Christians Against Poverty’s advice for struggling families in August

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A RUGBY charity that helps people in debt has come up with a top ten of money saving ideas for families who are feeling the pinch.

Charity Christians Against Poverty helps people to escape the misery of spiralling debt and teaches how to budget to avoid financial trouble.

Andrew Lewis, manager of the Rugby branch, said: “A lot of people on low incomes really worry about the six weeks holiday and what they are going to do with the children while living on a budget.

“They feel a big pressure to entertain them but many of the big obvious attractions like the zoo, or the cinema are very expensive. Sadly, the weather plays its part too. When it’s wet, it’s much harder to keep it cheap but that’s when us parents have to have a few imaginative tricks up our sleeves.”

1. Find a quiet moment to compile a list of all the indoor things – making pizzas? finger painting? writing to the Queen? building a den? putting on a play or making an Olympics scrap book?

2. www.moneysavingexpert.com has a comprehensive list of all the free museums and art galleries – eat before you go or take sandwiches.

3. See what your local council has on offer so you can make the most of any free entertainment

4.DIY store B&Q are offering free ‘Kids Can Do It’ sessions where children aged seven to 11 can make a nesting box, media storage unit or hedgehog house.

5.Never underestimate the power of a picnic. Keep it simple – an open space, a football and a friend or two.

British Gas are offering free swimming sessions - www.britishgasswimming.co.uk and book a session near you.

7.Get some ice lolly moulds - much cheaper than the ice-cream van.

8. Get your wellies on and find some woods – check www.naturedetectives.org.uk

9. A DVD evening for older children, make homemade popcorn and mocktails (non-alcoholic fruity drinks).

10. Hold your own Olympics with friends or neighbours and invent your own sports.

If money is tight because you have spiralling debts, contact Christians Against Poverty. It is a free service which is there to help anyone regardless of age, gender, faith or background. Visit www.capdebthelp.org or call the freephone helpline 0800 328 0006.