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The increasing cost of summer: Kids entertainment costs up 25% over the last five years

Press release   •   Jun 24, 2019 15:41 BST

  • Parents set to spend £624 entertaining their children this summer – a total of £9.1 billion across the UK
  • Parents who have put away money in advance of the holidays underestimate the cost of summer by £373
  • Two out of three (65%) parents worry about covering the costs of summer
  • One in five parents (21%) will dip into their existing savings and one in 10 (10%) will take out a loan to fund summer fun
  • Post Office Money provides top tips to help parents prepare and save for the costs of summer

As the summer holidays near, parents across the UK expect to spend £9.1 billion entertaining their children this summer – an average of £624 each, according to the Post Office Money annual Parents’ Summer Spending report.1 These costs have increased by 25% since 2014.

More than half (55%) of parents putting money away think they have saved enough for the summer; having stashed a summer pot of £251. However, to cover the full costs associated with the summer holidays, parents should expect to spend a further £373. An increased number of parents are worried about covering these costs (65%). [Annual costs since 2013 in notes to editors]

Parents are planning to get out and about to entertain their children this summer, with entrance to attractions, such as theme parks, topping the list of expenses this year (42%), followed by eating out (34%) and holidays abroad (24%)2. In addition to these activities, parents will also be faced with necessary expenses, spending an additional £137 on fuel3, £108 on childcare and £73 treating their children’s friends – potentially pushing the total summer spend to £942.

Parents are planning ahead to ensure they’re prepared for the summer costs, with half (51%) saving for more than one month, and one in eight (13%) putting money away over the last six months. Other parents expect to cover these costs by dipping into savings (21%), using a credit card (17%) and working overtime (16%). One in 10 (10%) will rely on a loan from family, friends or the bank. Parents who have taken out credit or a loan will take an average of three months to repay.

Setting a budget can help keep summer expenditure manageable, however a third of parents (37%) admitted to spending more than they expected in 2018. As a result, one in five (22%) have saved more for the holidays this year than last year.

Chrysanthy Pispinis, Director, Post Office Money comments: “It’s no surprise parents feel the pressure mounting as the school holidays get nearer, particularly as our research shows that parents have only saved 40% of the costs they can expect to incur entertaining their children. The cost of summer has continued to rise over the last couple of years, with a growing number of parents (68%) concerned about where they’ll find the money to cover these costs.

“Getting into the habit of saving in advance and setting a budget, can help you manage your expenses and avoid overspending. However, saving money in advance isn’t always a possibility, with families citing the cost of living as their biggest barrier to saving. To help, we have produced some top tips that will help you keep your children entertained and manage your finances along the way. Furthermore, our How to Save Money calculatorcan help you understand your outgoings, and help you identify areas to save money.”

Post Office Money’s top tips to prepare for the costs of summer:

  • Plan ahead – outlining your intended weekly spend during the summer months can help you stick to your outlined budget and avoid any unanticipated overspend. The Post Office Money How to Save Money calculator can help you understand your spending and areas to save money.
  • Track down deals online in advance, e.g. two-for-one offers can be found for theme parks, the cinema, family days out and restaurants.
  • Make the most of the great outdoors – take a picnic to the park, organise a treasure hunt or set up a paddling pool if the weather is nice.
  • If travelling by train you can keep the costs down if you book tickets in advance and avoid travelling at peak times. Also, family travel cards can help cut down costs and even offer additional discounts on attractions.
  • Find free or low-cost events that are fun for all the family, whether it’s an exhibition or a mini festival, keep an eye out for events in your area.


For more information, please contact:

Lily Cunningham, PR & Campaigns Manager Post Office

Twitter @postofficenews


0207 566 9702 / 0207 294 3638

Notes to Editors:

1 Opinium conducted a survey amongst 1,005 parents of children aged 18 and under between the 10 June and 13 June 2019

Parents expect to spend £104 a week entertaining their own children – 6 X £104 = £624

Summer expenditure year-on-year:

2019 £624
2018 £594
2017 £468
2016 £546
2015 £600
2014 £492
2013 £460

2 Top entertaining expenses parents expect:

Entrance to attractions e.g. trips to theme parks, museums, indoor play centres 42%
Eating out 34%
Treats – sweets / ice cream 26%
A holiday abroad 24%
Sporting activities 20%
Shopping outings 16%
Holiday clubs / summer camps 15%

3 Amongst those parents who drive.

About Post Office Money

Post Office Money, launched in January 2015, brings together all of Post Office’s multi-award winning financial products under one umbrella and seeks to better respond to ever changing customer needs, making sure the Post Office matters even more tomorrow than it does today. Post Office Money is available in branch, over the phone or online.

Bank of Ireland has supported customers in the UK for many decades and provides financial services products to Post Office [Money] customers.

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