For many reasons, the summer is a time when we all tend to spend a lot more money than at many other times of the year, only rivalled by Christmas period, and it is something that can cause a lot of trouble for a lot of families. Children who may have school dinners and snacks provided at schools suddenly need feeding at lunchtime, and we all know how many snacks a kid can get through when they are at home!

We also have a lot more time to try and fill, which inevitably leads to spending more money than we would usually, and, if you are self-employed you may have less time to work, therefore earning less, or if you work outside the home, you may need to take unpaid leave to cover childcare.

Because of this, it is essential to prepare your finances for the summer months so that you do not end up in financial difficulty. Here, I look at some of the things that you may want to consider to make sure that you are prepared for the upcoming summer holidays.

Set out a budget – and stick to it!

Whatever it is that you might have planned for the summer, you need to make sure that you keep track of what you are spending. Budgeting for your summer will mean that you will keep a grip of your finances much more easily.

To prepare a realistic summer budget, you’ll need to think about what you might need to cut back on, and where you are happy to spend more money. Look around tor vouchers and coupons for things like days out – many cereal packets, for example, offer coupons for theme parks and search online for vouchers for Iceland online shopping.

Fun doesn’t have to be expensive

Of course, it is also worth trying to find some great ways to have fun for less money – or even no money at all. There are so many things that cost nothing, or next to nothing to do – a walk in the park, feeding the ducks, playing in the park – just take a picnic with you to make it feel a little more special!

If nothing else, doing more free things will ensure that you are going to have a lot more money by the end of the summer, so it’s definitely worth thinking about for that reason alone.

Escape to the sun

For many families, a summer holiday is non-negotiable. This takes a considerable portion of most family’s summer budget, and you will probably want and need to plan for it well in advance and put money aside throughout the year for the big splurge on holiday.

Holiday expenditure comes in two blocks – firstly,  paying or the holiday itself, and secondly, the spending money. Make sure both of these are accounted for in your holiday budget and set affordable limits for them, and you will be well on the way to having a fabulous summer without breaking the bank.