Whether you are looking to get away, thinking about how to entertain the kids, or you are just wanting to make the most of getting out an about at home, there are ways you can be smart with your money.
If you know what you are likely to be doing, there’s no reason why you can’t start thinking now about how you can save money. Create a budget of what you would like to do and roughly how much it would all cost. If you find yourself wildly off budget, then be realistic about what you can afford. For example, do you need to go abroad this year or could you try camping in the UK instead? Could you plan some fun activities at home instead of going away for the weekend? It is better to say ‘no’ now rather than find yourself in financial difficulty later.
If you’re headed abroad, have a look at price comparison sites for the best deals on airlines or hotels, TravelSupermarket.com or Skyscanner are a good place to start. It’s worth noting that budget airlines are cheaper when you book two or three months in advance, but package holidays are cheaper when booked last minute. Also, have a think about when you travel because according to Which? Research, it’s 35% cheaper to fly on a Tuesday than a Friday and 45% more expensive to come back on a Sunday! Remember to book your airport parking in advance to get the best deal and try travelmoneymax.com for the best currency exchange rates.
If a holiday abroad is not on your agenda, why not see what this country has to offer? Visitbritain.com is a great website for ideas that include all the best of British culture, countryside, heritage, food and entertainment and suggestions to suit your budget. There are also lots of websites offering discounts on eating out and activities such as Groupon or Vouchercodes. These savings can really add up so don’t be afraid to suggest cheaper alternatives to your friends – they will probably appreciate the savings too!
Kids go free
As for activities for the kids, MoneySavingExpert.com has a great list of free and cheap ideas to keep them entertained over the school holidays. Your local council or library may also list some free events happening in your area. If you do plan taking them to a theme park or major attraction, then see what deals and vouchers there are beforehand, and remember to take a packed lunch instead of spending lots on food.
Save now and pay less
With so much credit readily available, why would you bother saving when you can pay later? It may be a quick fix to your financial situation, but a lot of us end up spending far more than we needed to. For example, a £900 holiday paid back on credit over a year could end up costing you £1,057. That’s £150 you could have put towards your next trip. Saving is effectively the same as paying back each month what you borrowed just the other way around and without the interest or the stress if you fall behind in your repayments.
Getting into debt is very easy but a lot harder to get out of. However, if you’re struggling don’t worry, we can help. Try a free CAP Money Course for help with budgeting, or for free debt help call us today on 0800 328 0006 or go to capuk.org.