lights, action, camera! My kids love recording themselves. It's purely for their own pleasure so I'm not talking about sharing it with the world. Sometimes there's a script but often it is totally improvised.

Watch a film – If your children are a little camera shy check out the selection of films at reduced prices. The three big cinema chains, Cineworld, Odeon and Vue, all have special showings with lower prices. The films are usually a couple of months old and start between 9.30am and 10.30am. Make sure you book in advance as they quite often sell out.

Nectar offers – If you prefer to see the latest film then have a look at the latest offer from Nectar. Until 9th August 2016 you can exchange 1,000 points, usually worth £5, for 2 cinema tickets for Vue. Once you have exchanged your points you have until 30th September 2016 to use the voucher. For another 1,000 points you can also get a voucher for 2 pizzas at PizzaExpress. If you have enough points there is no limit to the number of vouchers you can swap your points for so the whole family can enjoy a treat.

What do you like to do in the school holidays? Have you any tips for keeping the cost down?

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Finance Fridays

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  1. I am doing the cimima vouchers with our points. it is ace.

  2. I can't wait until they break up - we've got so many plans ;-)

  3. I just got some of those Nectar Pizza Express deals yesterday, £5 for 2 pizzas is a bargain! Mich x

  4. Great tips! It's so easy to forget the local library, but they always make a big effort for the holidays.

  5. So many great ideas to beat the summer holiday boredom, and not spend to much money either!

  6. Great ideas for summer holidays!

  7. We have lots of plans for the holidays, many of which involve the beach


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