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Summer holidays turn up the heat on family finances

22nd July 2019


  • Parents expect to spend an average of £243 entertaining their kids this summer
  • Two in five parents don’t know if they can afford the extra costs
  • Visiting attractions is the biggest area of spending over the summer holidays

As the school holidays get under way, parents across the UK are expecting to spend an average of £243 on entertaining their kids this summer.

According to new research from TSB, those parents living in London will see the biggest dent in their finances (£276), whilst parents in the South East expect to spend £239.  Two in five parents (38%) will have to dip into their savings to pay for additional spend. 

Key findings from the research:

Visiting attractions will be the biggest area of spending accounting for 32% of costs when entertaining children over the summer. This varied widely across the country.  For parents in London 19% of their overall costs will go towards this, whilst those living in the West Midlands and Yorkshire will spend 36%.

Two in five parents who will spend more this summer are unsure whether they will be able to comfortably afford the summer holidays (42%), with around one in eight (13%) saying that financially it’s not the easiest time.

While three in five people (61%) will use their regular wages to pay for the additional spend, two in five (38%) will have to dip into their savings.  Just over a third of people (35%) will use their credit card to pay for the additional spend. 

Of those parents using their credit cards to pay for entertaining their children this summer, they estimate that it will take them an average of two months to pay off the total balance they are likely to incur. 

Commenting on the research, Paul Izon, Head of Savings at TSB, said:

“Summer holidays can certainly put a financial strain on the purse strings, so planning ahead and having a savings pot can really help alleviate some of the pressures and can mean that the summer holidays can be enjoyed rather than being a financial burden.”

Other main costs included an increase in food shopping (15% of all additional spend), family meals out (12%), treats, such as ice creams, drinks and toys, (11%) and the cinema (11%).

Most parents are prepared to make personal sacrifices so that they can keep their children happy over the summer.  The areas parents are most likely to cut back on are clothes and shoes (37% less spend than normal), going out (35% will spend less) and foregoing beauty products (20% less spend).


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Notes to editors


The research was conducted by Opinium Research between 25-28 June 2019 with 2,001 UK Adults.