Family Life

THIS is how much parents spend on entertaining their kids throughout the year

Kids: they ain't cheap. But do you ever wonder how much you actually spend a year on keeping the from uttering the dreaded b-word… boredom, we mean boredom. 

According to a recent survey by Goodfellas pizza, Keeping a child entertained is costing UK parents up to £2,602 a year! 

The frozen pizza company commissioned a survey of 2,000 parents, finding that on average parents spent £409 on trips to soft play centres or parks and a massive £609 a year on meals out. 

That's over the whole year however, entertainment coast soar to £127 over the summer as parents rush to kid their kids stimulated outside of school. 

“Keeping children entertained needn't be a costly business, but sometimes there’s no choice but to open the wallet," a spokesperson for Goodfellas told The Mirror

“After a while, all the made-up games and free entertainment in the world will take second place to something with a cost attached.

“Heading out for a family meal can be a good way to make a summer holiday evening feel special, though it can take its toll on your finances over time.

“Plus, getting everyone organised, deciding where to eat and making sure the outing goes without a hitch can be a hassle for parents already exhausted from a day entertaining the kids.”

Moreover, parent fork out £37 on TV and movie entertainment every month, and a further £35 on toys, books and magazines for their kids.

We're intrigued but not shocked. With the summer holidays on the way parents everywhere are doing their best to keep their kids schedules as full as possible. In spite of all our best efforts, one third of parents still report that their kids are likely to complain about being bored over the break. Most parents only have 8 days before their little ones start complaining of boredom. 

Nearly two thirds of parents have a TV subscription, and half of those keep it so their kids have something to watch. 

Parents who aren't as well off spend nearly a quarter of their monthly income on child entertainment. However, six in 10 are happy to shell out to make sure the kids are happy, with 13 per cent admitting they spend ‘too much’.

Theme parks were picked as kids’ favourite form of entertainment by 23 per cent of respondents, followed by movies, a day at the zoo, a park trip and eating out.

“It is fascinating to observe the changes in family spending habits over the last few years, and these observations have been backed up by this research," Tina Weeks, an expert Financial Life Planner, explained.

“It is startling to see how much is being spent on things that would previously have been considered luxuries – for example technology, eating out, and TV subscriptions. These items are often purchased unconsciously because people are not budgeting.

“Noticing and planning their spending using a budget would ensure that families were spending mindfully which often leads to changes in behaviour and means funds are more usefully deployed.

“Simple swaps such as enjoying a restaurant-quality meal in the home rather than dining out can make big changes to the bottom line.”

Just in case you didn't believe us here's the break down of exactly hoe much parents spend on entertainment a month. 

Toys, books and magazines – £35.31

TV and movie entertainment – £37.69

Meals out – £50.81

Other entertainment e.g. days out, parties etc – £58.95

Soft play centres and play parks – £34.11

What do you think? Should parents start budgeting now for summer entertainment. 

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