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Top tips to avoid the summer spending squeeze

Written by Ipswich Building Society

1 Aug 2019


Personal finance, Summer, Summer holidays

4 min read

For most families, the summer holidays are the most expensive time of the year – whether it’s covering childcare costs or just finding activities to fill those long summer days, the strain on the family finances is seemingly never-ending. But while it’s not always easy to make the pennies stretch until September, there are a few life hacks you can learn along the way to help you get through it.

So without further ado, here are our top tips to making your money go further this summer:

Preparation is key

Unlike some unexpected costs, summer comes at literally the same time every year – which means you can prepare for it.

Saving just a little bit each month can go a long way – just £50 per month from Christmas until the summer would net you a cool £350 to get the summer holidays off to a flying start. But don’t go spending it all at once – instead, try setting a budget for each day or week and stick to it! Even if saving isn’t an option, a budget can help you manage your money and hopefully stave off a nasty shock when your September credit card statement lands on the mat.

If you’re heading abroad, keep an eye on those exchange rates and be aware of ‘stuff’ happening on the news so you can pick the best time to get your euros, dollars or whatever else it might be. And of course, use a price comparison site and shop around for the best rate.

Eat smarter – and better

If you’re having a day out in the sun, save the pennies by bringing a pack-up lunch rather than going straight for a hot dog and chips from the nearest greasy spoon – you’ll be saving on calories as well as money, and next time you’ll have more to spend when you do actually need to.

And remember, quick meals at the end of the day don’t come cheap either – try prepping a dinner in the morning or the night before so all you need to do is bung it in the oven when you get home. We Brits spend a whopping £9.8bn on takeaways annually – around £456 per person. Even just cutting that down by a third would free up a bit of extra cash to save or put towards the summer.

The best things in life are free

You don’t have to spend money to have a good time (honestly!). Do a quick Google and see what’s around – there are often loads of free fairs and events going on in summer, particularly if you live in a large town or city. Or, why not pay a visit to an art gallery or museum – most are free and can provide more than a few hours of intrigue and entertainment.

Of course, you could just keep things simple – a walk and a picnic in the park is a good chunk of the day that won’t leave your purse-strings feeling too much lighter.

Leave it to the kids

It’s nearing the end of the holidays and you’re fed up of bearing the burden – so why not see what the kids come up with by themselves?

Try setting them a budget and seeing what their ideas are – not only will you be building up their financial and budgeting skills, they’ll likely feel more involved as you’ve outsourced some of the responsibility to them. You might even be surprised with what they come up with!

If you’re finding it difficult to save for the summer and your kids still think money grows on trees, why not open your child their very own savings account? We believe in teaching our youngsters financial responsibility to help them build the skills they’ll need in the future – and to help them on their savings journey, they’ll also get a free piggy bank* so they can start saving right from the word go!

More info and terms and conditions on all of our accounts can be found here.

*while stocks last

Our savings products are available to existing members and new members resident in the following postcode areas: IP, NR, CO, CM, CB and PE.

This article was published under our previous name of Ipswich Building Society. We changed our name in 2021 – find out more.

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