The sun is shining throughout the country and summer is pounding down the doors! It’s just about time to slip, slop, slap and hit the sandy shores with your nearest and dearest.
However, before you start flashing your cash to keep the family happy over the summer holidays, have you thought about how much this season can hike up your expenses? On average, Australians spend around $1692 a year on summer essentials like sausages, beer, Christmas decorations and barbecue supplies, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This hikes up a lot more if you plan on travelling domestically or overseas, of course – by as much as $1,630 a year for domestic holidays. And let’s not forget the costs of cooling your home!
It’s easy to lose sight of your summer spending when you’re having fun – so what can you do to avoid expensive school holidays?
Working with a financial planner will help you to be able to enjoy today and prepare for your future. Get in touch today.
You can save money and still keep your little ones happy this summer!
1. Audit your home energy costs
Multiple news outlets such as the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian have reported an expected increase in energy prices this summer, so preparing to cut back on usage is an absolute must.
Data from Finder.com.au shows that on average, we use air conditioning for 4.3 hours per day, costing an additional $623 on top of our summer quarterly bills. The same research suggests that ensuring your AC is no cooler than 25 degrees Celsius and keeping the sun off your windows during the day can save you 10 per cent or more on your power bill.
Of course, if you’re planning a renovation, now is the perfect time to discuss how you can save money with passive design elements.
2. Budget for your kids’ summer fun
Summer is a well-deserved break from school for your kids. However, keeping them entertained throughout the hottest months of the year can be a drain on your wallet. Kids in an average Australian household can expect to receive $509 in pocket money over the summer holidays, with some of that coming straight from the bank of mum and dad, says the Commonwealth Bank. Add the cost of some family outings and meals to that, and you might find yourself spending more than expected on the little ones.
Opting for low-cost activities where possible, such as beach days, can help, as well as making the effort to pack lunches for family outings. Summer can also be a great opportunity to enrich your kids’ learning by teaching them about budgeting or getting them involved in meal prep.
3. Collaborate with other families
Another way to save on family activities is to go beyond your household. Invite your kids’ best friends and their families to BBQs or trips to the movies. Not only will this help you strengthen the bonds you have with other parents, but you’ll also be able to split the costs so both families can enjoy the holidays for less.
Keep active this summer for low-cost entertainment for the whole family.
4. Plan travel well in advance
If you’d like to take the family away for summer, how can you do so affordably? Your best option would be to start planning well in advance. The school holidays are always going to be a more expensive time to travel due to the simple nature of supply and demand. However, you can cut costs by planning well in advance.
Skyscanner recommends booking flights 21-22 weeks in advance to access the best deals – saving an average of 13 per cent across international and domestic destinations. This ship may have sailed for 2018/19, but you’re now well equipped to plan the best summer yet for 2019/20!
Bring families together for big summer savings.
5. Reconnect with nature
Summer is the best time of the year to get amongst the trees. Reconnecting with nature has been proven in countless studies to have benefits to the mental wellbeing of adults and children, and this can also be an opportunity to stay physically fit.
Activities like Geocaching or Pokemon Go can encourage your children to use up that school-holiday energy while keeping their minds and bodies active at little cost to you.
Summer should be your chance to relax after a year of hard work – not a source of financial stress. For help preparing for the sunny season, reach out to the financial planners at Invest Blue today.
What you need to know
This information is provided by Invest Blue Pty Ltd (ABN 91 100 874 744). The information contained in this article is of general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regards to those matters and seek personal financial, tax and/or legal advice prior to acting on this information. Read our Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relations to products and services provided to you.