- Over the six week period, parents will spend £492 entertaining their children – a 26 per cent increase on last year
- On top of this, an average £119 will be spent on petrol and a further £106 on childcare
- Summer worries: almost two thirds (58 per cent) of parents worry about the cost of entertaining their children
- One in 10 would miss bill payments in order to cover costs
UK parents will splash out £492[i] entertaining their children this summer – a 26 per cent increase on last year suggesting that parents are feeling a renewed sense of confidence, according to Post Office’s annual Parents’ Summer Spending Report. Parents also expect to see further damage done to their bank balance as they shell out £66 on other people’s children, £106 on childcare and £119 on petrol.
While children all over the UK are eagerly awaiting the summer holidays, more parents than ever before (58 per cent) are still fretting about the cost of keeping their kids entertained – despite planning to spend more. Worryingly, nearly half of all parents (46 per cent) also feel under pressure to keep up with other parents’ spending.
To cover costs, one in four parents expect to dip into savings (24 per cent), and a further 16 per cent would consider stopping saving altogether to make ends meet. Nearly one in five will rely on their credit card (18 per cent), while 17 per cent are prepared to work overtime to boost the family’s monthly budgets. In an effort to keep costs down, one in 10 (12 per cent) will rely on auction sites to pay for activities over the summer holiday. [see full table in Notes to Eds]
When it comes to spending, the bulk of money will be spent on admission for various attractions, including theme parks and museums (47 per cent), while two in five parents (42 per cent) also plan to spend a significant amount eating out. A family holiday abroad is where nearly a third of all parents (29 per cent) expect to spend the most of their money. This is nearly double the amount of parents who planned to head off last year (15 per cent), perhaps indicating that the average family is feeling more confident about their finances. [see full table in Notes to Eds]
Many mums and dads would also consider making personal sacrifices. A third of all parents would give up buying new clothes (34 per cent), while others would miss out on their regular takeaways (34 per cent) and resist buying treats such as magazines or coffees (34 per cent) this summer. Others would be forced to rely on more drastic methods as they watch their bank balance. Nearly one in ten (eight per cent) admitted that they would skip paying household bills and around one in twenty (six per cent) might take another type of holiday – this time from their mortgage payments. [see full table in Notes to Eds]
However, two out of five savvy parents (41 per cent) have saved in advance for their summer holiday expenses. This represents a 12 per cent increase on the number of parents who planned ahead in 2013 (29 per cent) indicating that families have learned lessons from previous summers, with 29 per cent admitting that they spent more than they expected to last year entertaining their children.
Nick Kennett, Director of Financial Services at Post Office comments: “The significant rise in parents’ spending this summer may be due to families feeling a renewed sense of confidence as the signs of economic recovery take hold.
“The summer holidays are an exciting time for all and while it’s important to keep your children entertained during the summer break, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and budget wisely. There are a number of ways to manage your finances, including options such as credit cards, savings and overdraft facilities, but it's important to work out which one best suits your needs. It’s encouraging to see such a significant rise in the number of people saving in advance to cover their costs this year.”
Top tips for enjoying your summer holiday on a budget
- Track down deals online, there are great discounts and 2 for 1 offers to be found to theme parks, the cinema, family days out and restaurants
- Look out for offers at local attractions and events organised by your local community, these are often free or inexpensive
- Travelling by train can also 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 is a great time to make the most of this
- Whether you’re heading to the park, a museum or simply a day in town, take a packed lunch as eating out can be expensive
- Look out for deals at supermarkets that could save you money on packed lunches or simply eating at home
- Organise a fun-filled day at home such as cake making, painting, crafts or start a reading club
- Filling up at a less expensive garage or driving in a way that’s fuel efficient could mean you save extra cash
- A day in the garden or helping with the gardening can be just as fun as a day out at an amusement park and may save you some time on gardening yourself!
[i] Research conducted by Opinium on behalf of Post Office between 30 May to 02 June 2014. 2,004 online interviews took place, of which 585 were parents with children aged 18 and below. Parents expect to spend £82 a week entertaining their own children – 6 X £82 = £492. The cost in 2013 was £391.50.
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What parents expect to spend the most money on
% of parents
Entrance to attractions
A holiday abroad
Treats – sweets/ice-creams
Holiday clubs/summer camps
Toys/Books/ Computer games
How parents expect to cover summer costs
% of parents
Dip into savings
Use credit card
Sell items on an auction website
Loan from family
Loan from friends
Take on a part-time job
Dip into children’s savings
What parents would consider sacrificing to cover summer costs
% of parents
Buying new clothes for themselves/partner
Buying treats e.g. magazines, coffee etc.
Putting money into savings
The cost of the weekly shop
Paying household bills
Gym/sports club membership
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About the Post Office
The Post Office (Post Office Limited) has an unrivalled national network of over 11,500 branches across the UK, more than all the high street banks combined, and sits at the heart of communities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. The Post Office has made a commitment to maintaining its network of branches at its current size and reach. It provides around 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.
The Post Office serves over 17 million customers a week and a third of small businesses. Some 99.7% of the total population live within three miles of a post office and over 97% live with one mile of a post office. For many rural communities, the post office is the only retail outlet. Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information, visit http://www.postoffice.co.uk/.
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