Is summer more expensive than Christmas for parents?

A survey has found that parents expect to spend more on entertaining their children this summer than at Christmas

 
Keeping children busy over the long summer months can be extremely difficult, especially as this summer already appears to be such a washout in the UK; indoor activities often come at a steep price.
 
The research by Epson UK asked 2,000 parents of children aged 3-13 to estimate how much they will spend on trips to the cinema, play dates, meals out, food shopping and summer clubs. The questionnaire found that parents in London and Edinburgh plan to spend the most, approaching £2,000 per child whilst Southampton parents were only planning on spending £742 per child. 
 
On average, parents reported that they expected to spend £1,445 per child on activities over the summer holidays, in comparison to £1,037 over the Christmas break. 
 
The obvious point is that the Christmas break is only two weeks instead of six and the cost of Christmas gifts can be a huge burden, which isn’t taken into consideration in the survey.  However the reality of the cost of summer will be a shock to many parents who may not have budgeted the same way that they would for Christmas. 
 
58% of parents also responded that they struggle entertaining their children over the summer break, running out of ideas by the third week.
 

There are some great ideas for free activities for kids here

 
It’s not just entertainment which parents have to consider over the six weeks. The survey doesn’t include the costs of a family holiday – usually more expensive during July and August than other time of the year.
 
Some parents may not even manage a family break. With many only having 20-28 holiday days per year, the cost of summer childcare can run into hundreds of pounds. A survey from Nationwide recently revealed that 73% of parents have had to have separate annual leave from their partners to try and cover school holidays without resorting to paid holiday clubs. 
 
No matter how much you want to treat your kids this summer, try to make sure you have enough money to cover your priority spending. Priority bills are the ones you must pay to live and work - mortgage or rent, council tax, utilities, car and travel to work, insurances, food, childcare, maintenance, tax bills and fines. 
 
If you’re struggling to work out how much money you have left over every month or are unable to meet some of your repayments, call our confidential helpline on 0800 043 40 50