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PARENTS FEEL THE HEAT OF SUMMER SPENDING SPREE

SUMMER HOLIDAY HABITS COSTS PARENTS OVER £2K 

The average family will spend £2,102.16 per child on summer holiday entertainment during their youngsters’ school years*, research has revealed today, and that’s before any holidays are booked! 

According to a poll of 1,000 British mums, over 56 per cent of families find the summer holidays an expensive time with the average parent having to fund at least two activities or trips per week for their children (before additional costs such as uniforms and holidays are accounted for). 

More than half of those surveyed were forced to take extra measures in order to survive the summer spending spree. The top three most common coping mechanisms were working extra hours (30 per cent), using an overdraft facility (16 per cent) and borrowing money from a family member (10 per cent).  

The research was carried out as part of the Mums’ SOS (Summer of Stress) campaign for the drink brand Royal Crown Cola. 

Ally Whitehead, Brand Manager for RC Cola, said: “There’s no doubt that the summer holidays present a wonderful opportunity to enjoy some quality time with your family. However, with so much time to fill, there is a certain pressure on parents to keep the children entertained and this can pull at the purse strings during what is already an expensive time for families.  

“There’s also a lot time invested in keeping children entertained with parents having to find, on average, an additional nine hours each week just to plan and organise the summer fun - whilst also managing their daily routines.  

“With this in mind, we have decided to launch a new campaign, Mums’ SOS, to give something back to mums up and down the country. Over the summer, we will be organising free activities, prize giveaways and lots of top tips for all the hardworking mums out there and we urge anyone wanting to benefit from this to stay tuned to our Facebook page!”

For more information about the Mums SOS campaign or RC Cola, please visit https://www.facebook.com/rccolafan.   

*Based on £175.18 per year covering a six week summer break and each child completing 12 years of school.

Whilst we also agree with these plausible figures I am keen to encourage parents to seek out some fantastic cheap or free opportunities available in your local areas for all age children.

Surestart centres will hold activities, shopping centres will too.  Of course the shopping centres are hoping you will spend money whilst in there but this still can be a lot less than an expensive day out. 

My top tip is to sit all the children down and draw up lists of things they would like to do.  Encourage plenty of cheap/free things as well as the more costly events.   Ensure you say to them that you will not get to do all of these things but also it works well when they go back to school and they need to know what they have done.   They will have their list. 

I used to suggest some things such as walk in the woods, kite flying, eating an ice-cream at the seaside, painting stones, visit grandma, soft play centre, swimming, making a camp in the garden or house, playing monopoly.  I am sure you can think of plenty more and the internet is a fantastic resource.  There is no doubt that a little preparation is worthwhile on the parents part but I really do feel it is important for our own sanity. 

Most of all --- enjoy your summer holiday with your children.  They soon get to an age when they don't want to spend time with you even though right now I suspect you may feel this is a godsend it is also sad that they no longer want to share their holiday with you.

Good luck x

Yolanda Barker

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