Even though children are back at school and students heading off to university, the costs still keep on mounting up. Here are 10 ways to cut your outlay on your kids – from babies to undergraduates.
1 Discount websites and clubs
Discount websites and clubs such as www.babyfreebies.co.uk and www.bounty.com/packs offer free deals and products for parents. Visit our guide to free and cheap baby stuff for more.
The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) has great nearly new sales on baby clothes. Go to www.nctpregnancyandbabycare.com for more.
Check our guide for more places to buy secondhand baby goods.
2 Best saving accounts
Which? research shows that young savers have been getting a raw deal from easy access children’s savings accounts. We found that more than half paid 1% AER or less. The best rate accounts currently are the Lloyds TSB Young Saver and the Northern Rock Little Rock saver, both paying 3%. Visit our Best Rates saving pages for more details.
3 Free sport for children
If your child loves sport, try these. For tennis fans, visit tennisforfree.com. Football fans can try tescoskills.thefa.com and Asda runs free school holiday sports sessions – visit www.asdasportingchance.com.
Register with free shopping club KidStart and get up to 20% cashback when you shop. This is transferred into any child trust fund or bank or building society. Hundreds of shops participate. Visit www.kidstart.co.uk for more.
5 Student bank accounts
If your child or grandchild is off to college, make sure they choose the right bank account. Their spending is likely to exceed their income, so look for an account with a decent interest-free overdraft rather than lots of freebies. Find our more about student accounts here.
6 Free software
Computer software can cost a fortune, but there are great free choices. Free personal finance software such as Ace Money Lite (mechcad.net) should help a student keep track of their money.
7 Young person’s railcard
This gives you a third off rail travel across the UK, saving hundreds of pounds over the course of your degree. It costs £28 a year, or £65 for three years, making it a real money saver.
8 Free and secondhand books
If you want to make some money you could sell your unused textbooks at online marketplaces, such as Amazon and eBay. If you have an eBook reader, you can get free ebooks from Gutenberg.org, manybooks.net or obooko.com.
9 NUS card
The NUS Extra student discount card is available to those aged 16 or over and in full-time education. The £11 card gives discounts on brands, from Topshop to McDonald’s and from Amazon to Superdrug.
10 Going out
Kidsgofree.com has hundreds of deals available while daysoutguide.co.uk is packed with 2-for-1 offers.
Children under 13 and accompanying adults can see some films at some Vue cinemas for £1.25 on weekend mornings and school holidays.
Visit the Kids AM page of the Vue website. Cineworld charges £1 a person for specific Saturday morning films in some locations as part of its Movies for Juniors scheme, while an adult gets in free with each child paying ‘pocket money prices’ for Odeon weekend morning films.