The countdown is on until we have 6 weeks off with the kids for the Summer holidays, like me you may be feeling the pinch after the half term and may be having a mild panic about the long Summer fast approaching. Those 6 weeks can certainly be expensive whether you are heading off on holiday or just entertaining the children at home/with days out or even having to pay out for childcare so you can still work – not many can take 6 weeks off to look after the kids.
I guess this is where I am extremely lucky in that being self employed and working from home that I don’t have to pay out for childcare but working to a set routine is impossible when the kids are around, in fact working while they are awake is near-on impossible too so I do find myself burning the midnight oil and answer emails during the day when I can and writing/working in the evenings when they are in bed.
We have a summer holiday booked, and thankfully paid off already – we are all going away for my Mum’s 60th and can’t wait, but I will need to tighten the purse strings in order to get us through the long summer. Cut backs will be made just in case I am unable to work as much during that period – the kids will still have lots of fun but I am creative with money in order to make it last.
My tips on how to save money for Summer are:
- Make birthday cards with the kids instead of buying them – there are a LOT of birthday’s and anniversaries coming up and while cards are only a few pounds a time we can get a pack of coloured card for the price of one card, and homemade cards are so much nicer anyway.
- Shop in the sales – as above presents may need to be purchased for these occasions but you don’t have to pay full price. Keep an eye on the sales, pop items into your Amazon wishlist, so you are alerted when the prices changes (we love to give craft products – ideally mess free ones), take advantage of 3 for 2 offers etc.
- Enter competitions – it is a fantastic time of year to find some amazing competitions – you’ll find lots on MSE or even on Facebook and Twitter, search the social media sites for hashtags #Win, #Giveaway, #Competition or even search for that toy which is on the kids wish list #Hatchimals Giveaway or similar. You may not be lucky with competitions BUT you’ll NEVER win unless you at least enter and there has to be a winner – it could be you. I’m currently searching for washing machine competitions as mine is on the way out.
- Meal plan – by planning which meals you will eat for every day of the week you will not only reduce your food waste but save money as you won’t be buying extras just because you see them in the supermarket.
- Collect coupons – cereal boxes are a great place to start, they have money off vouchers for theme parks etc which are great to use over the summer holidays, newspapers, local what’s on guides or just search online are other ways to find discount codes – also follow company social media pages as they often promote offers/cheap days etc.
- Using Tesco clubcard points for days out/meals etc and NOT to take money off of your food shop – we have all been tempted in the past to use those vouchers to reduce the food bill however while that £10 voucher may take £10 off of your shop it could be used in the clubcard boost instead giving you 4 times the voucher value. I always exchange mine for Pizza Express voucher codes and my £10 then turns into £40 to spend in Pizza Express, I also exchange them for days out. Of course this is changing VERY soon so if you are saving them up I would advise exchanging them before they reduce in value (I exchanged ours for Flambards theme park vouchers this week – £20 in clubcard vouchers gave me £80 to spend on entry – for 5 of us it would have cost £91.75 otherwise).
- See if you are owed any money back from your bank – I reclaimed my PPI and have a post about how I did this here, you can also see if you are eligible for mortgage claims – if you were sold a mortgage after 31st October 2004 you maybe able to claim if you believe you were mis-sold.
- Check you are on the correct energy/gas tariffs, you can compare prices online – also make sure you are sending through your correct usage instead of allowing the companies to estimate your usage, remember you’ll not have the heating on over the summer so your bills won’t be the same as during winter.
- Also take some time to shop around when your insurance renewal quotes come in – it’s so easy to just let them auto renew for ease but it’s not always the easiest option.
- Answer surveys, watch videos and shop online – I do all of these on a daily basis but do them through Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (SB – Swagbucks), for things you often do online anyway. You can then exchange these points for gift cards for Amazon, Paypal cash, MasterCard and many other places – I save my giftcards up and use them for birthday presents etc. – You can sign up here if you would like – earn 500SB before 1st July and you’ll be given a bonus 500SB.
Are you ready for the long summer holidays?
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