- The cost of entertaining kids has increased by 25% in the last year as parents splash out to beat the heat
- While half of parents (55%) think they have saved enough money to cover the cost of the school holidays – on average they are only saving 53% of the average cost of the summer (£316)
- One in four parents (25%) will put their saving habits on hold to entertain children over the summer
- Post Office and parenting bloggers provides helpful hints to help parents avoid the summer savings squeeze
As the summer holidays begin, parents across the UK are expecting to spend £7.8 billion entertaining their children this summer – an average of £594 per parent, according to the Post Office Money annual Parents’ Summer Spending report.*
The costs associated with the summer holidays have increased by a quarter (25%) in 2018, and 30% over the past five years. The higher spend this year may be an indicator of general consumer confidence as families are willing to spend more on entertaining their children, however many parents are still understandably concerned, with 61% worried about covering the cost.
Summer expenditure year-on-year:
With no sign of an end to the summer heatwave, parents are planning to get out and about to entertain their children, with eating out topping the list of expected expenses this year (47%), followed by entrance to attractions (45%)**. In addition to fun activities, parents will spend £117 on fuel, £86 treating their children’s friends and £93 on childcare – pushing the total summer expenditure to £980. Children of primary school age cost more on average than those in preschool or secondary school, with their parents expecting to spend an average of £684 on them this summer.Parents are planning ahead to make sure they’re prepared for the cost of the holidays; with one in five (19%) putting money away since February. Over half (55%) of parents believe they have saved enough to cover the cost of summer, with those who have put money away saving on average £316. Despite parents saving money in advance, the amount they have put away is 53% less than the average spend expected per parent, suggesting parents will need to find other ways to top up the family funds.
As well as saving specifically for the summer, dipping into other existing savings (28%), using a credit card (24%), working overtime (18%) or selling items on an auction website (12%), are popular options for parents to cover the holiday expenses. One in 10 (8%) will need to rely on a loan from a family or friend, although 80% will have paid this loan back within three months.
Setting a budget can stop costs from escalating, and 37% of parents kept to or spent less than their budget last year. Only one in 10 (12%) spent a lot more than they had intended to when entertaining their children.
Summer can be a difficult time to save, and one quarter (23%) of parents put saving on hold during this period, while just over half (55%) admit the extra spending over the school holiday period will impact their ability to keep saving.
Chrysanthy Pispinis, Director, Post Office Money comments:
“The school holidays can put real pressure on parents’ wallets. Getting into a habit of saving in advance, and budgeting for what you think you’ll need can really help cover the cost of summer, especially as it is so easy to overspend.
“However, we recognise it isn’t always possible to save money in advance. So, if you’re not in the 30% of parents who have already saved the money to cover the cost of the summer and you find yourself running short, we’ve worked with several savvy parents to help you beat the summer squeeze. Throughout the summer, we will be sharing a series of Budget Boredom Busters – low cost, fun activities that will keep children entertained and help you manage your summer finances.”