Get savvy over summer spending

Pat Hanson with boredom jar
Pat Hanson with boredom jar

LOCAL debt counsellors have urged parents in Burntisland and Kirkcaldy to be savvy spenders in the school holidays - and avoid running up big bills.

Christians Against Poverty, which is based in Burntisland, but also covers the Lang Toun, wants families to avoid being pressured into costly children’s activities.

Pat Hanson, centre manager at CAP’s Burntisland branch, said: “Everyone wants their kids to have a lovely time in the summer but if you want to avoid dipping into the overdraft, it will take planning.

“Some research and imagination at this stage will save you pounds in the holidays and help families avoid the kind of debt problems that can soon mount up.”

To aid parents, the Fife-based charity has produced a top ten great summer ideas to avoid overspending – good news for the two in three families expected to holiday at home this summer.

“It really doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive for the family to enjoy time together,” said Pat.

“Some space, some time, some toys and a picnic can be all it takes to provide a memorable day out.”

Shopping around for deals and offers is also recommended. Visit Scotland has a two for one voucher on offer for attractions like the Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World and Dunfermline’s Vintage Bus Museum.

Free festivals can be an inexpensive entertainment for the whole family too – and Glasgow’s Merchant City Festival from July 24-28 is definitely worth putting on the calendar. Pat added: “Not many people are able to take the whole holiday off work but don’t forget many churches run holiday clubs and it is worth finding out if there is one near you.

If money is tight because people have debt or budgeting problems, we can help.” Visit on or call 0800 328 0006.

CAP’s tips include making a ‘boredom jar’ full of cheap ideas written on slips of card for a fun lucky dip.

It also highlights local libraries, most museums and some art galleries which are all free to enter and will have activities for youngsters. These include the newly-refurbished Kirkcaldy Galleries which is host to the new ‘Moments In Time’ exhibition.

Other ideas include: Doing something new or different such as painting a picture outdoors; camping in the garden, having a picnic in a local park or setting up a treasure hunt either indoors or outdoors depending on the weather.