Finance: Summertime, and spending is easy

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The Independent Online
Parents spend nearly pounds 500 on each child to keep them entertained over the summer holidays, a report revealed yesterday.

The six-week bill to amuse children out of school adds up to pounds 464.50, including a holiday, trips to the cinema and theme parks, toys and games. The biggest cost is the annual holiday which costs an average of pounds 950 for a family of four - pounds 227 for each child. Summer school costs around pounds 51, holiday clothes pounds 50, trips to theme parks pounds 28, zoos pounds 17 and watching the latest films pounds 13.

Other costs include visiting local events such as fetes and fairs, costing pounds 19, and days out with the family which cost around pounds 32.

For families with more than one child, the cost of the summer can run into thousands of pounds, especially if extra child care has to be arranged by working parents. The survey, from the debit card company Switch, said that one in ten mothers took on extra work over the holidays to fund their children's fun, while two-thirds of parents saved for months to ensure a good summer.