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That school holidays are not that expensive...

(189 Posts)
Soggyflatjack Mon 22-Aug-16 09:29:06

We had some family over the other day who said the school holidays end up so expensive because of all the trips the children want to go on and to keep the kids entertained.

I disagreed.

I have two school aged children 5&7.

Yes, I'm paying more because they are home for an extra (morning) snack and lunch.

Petrol is just a little added cost as I drive DC to two different schools anyway which are quite far apart. I pay extra for car parking costs or sometimes we get the train somewhere

I'm lucky that we have a garden so I can throw DC outside to play.

We play games, make a creative mess which gets on my fucking nerves, go to parks, have picnics, go to friends houses and they come over to us. I also take the DC to toy shops so they can play.

I don't have any membership for anywhere like the merlin pass

I'm not including childcare costs.

I'm not including any booked summer holidays.

AIBU to think that you don't need to spend much on outings or am I missing something completely...? What are you doing which costs so much?

Can I be cheeky and ask how much you spend over the 6 weeks...? Do you budget for the holidays?

Mirandawest Mon 22-Aug-16 09:30:48

How old are your friends children? I am finding now mine are getting older (12 and 10) that the things we could do more cheaply when they were 7 and 5 don't really seem to work any more.

Sirzy Mon 22-Aug-16 09:31:07

Assuming you don't have to pay for holiday childcare - which can be extortionate - then holidays really can be as cheap or expensive as you want/can afford.

Diamogs Mon 22-Aug-16 09:32:33

Hmmm I have two teens, they cost a fortune most of the time, but especially in the holidays, they aren't amused by puddle jumping or collecting berries or a picnic in the park anymore.

Grumpyoldblonde Mon 22-Aug-16 09:35:52

When they are young you can get away with picnics in the park and cheap/free activities but when they are older... we have spent out in cinema, theme parks, swimming and all kinds of days out. I have also hosted endless sleepovers which should be free, but throw in pizzas, crisps, coke/juice, popcorn...
Make the most of it while they are young, I intend to start a summer holiday fund from now on, in much the same way people save for Christmas.

Soggyflatjack Mon 22-Aug-16 09:36:47

My friends children are the same age as mine 5&7.

I'm not including childcare costs as I'm well aware of their ridiculous costs.

I hadn't thought about the teenage years when they need something very different. Will start saving now!

derektheladyhamster Mon 22-Aug-16 09:36:53

It depends, mine are 16 & 13 and I didnt think it had been very expensive, until I totted up the cost of holidays. 2.5k for our 2 week holiday, £800 for one to go on a scout camp to Switzerland, £200 contribution for the other to go with a friends family to Italy. Apart from that they haven't been very expensive!

OneOfTheGrundys Mon 22-Aug-16 09:38:33

Mine have become more expensive over the holidays as they've got older.

I was lucky when they were young children as they both like to be at home. My DNs are absolutely climbing the walls of they're not out and about doing something and dsil does a lot indoors with them.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Mon 22-Aug-16 09:39:37

I think YABVU. They may not be expensive for you, but not everyone's as fortunate as you, and incidentally. Not everyone has got a garden they can throw them out in.
Also if your friend said she "finds it expensive". I don't get how you can disagree. You can't validate her experiences and thoughts

J0kersSmile Mon 22-Aug-16 09:40:08

What works at 7 and 5 doesn't work for a 9 and almost 11 year old unfortunately.

They still like going to the park but they don't play on the play stuff very much unless they have friends there. They play tennis and basketball instead but it means I can't sit down on a blanket all day while they play in the local park anymore.

Stuff that will keep them entertained all day does cost money now. We went to a splash Park the other day, it cost £32. It was great value really as my dc swam and went down the slides from the time it opened until we left but at 5 and 7 I could have taken them to a free Park that has a shallow pool and they would have entertained themselves for free all day.

My dc also now pay attention to adverts about films coming out, new things going on, places that are opening like a new ice cream parlour ect so while they aren't spoilt demanding children and are quite happy with bike rides and trips to the park they also do want to do more and that does cost money.

Gizlotsmum Mon 22-Aug-16 09:41:36

See when I think of school holidays I include childcare because I have too and that does make it expensive! We do a mix of cheap and expensive days but it can be expensive to do things, even soft play adds up! I guess it also depends on your starting budget!

NeedACleverNN Mon 22-Aug-16 09:43:29

At the moment, school holidays are not expensive

My children are 3 and 1.

What we are doing now will not occupy them when they are older. It will cost more and more money the older they get

Summerholsdoingmyheadin Mon 22-Aug-16 09:44:31

Well it depends. People on very low incomes who get free school meals have to find extra money for food in the school holidays. Working parents might have to find money for childcare. Parents without cars need money for transport to access things like free museums etc.
I find the holidays cheap but my kids are like hermit crabs and would rather watch tv, play board games or the Xbox and sit in the garden than go out and do stuff.

SirChenjin Mon 22-Aug-16 09:44:33

What you've described appears to be based on:

1. good/good enough weather for picnics, the park, playing in the garden

2. friends who don't work and who are available for get-togethers

3. access to toy shops which allow you to play with their stock and have sufficient amount of toys on offer so that your DC haven't exhausted all options within 10 minutes

4. young children who still want to play with their mum.

In which case, no, of course it doesn't need to be expensive. Can you see how that isn't the case for everyone though? If you can't, then please do report back in a few years grin

Birdsgottafly Mon 22-Aug-16 09:48:34

You'd notice the difference, if you walked them to school, but then in the holidays had to factor in bus/train travel.

It depends on the children's personalities and having two that can play together makes a difference.

When I only had one, I seemed to be always feeding other people's children, that would drop by to play, so that would put the cost up.

I spend about £25 a week on a day out with my GC, when she starts nursery, I can then spend a day going the park etc, but over the summer, the days out will have to be varied, again.

As said, older children get more expensive and unless your a joy-sucker, then eating out/street food/I creams is part of the day out.

I couldn't believe how the price of fairgrounds/wristbands have risen, which I don't disagree with, because safety has, as well.

Banana99 Mon 22-Aug-16 09:52:42

My DD is 7, it has been cheap, I do know she will get much more expensive.
I did get a MoveGB account through Groupon which covered the holidays and has made swimming very very cheap.
She's still happy to go to the movies for juniors at the cinema, when she is older i suspect she will pressure to see films when they come out.
The weather has also been great and it has kept costs down.

It's the first summer I've had a car which has made a difference - I usually spend a small fortune on bus fares, petrol in my tiny car is nothing.

I know in 2 years it will be very different.

SharonfromEON Mon 22-Aug-16 09:56:18

We have done a mix of things..

we did a trip to London .. The train fairs cost the most there.. We are off on holiday next week so that obviously cost a lot. I work from home so no childcare expenses..

Some of it I think depends on what you want to do with your children and what entertains them.

Some things are very dull like we have done optician, dentist over the holidays..

I have increased amount of time he attends martial arts class to give him some structure..

I have an acquaintance who is very proud they do very little in the holidays but then wonders why her DD won't join any clubs..

We all bring our kids up differently and yes you can do it cheaper but like others I fail to see how her opinion is wrong.

MaddyHatter Mon 22-Aug-16 10:01:18

mine are 7&9.

We're lucky we live in a good area in Shropshire, so lots of local parks and free museums (RAF Cosford is free entry if anyone is nearby) and other stuff to do.

We have passes to the Ironbridge museums which cost us an initial outlay but last 12 months and gets you into all 10 museums.

it probably costs us about £100 for the summer break with the passports and the trip we do to the sealife center in birmingham.

Soggyflatjack Mon 22-Aug-16 10:09:47

So I throw my DC in the garden rain or shine which they are more than happy to do and actually love going out in the rain! I appreciate not everyone has a garden and I've not long had one so I understand the feeling of being cooped up and wanting/needing to get out.

Holidays I see as a luxury as if you can't afford them you won't be going...?

Childcare costs I put money aside for and as a civil servant I get good holidays which help a huge amount and dh does shift work so we can work around some things - just lots of planning.

Train fares do cost the earth. I see also where you do spend more on petrol if you walk to school and parking costs a small fortune too.

My friend does lots of what I would call expensive days out at theme parks, eating out, swimming and cinema almost daily.

Soggyflatjack Mon 22-Aug-16 10:09:51

So I throw my DC in the garden rain or shine which they are more than happy to do and actually love going out in the rain! I appreciate not everyone has a garden and I've not long had one so I understand the feeling of being cooped up and wanting/needing to get out.

Holidays I see as a luxury as if you can't afford them you won't be going...?

Childcare costs I put money aside for and as a civil servant I get good holidays which help a huge amount and dh does shift work so we can work around some things - just lots of planning.

Train fares do cost the earth. I see also where you do spend more on petrol if you walk to school and parking costs a small fortune too.

My friend does lots of what I would call expensive days out at theme parks, eating out, swimming and cinema almost daily.

Soggyflatjack Mon 22-Aug-16 10:13:03

So I throw my DC in the garden rain or shine which they are more than happy to do and actually love going out in the rain! I appreciate not everyone has a garden and I've not long had one so I understand the feeling of being cooped up and wanting/needing to get out.

Holidays I see as a luxury as if you can't afford them you won't be going...?

Childcare costs I put money aside for and as a civil servant I get good holidays which help a huge amount and dh does shift work so we can work around some things - just lots of planning.

Train fares do cost the earth. I see also where you do spend more on petrol if you walk to school and parking costs a small fortune too.

My friend does lots of what I would call expensive days out at theme parks, eating out, swimming and cinema almost daily.

hoddtastic Mon 22-Aug-16 10:14:18

I think you are probably just a better parent than your friend.

Geraniumred Mon 22-Aug-16 10:17:39

Mine's 11 and it is fairly expensive. We've done plenty of days at home with skateboarding/baking/yoga/crafts but also plenty of days out for museums/cinema/walking/zoo/swimming/library.
I budget for a holiday away but the rest comes out of normal spending money. It's fun though and I like to treat her to a cafe meal or a book or new item of clothing. I have a rough budget for the week. We have a National Trust pass as well.

Sofabitch Mon 22-Aug-16 10:19:33

I took mine to a free county park the other day. But by the time I had paid parking (£9) petrol to get there (£15) made a packed lunch for 6 (£10) and then bought 1 set of ice creams (£9) my free day trip had cost nearly £50.

All my friends with children work over the summer. I have 7,11,14,15 year old.

Even a trip to the splash park cost parking, petrol and a picnic. So ? £15 for a cheap day out.

I literally have to find something to do every day or I'm going stir crazy. Just one thing. Unfortunatly a trip to the the park only cuts it occasionally. As they.are mostly too old.

So YABU the holidays are expensive.

ShanghaiDiva Mon 22-Aug-16 10:22:36

imo when kids are that age (dd is 10) you don't need to do expensive days out every day.
Have done the following with dd:
baking and cooking - she chooses the recipe and I am her assistant
library
park/play area with her friends - she is old enough to go on her on
new card games and board games - (she has an older brother so these are games that were put away several years ago)
swimming - there is a pool in our compound and the fee is included in our rent
exploring and taking photographs
painting
Other more expensive activities (one per week)
museum trips
day at the zoo
horse riding

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