Ways to make your money go further

A debt charity has issued some top tips to help families survive the school holidays on a budget.

Christians Against Poverty, which has a debt centre in Ballymena, says many parents find it difficult to keep children amused through the long break without over-spending.

Now it wants to remind families of the free or low-cost activities that can be enjoyed instead of putting family finances at risk.

Ballymena Centre Manager Valerie Roebuck said: “When the weather is good, the options are more obvious but when it’s wet, you have to be more inventive and it helps to have some good ideas to hand.”

Valerie added: “I want to say to parents, be smart about the summer holidays. Do your research now and make a plan. Decide how much you can afford each week and create a ‘treats fund’, however small, and talk about it with your children.

“Involve them in how you will spend it – they will appreciate what happens so much more and it’s a great lesson for them.”

Public parks are free of charge, as are libraries and most museums, and some of these may have special summer activities on offer which could fill a morning or afternoon with free fun while leisure centres may have special summer offers/prices running. Ring around and find out.

Christians Against Poverty can help families overcome debt and encourage them to live to a budget. Visit www.capuk.org or call 0800 328 0006.