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Published on July 30th, 2013 | by Pete

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School Summer Holidays: The Hidden Costs

The school summer holidays are nearly here, and for parents this means lots of planning. The six-week break between the summer and autumn term can feel like a lot longer if you are not ready for it to arrive. It can also be one of the most expensive times of year, more so even than Christmas, so it is important to take into account the extra costs you might not have thought of. Checking where you might be able to free up some cash is a good idea if you think you may struggle over this period, and you can view your credit rating online to help you take control of your current commitments.

If you have time off over the summer to spend with your family you will need to consider the costs of activities that you have planned to keep everyone happy. Try planning cheap or free things to do such as a picnic at the local park, or building forts in the garden. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of the extra food that you and your kids will consume when at home all day, everyday.

Those who are lucky enough to be going away on holiday, either staying in the UK or further afield, need to make sure they have accounted for all costs. Even if the holiday is all-inclusive and has been paid for upfront, there will be extra costs such as spending money and the possibility of excess baggage charges to consider. It is sometimes preferable to take a credit card rather than a debit card with you as they often have more favourable rates overseas. You can read more about this online, but remember that the best deals will be reserved for those with the healthiest credit history. Check that you are eligible before you apply.

If you have to carry on working over the summer holidays you may need to pay for childcare, which can be expensive. Those who have family or friends nearby can often call in favours for some of the days during the holiday, but others will rely solely on child-minders, holiday clubs or nurseries. Over the course of six weeks this is a cost that can really add up, so make sure you are budgeting accordingly.

The summer break should be as stress free as possible, a period to enjoy spending time with your family at home, go on holiday or just have a break from the school run for a few weeks. Don’t let hidden costs affect your summer; make sure you are budgeting for everything you need and let this summer see you firmly in charge of your household finances.

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