School holidays to ‘cost parents £600’ this summer

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Sussex parents are expected to fork out £600 on entertaining their children during the school summer holidays this year, up from £492 in 2014.

The figures, according to the Post Office Money’s annual parents’ summer spending report, are 50 per cent up on 2012.

The research shows that 45 per cent will visit theme parks and museums while 42 per cent will be eating out more. A quarter of parents expect their biggest spending to be on ice cream and sweets.

Henk Van Hulle, director at Post Office Money, said: “This upcoming summer break provides families with the opportunity to come together and enjoy days out – yet the cost of doing so continues to rise year after year.

“Despite this, many parents remain unsure of how they will pay for the costs of entertaining their children. By planning ahead and setting aside money earlier in the year, parents can avoid being stung by surprise expenses or missing bill payments, and enjoy the holidays free of financial fears.”

What do you think? Share your local tips for summer holiday activities, comment below, or via Facebook and Twitter.

Parents also expect to shell out £86 on other people’s children, around £101 on childcare and £146 on fuel to travel to the planned day trips and visits.

Worryingly, 55 per cent of parents are concerned about how they will afford the holidays and 50 per cent feel under pressure to spend as much as other families. 58 per cent have not put money aside to cover the extra spending, even though more than a third (36 per cent) went over budget last year.

The research - conducted by Opinium on behalf of Post Office Money - revealed that 23 per cent of parents will end up paying with their credit card while 10 per cent would borrow money from family or friends. 12 per cent had no idea how they would cover the additional expense. Seven per cent sell items on auction sites such as eBay and 34 per cent of mums and dads would give up buying new clothes for themselves in order to reign in their spending.

Ways parents expect to cover their costs this summer:

Use my credit card 23%

Dip into my savings 18%

Working overtime 18%

I don’t know how I will cover this expense 12%

Loan from friends 10%

Take up a part time job 9%

Selling items on an auction website e.g. eBay 7%

Dip into my children’s savings 2%

Tips for summer holidays on a budget:

Track down deals online, e.g. discounts and 2 for 1 offers for theme parks, the cinema, family days out and restaurants

Offers at local attractions and events organised by your local community, these are often free or inexpensive

Train travel can 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

Whether you’re heading to the park, a museum or simply a day in town, take a packed lunch

Supermarkets deals could save you money on packed lunches

Organise an activity day at home such as cake making, painting, crafts or start a reading club

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