When it comes to wallets, school holidays can be very frightening. Everything seems to cost so much money. For example:
- Trip to the zoo: $112.20/Family of Four (plus $10 parking or public transport)
- Trip to the aquarium: $35/adult 18/child
- Movies in 2d: $18/$13.50
- Movies in 3d: – $21/adult, $16.50/child
But this isn’t how it has to be. Below are 10 tips to help you have fun but not lose the contents of your wallet!
- Be prepared: put a little extra on your redraw/in your savings during the term. Even $5 a week is going to help.
- Suggest to your kids to be prepared too: tell them to put some of their pocket money aside for the school holidays.
- Look for deals, deals and more deals!
- Taronga/Dubbo zoo offered a $25 kids/$50 adults annual pass on cudo last year. They might just offer something like it again. Then you can take a trip every school holidays (and picnic) and the day out only costs you $5 member parking.
- Event cinemas offer an $8 Mondays deal for students as well as cheap Tuesday. If your kids insist on the extra for 3d, then you cover the base and then insist that they cover the extra for 3d from their own pocket money.
- Sydney aquarium offers a $20 adult, $10 kids pass if you enter after 5pm. They’re open until 8pm, so, as long as you arrive by 5pm, you’ll get plenty of time to look around. If you have older kids and younger kids, this can be a good one to split up. One parent can take the kids to see Nemo while the other can have some quality time with the big kids drinking hot chocolates at the Lindt cafÃˆ just across the way
- Group Deals, Entertainment Books and plenty more discount vouchers are around. So shop around!
- Plan a camping trip to a national park: It’s an adventure bound to make any family bond. Go with friends and if you don’t have the camping gear, ask around until you find someone who does, then offer to pay them $50 to borrow it and you both benefit. If camping is too scary, then a day trip is always fun too.
- Beach day: Take a picnic, a ball and a bat and you’re set. When it’s time for ice-cream, wander up to the local supermarket and buy them in a box (or buy a tub and some plastic spoons).
- Empty your linen press and turn your living room into a massive cubby house: your linen press probably needed the clean out anyway.
- Go bike riding, roller blading, roller skating, skateboarding: There are plenty of great places to do this for free – just don’t break anything and end up in the emergency room!
- Group picnic at the park: Every child likes to hang with their friends – no matter what age and every parent likes an activity that they didn’t have to plan. With Facebook and email to help you organise, you don’t have an excuse.
- Craft days at home: Papier-mache, finger painting, brush painting, installation making, fun food cooking… There is a wonderful place called Google filled with a life time of fun cheap craft making activitivities.
- Rediscover your backyard: Splash out and buy something that sends you all to the backyard. Whether it be some gardening gear, totem tennis, a trampoline, play equipment, but whatever it is, let it become the focus for a few days activities and games. If you don’t have a backyard board games, fussball and table tennis are your friends.
Remember, your company and your time is often what your kids want most. So prioritise that over everything else.
Contributed by Spank Your Bank