How to reduce the cost of upcoming birthdays, leaving dos and kids’ activities

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The fun can quickly evaporate from social events if you’re feeling stressed about how you’re going to cover any additional expenses.

And right now, simply keeping up with day-to-day living costs may seem hard enough.

Adam Bullock, UK director at, has some ideas to stretch your budget further if you’re diary is quickly filling up…

Offer your time or skills as a present

Bullock suggests: “For birthdays or seasonal events, rather than forking out on a physical present, consider offering your time or skills as a gift.



“Perhaps you could help a loved one sort out their garden, babysit their kids, or cook up a nice home-made meal together. Friends and family would prefer to spend time with you, rather than you spend lots of money on them that you can’t necessarily afford.”

Find free things to do near you

“Check your local council website for ideas,” says Bullock.

It’s also worth looking at local community websites – you might find a free walking tour, exhibition or event at a museum you’d like to visit.


Regift unused items

Bullock says: “Some see it as a taboo, but regifting can be an option if you have something you know you just won’t wear or use. It’s far better than ending up in a landfill. Just make sure it’s still in good condition, and you’re not regifting to the person who gifted it to you!”

If you’re not keen on the idea of regifting or don’t have anything suitable, Bullock also suggests using cashback websites to buy gift cards as presents – so you can earn cashback at the same time.

Gift thoughtfully

Some people may feel pressure to contribute to work colleagues’ leaving gifts.

Having a single pot everyone can contribute as much or as little as they are able to can help to ease the pressure on individuals.

Giving personalised gifts as well as shop-bought items can be cost-effective – for example, compiling a book of photos and memories for the person who is leaving takes a bit of time and thought, rather than costing a lot of money.

Use tax-free childcare towards the cost of holiday activities

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) reminds working parents not to miss out on tax-free childcare accounts, which can be put towards holiday clubs as well as other childcare providers.

Find out if you are eligible at

Go off-peak

If you time trips wisely, you might be able to take advantage of discounts or offers at places like cinema chains or theme parks.

What are your top tips for saving money?  Let us know in the comment section below!

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