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Staying out of the red over bank holiday weekends

Editor’s note: This is a guest post brimming with interesting data and sound ideas.

Whether you’re a flag-waving fan of British tradition or you just like the idea of a long, fun-filled weekend, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee was one of the big events of 2012.

Marking 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign on the British throne, the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend (2nd-5th June) was celebrated the nation over with street parties, family days out to the seaside and socialising with friends & family.

However, fun and festivities come with downsides too – the not-so-welcome tradition of poor bank holiday weather is just one of them. What about the cost? When people ‘push the boat out’, does it push back and hit them in the finances?

Let’s take a look at how Brits raised a toast to the Jubilee – and what we could all learn about celebrating when you don’t have a Buckingham Palace budget to do it on.

How did you celebrate the Jubilee weekend?

So how exactly did you spend the Diamond Jubilee? Taking the kids to a theme park? Visiting friends & family? Recharging your batteries with a few extra lie-ins?

Research from thinkmoney.co.uk has given us some insight into how people said they’d be spending the Jubilee Bank Holiday. Nearly 7.5 million adults were planning on taking a break and getting away from it all. Of the 5 million people planning a getaway within the UK, 40% (over 2 million people) were planning day trips or activities, while 19% said they’d be socialising (hosting a BBQ, for example) and 14% planned to indulge in some ‘retail therapy’.

With the Jubilee weekend fresh in our minds, it’s a good time to think ahead to the next bank holiday and figure out what you could do on August 27th. Have you thought about how you’ll cover the cost without breaking the bank – and facing the financial after-effects?

Could your next bank holiday be a debt-free one?

According to the survey, 11 million Brits expected to spend more money than usual over the Jubilee Bank Holiday – with 3% expecting to spend £150 or more!

This may not be so much of a worry if you can comfortably cover the cost – but this isn’t always the case. 2.5 million people said they just weren’t sure how they’d afford the additional spend, and 14% of people said they’d be turning to debt (in the form of their credit card) to make ends meet.

However, taking on debt is always something of a risk. Next time a bank holiday weekend rolls around, you could take a safer approach by:

  • Using savings wherever possible.
  • Putting some money aside between now and then – just for that weekend.
  • Setting yourself a realistic spending limit for the weekend – and sticking to it.
  • Choosing more affordable activities: a day out at the beach or a free gallery are likely to be much cheaper than a spending spree!
  • Figuring out cutbacks you could make to free up some cash from every month’s budget from now on.

Ideas like these could help you make the most of a long bank holiday weekend – without waking up once it’s over and worrying about what it all cost you.


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