With many families struggling with their personal finances, some are facing debt problems as result of paying for days out this summer and others are looking to local free attractions for their children’s entertainment.
According to moneysupermarket.com, nearly 20% of parents expect that paying for days out over the summer will push them into the red. As a result many will turn to credit cards or an overdraft facility, some though will take out a loan.
Family days out can quickly add up, for example a seemingly simple trip to Legoland can cost around £300*, taking into account entry fees, travel and food.
Kevin Mountford, head of banking at moneysupermarket.com said: “Families need to examine all options before planning their summer fun or they could be left feeling the pinch for many months to come.
“For those planning to use their credit card to pay for activities, having the right plastic in their wallet can save them some serious cash this summer. A product like the M&S Credit Card, which offers zero per cent on purchases for 15 months could be a good option for those shelling out for days out as they can manage their repayments without incurring interest.
There are also a number of reward cards which offer discount on a variety of activities including shopping, petrol and eating out and can help to trim the final cost of family activities.”
Planning ahead can help minimise summer spending – making use of voucher codes, booking tickets in advance for example and seeking out local free attractions can help.
Also rather than spending out on food and drink whilst out, it can be a lot cheaper to take your own picnic – you can make having the picnic a fun part of the day too!
If you’ve collected rewards on your supermarket shopping, for example by using a Tesco Clubcard or Sainsbury’s Nectar card you can exchange these for vouchers to such as theme parks or to use at restaurants.
MoneyHighStreet said: “With so much financial worry being experienced by many families, the last thing to do is to add potential debt problems by overspending on summer entertaining. Taking out a loan that you can’t really afford to repay is certainly not a good option either.’
“Being sensible and making use of free attractions is a must – while the weather holds a trip to the beach or local park can be very rewarding and the children can certainly use up their energy building sandcastles or kicking a ball around!”
* Entry cost: £147.20 (2 x adults -£42.40, 2 x children – £31.20).Train tickets (Birmingham to Windsor): £108.00 (adult singles x 4 at £19.00, child singles x 4 at £9.50). Ice creams – £ 6.00. Lunch – £50.00. Total £311.20