Is it Worth Putting Money by for a Holiday?

Many of us really enjoy having a good holiday. This might be a weekend away camping with the children or a selection of fortnightly foreign holidays spread through the year. Whichever we like to do, they will cost money. There are always different costs to account for such as travel, accommodation, activities, food and possibly new clothes too. Even though the amount individuals spend will differ a lot, there is still no question that some money will need to be spent.

Advantages of saving

Saving up the money will mean that when it comes time for your holiday you will have the money available to pay for it. This can be really handy as you will not have to think about where to get it from. You can also spread the cost over the period from when you decide to start saving to when you have to pay for the holiday.

If you manage to save lots of money it may even mean that you can afford a more expensive holiday than you thought you would. Without saving up you may have to rely on what you already had in your savings account or borrow the money to pay for the holiday. This may not change how much you spend on the holiday but of you borrow then you will have interest charges and repayments to make when you come back which might not be fun.

As you save you will get interest on the money. Although interest rates are low, that interest will still add to what you have saved and mean that you have a little bit more to spend on the holiday should you need it. If you put it in a notice account or a bond then you might be able to get more interest which will help out even more.

Disadvantages of saving

If you save money it means that you do not have it available to spend. This means that you will have to be careful with what you are spending money on and you might have to go without things. You may think that it is worth going without a few luxuries so that you can save some money but it can be difficult, especially if your income tends not to buy you any luxuries anyway. You may already be struggling to pay for everything that you need and therefore find that trying to put money aside for a holiday as well will just not be possible. It may mean that you would otherwise have to go without food, heat or other essentials and therefore is not just an option for you. Therefore, you may find that you are going without all year and that might mean that takes the fun out of the holiday. You might find that things have been so tight and stressful financially that you need a holiday just to get over that, rather than having a relaxing time where you can enjoy yourself and get away form your worries.

Interest on savings is also extremely low and this might put you off bothering to save it. You might think that you will be better off buying things than hanging on to it and getting an interest rate that is lower than inflation, meaning that the money is actually devaluing. However, you might be able to find some accounts that do pay a bit more interest but be careful as there might be a catch.

Alternatives

If you decide not to save up for a holiday then you will have a few options. You could take a very cheap holiday or stay at home and spend very little money. If you do this then you may be able to manage on the money that you have anyway. You could borrow the money instead of saving it up. This will mean that you will have to pay more as you will have the interest to repay as well as the loan. However, you may think that it is well worth it. It will be important though, to make sure that you will be able to afford the repayments. Sites like Cobra Payday loans can help make loans like this affordable.

It is certainly worth thinking about whether it will be better for you to save up for your holiday, to do a cheap holiday where you will not need extra money or to borrow. There are advantages and disadvantages to each option and it will depend on you and your situation as to which will be the best option for you. Do take time to think it through though as you do not want to regret your decision. Consider how much your option will cost and whether that is something that you will be able to afford or if you would need to save or borrow. Consider how hard it will be to take on those options and you will be able to then choose which you think will be the best one for you.

How Can I Afford my Childs School Uniform?

Children can be expensive and when it comes to school uniform the cost of it can be really high and therefore quite a worry. It is not surprising that many people borrow money to pay for the uniform, especially if their children are starting a new school. However, there are things that you might be able to do which will help with the cost of it.

  • Buy second hand – it can be really wise to see whether you can buy any or all of the uniform second hand. The school may have a selection of clothes that they can sell second hand and so it can be worth finding out. If they are starting a new school then it is worth contacting the school to find out. Often the PTA will have a collection of clothing that they sell second hand which you might have the opportunity to look at. There will be limited amounts and sizes though, but it could still be helpful. You may also find that local charity shops may have some uniform which people have donated when their children grew out of it, so this could be a good place to look as well. Local social media selling groups may also have some. If you have a for sale, free and wanted page for your local area you could always post that you are looking for some. Some items will not be logoed such as shoes, trainers and rugby boots and so you may be able to find these available second hand in more places. You will not just have to look locally as if you are prepared to pay postage, you might find them elsewhere.
  • Save up – you will normally know well in advance when your child will be changing school. This means that you should have plenty of time to start to save up for the uniform. It will be wise to find out how much it will all cost and then work out how much you will need to put by each month. Remember to allow for all of the extras so bag and pencil case as well as stationery, calculator and books, shoes and socks, sports clothing and bag and any equipment as well as the main uniform and possibly a coat or mac as well. You may have some things already from the last school which will do, but it is always wise to be prepared. They may have a big growth spurt or come home after a few days to announce they need extra stationery, money for school trips or extra PE equipment such as gum shields and shin pads. Therefore, saving extra money can be extremely useful. They will need uniform replacing from time to time anyway as they grow. It will normally not be so expensive as they will not need everything replaced at once, but having some spare money to pay for this can be very handy.
  • Find a sale/reduction – it might be possible to get some items at a reduced price. This is more likely to be the case with items such as shoes, bags and equipment rather than the school uniform itself. However, stay abreast of what is going on with regards to prices of the uniform. If there is one, get on the mailing list for your uniform supply shop and ask them to inform you if there are any reductions.
  • Borrow – borrowing is an option if you need to take it. Although it might not be a favourable one, it is a possible solution to being able to afford the uniform that you need. It is worth looking at all of your borrowing options and comparing them. You will find that the costs will vary a lot as well as the repayment terms. It is important to make sure that you borrow at a cost that you feel is worthwhile and that has repayments that you can afford.

It is worth noting that there are hardship funds to help pay for uniform for those parents that are really struggling financially. If you are on benefits then it could be worth asking the school about it as they may know how you apply for uniform vouchers. Most people will not be eligible for these those so they will have to find other ways to manage. Buying just a minimum amount of uniform can help, so just one set of uniform with perhaps a few tops to swap while you wash some could be the way to go. Make sure the child changes as soon as they get home from school and then it is likely that you will not need to wash it and you can buy less. Another way to save a bit of money is to buy them school shoes and get them to wear them all of the time so they do not have a pair of trainers or any other shoes to wear at home as well. This will save you buying so many pairs of shoes. You can do the same with socks and a coat too.