How to Stick to a Family Budget During Summer Vacation
It is really important to know how to stick to your budget during the kids summer vacation. It put an end to overspending, worry and debt. But how can you make sure you keep on track? Let me share some top tips…
Know your budget
My children are 7 and 10 so I have had a fair bit of experience in learning how to stick to a certain family budget during the kids’ summer vacation.
The key to sticking to a budget is to have one!
Know how much you have to spend over the summer so you can allocate it accordingly. I use my budget to make sure we have play essentials and to pay for a couple of specific treat days and activities which I usually put in the diary in advance. I also allocate a certain amount to each week.
If you know how much money you have to deal with it is so MUCH easier to stick to a budget plan.
Prior to the summer vacation I mend all the broken toys, put in fresh batteries, throw out those beyond repair, stock up with books form the library or thrifty shops. I buy paper for colouring and begin to collect recycling for collages. I sharpen pencils and make sure all toys are accessible and working, I stock up the cupboards with baking ingredients and make sure outside toys are clean, working and accessible.
Kids are much, MUCH more likely to enjoy and play with the toys they have if they are working and easy to reach. You are more likely to bake with them if you have in what they need.
I also print off recipes and activity ideas from the internet and make myself a little file already to go, I spend time finding out about any local free events and play schemes for kids.
I set up playdates with their friends regularly throughout the summer, well in advance. Doing this early is really important as people go away on vacation and you may struggle to find mutual dates otherwise.
Preparing in this way means I have dates in the diary and a home that is ready for a long summer off school!
At the start of each week during the summer vacation I will sit down with children and look at what we have planned that week and fill in any gaps with my weekly budge firmly in mind.
A typical week would lean heavily on free activities such as:
Baking/ playdates/ visiting the library/ seeing grandparents / movie(on TV) and homemade popcorn/ walk in the woods/ visiting the park/ sleepover with friends/bike ride/ bus ride and maybe one trip out to museum, or swimming pool or a day tip somewhere.
Having a mix of activities keeps things fresh and really you need to spend very little on ensuring they have fun.
Having a plan not only helps your budget but it prevents kids getting bored and asking for you to buy them new things or take them to expensive places.
Encourage free play
If we constantly provide entertainment for kids they do come to expect it and forget to relay on their own wonderful imaginations and creativity. I remember spending our sin our tiny yard as a child concocting ‘perfume ‘from leaves and flowers. Sometime leaving your children with a good chunk of free time to play brings the best play ever and it will cost you zero.
It also does not hurt children to hear you say ‘no we cannot do/have that as it is not within our budget,’ so let’s do THIS instead. This will teach them that finances have limits and it is important to stick to budgets. This is also essential and healthy life lesson and great role modelling.
Keep a check on your budget
Buying ice creams, a trip to the movies, a quick trip to the coast can all really deplete your budget if you aren’t careful. So at the end of each week have a quick check t see if you are still on track and if you aren’t make some adjustments the next week. It will only take a few minutes to do this but will be so worthwhile.
Children want your presence more than your presents
Teaching your child to cook the family dinner will mean so much more to them than you splurging on a takeaway. A family and friend’s picnic and a game of ball in the park leave more memories than a day trip to the aquarium. Don’t ever think you need to spend money to make your children’s summer special. Your time and your energy,
Some thought, organisation and preparation will all go a really long way to making their summer great.
I hope you have a lovely summer that sees you sticking to your budget and spending lots of fun, creative and spend free time with your children.
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- How to Stick to a Family Budget During Summer Vacation - June 2, 2015