It may seem like children have just gone back to school, but for some half term is already upon us. New research from American Express has found the school break will cost grandparents nearly £100 to keep grandchildren entertained and happy.
However, it's clearly an expense they don't mind, as over half of grandfathers and grandmothers (61 per cent and 51 per cent respectively) say they are more than happy to spend the money to enjoy quality time with their grandchildren. Generous grandmothers typically spend £126 per child, while grandfathers spend £73.
Separate research from financial firm Aegon shows grandparents are an essential source of help. Its figures show around 9.8 million grandparents provide childcare and many parents rely on this largely free resource.
Top tips to have a fun-filled half term
- Children's choice Ask the children what their ideal activity would be for this half term as you may be surprised how simple some of their wishes may be. For example, a playdate with friends or a trip to the cinema can be enough to keep them happy and entertained.
- Tricks and treats Halloween is a time that always captures the imagination of children, but it doesn’t have to be costly. Helping children carve pumpkins is an activity that can fill a whole afternoon while costing just the price of a root vegetable. You could also have your own Bake Off making our spooky Jelly popping spiders or Gingerbread mummies!
- Rewarding research While there may be no such thing as a free lunch doing some advance research can certainly make your money go further when it comes to eating out. Check online websites like VoucherCodes and Groupon for restaurant vouchers and days-out discount codes. If you use a credit card that offers rewards do some research as to what deals are available. For instance, American Express is currently offering its cardmembers £10 statement credit when spending £50 at ASK Italian.
- Check your balance – If you regularly use a credit or loyalty card that offers you points and rewards on spending, check how many rewards points you've accrued and where you can spend them. You may have enough to redeem against some half-term treats.
- Think ahead – Once the children head back to school for the remainder of the term, start thinking ahead to Christmas, it will come around sooner than you think. Plan what you want to do as a family and keep an eye out for deals and offers that will make the most wonderful time of the year cost that little bit less.
- For more money-saving tips, pick up the latest copy of Yours magazine