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Ways to save this summer


Lockdown has left many of us in financial uncertainty. Vexing headlines about redundancy, debt and economic disaster only feed the unease, and even the most secure are feeling a little less sure of the future in the wake of the pandemic.

But that doesn’t mean you should deny yourself a well-earned time out this summer. There are plenty of ways to have some (frugal) fun with your family, save money and even squeeze in a staycation on a tiny budget. And you don’t have to raid your savings – or worse – get into debt.

Read on for some of our top ways to save this summer.

Find a holiday home from home

Living through lockdown meant that a trip to the local corner shop was the highlight of everyone’s week for a while. But now that (for the most part) travel restrictions across the country have been relaxed, it’s time to start planning your UK getaway. And there’s no reason to fight for room at the inn (or hotel). AirBnB is a fantastic option. Generally, it’s far cheaper than checking in to a hotel. And not only is it a great way to give back to small, local businesses, you can experience a retreat that’s entirely unique. Why bunk in a room that looks like a thousand others, when you can slumber under the stars in a wigwam, fall asleep to the whisper of branches in a treehouse or cosy up beside a wood burner in a country cottage?

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Dine out on discounts

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. But thanks to the recent government incentive to fatten up the economy, you and your family can enjoy a restaurant meal at any time of the day for 50% off during August. From Michelin-star menus to fast food fare, thousands of eateries across the country have signed up for the eat out to help out scheme, including family-friendly chains like Harvester, Pizza Hut and Nando’s. The initiative will run from Mondays to Wednesdays until 31st August, and you can use it to save up to £10 per person on food and non-alcoholic drinks. If all this talk of cheap cuisine has got your tummy grumbling, you can use the government’s restaurant finder to find your nearest participating restaurant now.

Head for the hills

Campsites and caravan sites all booked up? While you can’t camp wherever you wish in England and Wales, you can go wild camping almost anywhere in Scotland. You’ll just need your tent, some midge repellent – and a very high tolerance for rainfall. From dramatic hillsides to sweeping sandscapes, Scotland has some of the most diverse and tranquil camping spots in the world. Traipse the wild and lonely landscape of Knoydart Peninsula, bag some Munros at Gleann na Muice or uncover the dramatic delights of the North Coast 500. But if you do decide to pitch up, remember to be a responsible camper; don’t settle down for the night on any land housing livestock and always clean up any litter, disposable BBQs and other signs of your stay before you leave. It’s a wonderful way to explore – just don’t count on there being a hot shower block handy.

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Cash in the clutter

If you’re among the 77% of consumers who spent more during lockdown, you may be left with some unloved pandemic purchases. From pasta machines and breadmakers to paddling pools and trampolines, for many of us, buying was a way to alleviate the tedium of lockdown – and embrace some new hobbies. But now you’re back at work, maybe that weaving loom, calligraphy kit or ukulele has fallen down your priority list? Before you load up the car and nip to the local skip, there could be a way to make some money out of your unloved junk. The likelihood is, if you were excited enough about whatever you bought during lockdown, someone on Facebook Marketplace, eBay or Gumtree will be too. And it’s much kinder to the environment to sell or barter rather than bin. While you’re at it, why not set up shop and see what else you can purge? Other money spinners include old games consoles, books and exercise equipment. Not only will you clear out the clutter, you might just make a little money for your rainy day fund.

Have a budget day out

You don’t have to spend a fortune to make memories that last a lifetime. Tourism and visitor attractions reopened to the public on 4th July – but the price of admission can vary wildly when you factor in tickets, guidebooks, treats, transport… and the inevitable gift shop trip at the end. Do your research, and you’ll find loads of attractions that are free to visit, from museums and art galleries to castles and country houses. The key to a fantastic and frugal day out is a little preparation. Find a free attraction, pack a lunch and plenty of snacks, and don’t forget to take advantage of advance booking and group discounts. Some museums, zoos and aquariums even offer free games and activities at set times throughout the day. Timing is everything.

Too busy worrying about money to even contemplate summer savings? It could be a sign you need to get help with your debt. Pick up the phone and speak to one of our expert, professional team today, on 0808 253 3487.

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