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School’s out for summer – but don’t let the money run out!

It’s school holiday time again and parents across the country are racking their brains about how to keep the kids occupied without breaking the bank. If you need a little extra to make ends meet, talk to the Credit Union about our low cost loans, but in the meantime, here are our suggestions for some free or low cost activities this summer.

When the weather’s good, there’s nothing nicer than a picnic. If there’s a park or play area nearby, why not pack up some homemade sandwiches and fill an empty bottle with some squash and create your own day out? Even a picnic in the garden can be great fun and if the weather’s bad, try a carpet picnic in the living room!

And if you’re heading to the park, what better place for the kids to use up some energy kicking a ball about or running around playing games? Once they’ve had enough of that, how about a nature walk, seeing just how many birds, insects or flowers they can spot?

If the weather’s not up to much, why not have a craft morning or cake bake? You can usually pick up paints, paper, pens and stencils from discount stores quite cheaply (or even from your local Freegle group, where you might get them for free), and if you give the kids a theme such as animals, sport or family, their imagination will do the rest. And as you need to feed them anyway, it doesn’t cost too much to get a few ingredients together for muffins or homemade pizza – dig out an old recipe book or have a search online, and get them to make their own lunch!

Why not check out your local library? You can join for free, and your kids can access lots of books – a great way to spend time in the summer holidays, with the added bonus of helping their learning – as well as things like DVDs and CDs to borrow, and free computer and internet access. Often in the summer holidays, libraries have special events for children too.

There are of course dozens of free events for kids in London over the summer, so take a look online. Websites such as Islington Life and Haringey London have lots of information about what’s on for children in the school holidays. Why not sit down with the kids and help them put together an activity calendar for the holidays? They don’t have to be out every day, but if they know what they’ve got planned, it can be exciting to look forward to things.

Credit Union Director Elaine Greaves said: “These ideas might help to keep the spending down, but with the additional cost of childcare, a larger food bill when the kids are home and the increased cost of transport ferrying the kids about, we realise they might not be enough. So, if you need some financial help, why not talk to the Credit Union about one of our low cost loans? There are no hidden charges and you only pay interest on the outstanding balance of the loan.

“One thing’s for sure, borrowing from us will cost you a lot less than taking out a high interest loan, or racking up huge credit card bills, and what’s more the Credit Union can help with money management advice and support when you need it. We’re here for our members, so why not join us today!”

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