I don’t know about you but the summer holidays make my bank account hurt. Like, really hurt! Having four children at home needing entertainment is not only tough physically (and sometimes emotionally) but it’s excruciating financially too. It can be hard to find the balance between wanting to keep the kids happy, make memories for them, help them make the most of their precious holiday from school- and needing to stay afloat rather than descend into bankruptcy in six short weeks. So how to make the most of the pennies this summer? Here are five ways to stretch your budget in the summer holidays. I hope they help!
I work from home, so missing days costs money, and finding childcare costs even more in some cases. So I tend to work around the kids as much as I can, which usually involves lots of early starts and late nights. But that’s nothing out of the ordinary for me so I’m used to it. However, it is out of the ordinary for friends who don’t work from home and who are now struggling to afford childcare for the next six weeks. So we’ve set up a kind of buddy system to help us all out.
I take their kids one day, they take mine the next. So this means I have literally two days in which to cram ALL of my work, but believe me it can be done! Needs must and all that. The added bonus is that the kids get to play with their friends, and that makes them happy too. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you know another parent is in a similar situation to you. We also have a Facebook group for mums at our school where we pop on and ask if anyone is free on certain days etc, so that can be another way to hook up, make new friends and solve a pricey problem.
Spend some time hunting out the bargains
There are always going to be rainy days in the summer holidays- it’s just a fact of life when you live in the UK. So while a top tip might be to choose days out that don’t cost anything, such as the park or the beach (if you’re lucky enough to live by the sea) some days this just isn’t going to cut it. So you need to get clever about bargain hunting, and when you have kids its just easier to do that online. Believe me, taking kids to the toy shop and telling them they can only choose from the ‘sale’ section rarely works! That’s one reason why I love sites such as BargainBuysForBusyMums.co.uk. All the bargains in one place, so you don’t need to spend ages searching. (more…)
We were recently asked to take part in a challenge at mealtimes, and since most mealtimes in our house are challenges in themselves, I thought why not? What’s another battle at the table in the grand scheme of things? With fussy eaters, allergies, intolerances, attitudes and vegetable aversions, we’ll literally take any help we can get when it comes to sorting out the kids’ eating habits. So what is the #ReThinkToddlerPortionSizes campaign all about?
This video explains it all really well, actually:
Regular readers will know that poor old elsie suffers from a cow’s milk protein allergy, and she also has a steroid inhaler to treat restricted airways too. On top of that, I suspect she’s suffering from hay fever also- I suffer, and allergies tend to run in the family, so it would come as no great surprise really. So when Philips asked if I would like to try out some products from their new anti allergen range, I agreed readily; anything to ease discomfort and *possibly* help Elsie (and us!) get some better sleep! We were sent the Power Pro Aqua 2 in 1 wet and dry cordless vacuum cleaner, the Power Pro Anti Allergen Bagless Cylinder vacuum cleaner, the 3000 Series Air Purifier with NanoProtect filter. and the Dust Mite Hand Held vacuum cleaner -and this is what we thought.
The Anti Allergen range
First of all, I love that Philips have brought out a range of products specially for combatting allergens in the home. For me, its the peace of mind that I’m doing everything I can to fight allergens for Elsie and I, and my eldest too who also suffers. Ghostwriterdaddy also reacts quite badly to dust, and since our cleaner went on maternity leave right around the time the products arrived it really was great timing. Philips say they intend to “innovate to enrich lives” and that ” It’s often said that a healthy home is a happy one: if you feel good, life becomes that much more fun to live for you and your family.” and I love that philosophy. The products are designed to help families manage the allergen levels in the home- ” The unique allergen filtration combined with powerful performance helps to filter up to 99% of allergens like pollen, pet dander, dust and dust mites to help you keep your home clean and healthy and protect your family.” (more…)
The newborn days are intense. Long, hard and drawn out- often with little room to breathe, to exhale and to truly appreciate what you have. The days are filled with nappies, endless feeds, laundry loads and missed sleep. Some days are better than others, but mostly- at first- you are completely and utterly tethered to that little person. That little person needs you. That little person relies on you. That little person is your reason for existing. And sometimes, that’s so hard to accept. So hard to place this new life alongside your old life, and move on without hiccups. Without regrets. Without a yearning for those free and easy days of being responsible for just yourself. Those magical days of freedom and fun and feeling like a person rather than a machine. (more…)