School holidays on a budget
If your family finances are already stretched, finding ways to entertain the kids during school holidays can add to the stress. Our financial counsellors provide advice and support every day to families experiencing financial stress, and they have some great tips for school holiday fun that won’t break the bank.
‘There are lots of activities you can do that are free or low cost,’ says Financial Counselling Senior Practitioner Janene O’Donnell. ‘You just need to know where to look’.
‘Catch a magic show or do some Easter-themed crafting at your local shopping centre – they often have free activities for school holidays.’
‘You could also head to Bunnings for some DIY fun – make a mosaic, do some woodwork, or make a lava lamp at one of their free workshops for kids.’
‘Local libraries are another place to check out, with a program of story time, crafts and games available throughout the break.’
As well as organised activities, there are also plenty of other opportunities to have some fun without breaking your budget.
‘If the weather is good, why not get outdoors?’ says O’Donnell. ‘You could go walking in a national park, or swim at the beach if you are near the coast. Add some extra fun by making a list of things you will try to spot while you are out and about.’
And don’t forget local parks and botanical gardens.
‘Head to a playground in your area or explore one in a different part of town,’ says O’Donnell. ‘Many parks have BBQ facilities or you could take a picnic. The kids can get involved in preparing the food, and you could also take the bikes or scooters along for some two-wheeled adventures.’
And the fun doesn’t have to stop on rainy days.
‘Heading to the library to read and borrow books can be a fun outing,’ says O’Donnell, ‘or pick up some craft supplies and get creative at home.’ There’s no reason that school holidays need to mean blowing your budget. With a little planning, you can keep the kids entertained and your bank balance healthy.