3 Simple Steps to Guilt-Free Summer Holidays with Kids

summer holidays financial wellness money matters personal finance
Written By Caitriona Ellis

Are you fed up of missing out on school holidays with your kids because you don’t have the money, you don’t have the time to take the time off and you’re perhaps paying somebody else for the privilege of looking after your kids during school holidays? If that’s the case, then I’m going to cover in three simple steps as to how you can set up the ideal situation for any school holidays with you and your kids. Watch the short vlog here for some inspiration as Caitriona shares her thoughts on what you can do. Watch the short vlog here for some inspiration as Caitriona shares her thoughts on what you can do.


Step one is really about getting clarity as to what ideal school holidays look like for you. So if you had a magic wand and you could set things up for your school holidays, whether summer, Easter, Christmas, whatever, in a way that worked for you, what would that look like?

So would you be off for the entire time, totally work free? Would it be a mix of maybe doing a few hours work in the morning or evening and then having the rest of the day off with your kids? Or, um, What, what is it? Or maybe it’s a hybrid of both. So the first step really is actually to get clear on what that looks like because many of us kind of roller coaster from one one day to the next. We don’t take the time out actually give some thought as to what that looks like and without clarity as to what you’d like, then it’s impossible to figure out where you’re going. So let’s get clear on that first. So take a few minutes to give some thought to this. Maybe it might be something that you give some thought to when you’re cooking, maybe when you’re having a bath, when you’re out for a walk, have some space or in the car driving, take some space, a few minutes to think about what would that look like.

I can’t underestimate the impact that this clarity will have on you and on how you actually nudge this forward.

Step 2 is to review your status quo. So what do you have available to you at the moment? How many annual leave dates do you have? Is it possible to take unpaid leave? Is there any parental leave available? Is there a flexi working conditions available? What are the things that you could possibly avail of? Some you may be already aware of. And so maybe you haven’t inquired yet about, so perhaps it’s worth a conversation with your HR as to what can you do.

Step three is about figuring out what your action plan is to take this forward. So you know what you want, you know what your current status quo is, and now how do you bring those two together. Bringing those two together for some might be quite simple, and for others it might be quite a number of steps, and it might take a little bit of time to get you there.

But the biggest blocker on this I’ve found is even trying to find resources like this, there doesn’t seem to be much out there because most people believe that it’s a case of just sucking it up and that’s the way it is and there’s nothing I can do about it. And I definitely am here to challenge that and say, absolutely not.

If you want to be off with your kids, then there’s absolutely a way. And there is a way, regardless of the circumstances that you’re in right now for you to find that. So it’s about trying to put the pieces together one by one.

So maybe, and this is a big one for a lot of people, you actually are not familiar enough with your numbers right now to figure out what you can afford.

So what if it was a case that you could save a little bit over the other months in the year and have a little pot put aside so that you could actually afford to take those school holidays off. But if you don’t know what your regular expenses. Are per month and maybe the additional pieces for holiday time are then you have no idea as to what you can afford.

And this is something that people overlook. They assume it’s not possible and they make a statement like I just can’t afford to be off. But yet, if I asked them several questions about different expenses and what they are, they won’t be able to tell me the figures. They think they have a rough idea, but the actual reality can be very different.

So that is a solution I’ve found for many Mums that I’ve been working with whose initial thought is, I can’t afford it. But when we look at the numbers, we actually find a way that you can spread that out through the year. So look at your numbers.

The next one really is, in terms of priorities or your values, what’s really important to you?

You know, is it Is it more important that you have your two, three holidays, um, abroad per year, or is it more important that you have time with your children, even if it’s at home and you’re doing things locally for a smaller cost? And for me, it will be the latter. So if I have to make a choice between having holidays abroad and having time off with my kids, it’ll be time off with my kids, because I know regardless of the weather, which is something that you have challenges with, I can create precious memories with them and make some really lovely times and spend some hard time together, regardless of where I am.

And that really is pulling it together. And like I said earlier, it’s for some of you, it might take a little bit of time for others of you, it might be a quicker, but definitely getting familiar with your number is the key piece. And it’s a piece that most people resist.

A bonus step for you is something I experienced recently in Easter holidays when due to a big financial loss I had in property, things were really tight and I couldn’t do the normal holiday things that I would do with the kids. I was very upfront with them and without scaring them that, you know, things, you know, We weren’t going to do holidays in the same way we had previously. So we found different things, and when I was paying attention to what they wanted, they had said little things, um, throughout the, the previous weeks of recipes they wanted to try, places they wanted to go, people they wanted to catch up with.

So I plugged those things in during the weeks of holidays, and we got all those little things done. So it was lots of things ticked off the box. And because they were things that they had mentioned, and we don’t normally have time to schedule them in with the busyness of school week, we got all those things done and they really enjoyed it.

We created so many precious memories that were card games, board games, times with friends, working around the weather, the good, the bad, and it was really precious. Sometimes we set our expectations that kids want the all singing, all dancing., but actually what they really want is time and our presence. They want our full attention, not our mind somewhere else or on our phone or trying to answer work emails or whatever. They just want us and our undivided attention and that’s what creates amazing memories. Not necessarily jetting off on a plane somewhere amazing.

It could be cuddling up on the couch, looking at a movie, watching something funny together, visiting friends. Simple things at a very low cost. That is some food for thought.

To Your Financial Wellness,


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