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21 October 2016

Half Term Savings

With Christmas just around the corner, having an expensive half term this week could well cause havoc to your savings. But making sure the family is well entertained throughout the week can inevitably pull on the purse strings, whether you’d planned it or not. However, as Kate Murray, Senior Savings Products Manager from Principality Building Society explains, there are plenty of ways to have family fun without breaking the bank.  

Eating out…at a fraction of the price  

Treating the family to dinner at their favourite restaurant during half term doesn’t have to leave you with a big bill to foot at the end of the meal. Online vouchers websites have big savings up for grabs, with some offering as much as 75%. Have a good look at what offers are available, but make sure you read the small print as these vouchers will most likely come with strict terms and conditions.  

Saving cash on family days out 

If the kids are nagging for a day out at an attraction, you can make some savings buying combined train and admission tickets, a deal offered by some national travel operators. This can include tickets to museums, theme parks and much more when you buy train tickets at the same time. Do a bit of research before committing to buying the tickets to make sure the offer is worthwhile from your initial destination. 

Free workshops  

If you’re on a mission to save money this half term, take a look at low cost or free workshops local to you. A good place to start is the library, where you can often find half-term activities organised for young people and children at a very low cost. To find out what events are scheduled, visit your local council or library website for listings.  

Enjoying the great outdoors  

We’re blessed in Wales with beautiful coastlines, historic towns and plenty of rivers with miles of adjoining cycle paths to make the most of during half term. If the weather permits, get outside and enjoy the fresh air with the family, which can cost you virtually nothing depending on how far afield you decide to travel. Local tourism board websites have lots of information on walking and cycling routes so you’ll never be left short of a new destination to explore.   

If the weather doesn’t permit 

At this time of year we can’t always rely on the weather being kind, so it’s worth having a back-up plan to keep the kids entertained. Aside from activities in the house that are low-budget – everything from arts and crafts to baking – there are plenty of alternative options. Some nationwide cinema chains run morning film showings every day in the half term holiday where both adult and children tickets are a fraction of the usual price. A great value activity!  

And if you fancy a getaway this half term 

If your family have budgeted for a holiday or short getaway this half term but don’t have anything booked yet, there are lots of ‘last minute’ holiday websites which could save you money. Use comparison travel sites to get a good idea of average prices for your chosen destination or late booking sites that are renowned for deals on package holidays which may suit the whole family.  

But remember… 

No matter what you have planned for this half term, always set yourself a realistic budget at the start of the week factoring in any other large expenses you might have coming up in the near future. It’s inevitable you’ll spend money during half term keeping the family entertained, but setting a budget will allow you to stay well within your means and won’t risk any unwanted surprises when you next come to look at your bank balance. 

Published: 21/10/2016