AFTER seeing in the Christmas and New Year period, you’d be starting to see the expenses back off and regain some normality in your spending habits? Maybe not the case if you’ve got children who still have a few weeks’ school holidays up their sleeves. How do you go about making this school holidays economically viable for the whole family? Of course there a plenty of school holiday activities around town this time of year, but many are expensive and chew up your hard earned cash, especially when there’s a few heads to pay for, and mouths to feed. Try having ‘stay in and play’ days at home. Surely with all the Christmas presents unwrapped in the last few weeks, children can’t possibly claim they’re bored. Make a day where you stay home all day – eat in, and play with all those new board games, playstations, toys, books, bikes and other gadgets they were spoilt with. You’ll find even making your own sandwiches and a fruit platter for lunch will save you money, rather than taking the whole family out to eat. On days where you do go out, how about getting together at a friends place who has children a similar age? Again – it doesn’t have to be an expensive day out on the town; the kids will appreciate getting out of the house and playing with other kids, while you can catch up with a friend. Then alternate the activity next week and have your friend and children over to play at your house.With the favourable weather this time of year, why not get outside and get active. A bike ride, long walk, or picnic down at the beach will allow the kids to burn some energy, while providing a cost effective activity. Still got cleaning up to do around the house to recover from Christmas? How about writing a list of jobs the kids can do to help, and offer some pocket money in return. Giving children the opportunity to earn money will teach them the importance of working for the things they want. It’s then up to them whether they spend it on something they really want, use it towards a activity during the holidays like going to the movies, or save it towards a bigger ticket item. You’ll soon find when it’s their hard earned cash getting spent; children will develop a better understanding of the cost of things, and begin to compromise with expensive activities.
*Sara Morrison is the business development manager at South West Credit.
This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.