The summer holidays are in full swing, so how much has it cost you so far and how are you funding it?

According to Post Office Money, parents across the UK are expecting to spend £7.8bn entertaining their children this summer – an average of £594 per parent.

The costs associated with the summer holidays have increased by a quarter in 2018, and 30% over the past five years, according to the regular survey by Post Office Money.

Eating out topped the list of expenses, while entrance to attractions and a holiday abroad were also key costs, not forgetting all the sweets and ice cream.

Eating out

47%

Entrance to attractions e.g. trips to theme parks, museums, indoor play centres

45%

A holiday abroad

36%

Treats – sweets / ice-cream

23%

Sporting activities

13%

Parents are at least planning ahead to make sure they’re prepared for the cost of the holidays, with one in five putting money away since February, while 55% believe they have saved enough to cover the cost of summer.

But where is the money coming from?

As well as saving specifically for the summer, 28% said they were dipping into other existing savings, 24% used a credit card, while 18% worked extra hours.

One in 10 said they will need to rely on a loan from a family or friend.

The costs can get so high that some families say they give up saving for the summer period, Post Office Money said.

If you need your savings and investments to work harder for you, get in touch with your financial adviser.

Read the full research on the Post Office Money website.

The value of an investment and any income from it can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the original amount invested.