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West Kent Debt Advice
Debt Advice - Free, Impartial, Confidential
Centres in Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells
Registered Charity No. 1125756
Saving Money 

Making your money go further


  1. Make a Budget!
  2. Save money on Food Shopping
  3. Quit Smoking!
  4. Money Saving Websites
  5. Help with Childcare
  6. Save money by Switching Energy Supplier
  7. Social Tariffs for Gas & Electricity
  8. Social Tariffs for Water
  9. Saving money on your Phones
  10. Don't get fined for not having a TV Licence!
  11. Saving money on your Insurance
  12. Saving money on your Petrol
  13. Buying Electrical and other goods
  14. Taking in a Lodger or a Student
  15. Save Money on Days Out

1. Make a Budget!

To make your money go further then you need to know:-

(a) how much you have coming in
(b) how much you spend, and on what, and therefore
(c) how much you have left over for your other priorities.

This means making a budget, to put you in total control of your finances - there are numerous aids for making a budget, including the following:-

Your budget should distinguish between:-

  • essential expenditure - rent/mortgage, insurance, gas & electricity, water, council tax, etc
  • 'discretionary' expenditure - where you choose how much you spend on your phone, travel (including all aspects of running a car), housekeeping, etc
  • other discretionary expenditure - which includes all your day-to-day incidentals. If you buy a Starbucks coffee and pastry every day on your way to the office or you buy a sandwich and bottle of fizzy drink at lunchtime, this would be covered here.

You'll probably find that you don't know where all your money goes day by day (especially your Starbucks coffee and pastry), so
try this form for a month to record your spending. Your coffee and pastry is likely to cost at least £4.00 every day, and over a year this would total to £1000 - if you're on  a limited budget think what you might spend this on as an alternative - a nice holiday, new kitchen or leisure appliances, etc. Even popping out to the supermarket for a £1.99 sandwich and a £0.99 bottle of drink will cost approximately £2.40/day more than a made-at-home sandwich plus a can of drink from a multipack, nearly £600 a year more.

However Use this form to record your spending on a weekly basis, e.g. where you need to know how often you top up your gas card or electricity key.
















Budget Form


2. Save money on Food Shopping

You may be able to make your money go further at the supermarket and other places where you do your food shopping with the ideas on the Saving on your food bills page, where we claim that it should be possible to feed a family of 4 for less than £100 per week.

Supermarket trolley

3. Quit Smoking!
Smoking harms your finances just as much as it harms your health. According to ONS statistics an average smoker consumes approximately 14 cigarettes every day, at a cost of over £5.00 (1Ĺ packs) which amounts to nearly £35 per week - just think what that would buy instead, in the supermarket every week! Coins
Cigarettes contain the drug nicotine which has a very pleasant side-effect where you feel you're coping with life even when possibly you're not. The dark side however is that cigarette manufacturers are allowed to include any number of up to 600 additives (many of which are toxic and can cause cancer) to improve the flavour and also to increase the addictiveness of cigarettes - tobacco companies want you to stay addicted to safeguard their revenues. Smoking
Scientists have calculated that every cigarette you smoke shortens your life by 11 minutes. For an average smoker that's 18 hours EVERY WEEK that one day you'll not spend with your loved ones. It's not surprising that nearly two-thirds of smokers would prefer to quit - if they could. Because cigarettes are so addictive and the withdrawal symptoms so unpleasant, most people need help to quit. That's where your GP can help - most doctors surgeries have a Quit Clinic where they can prescribe free nicotine patches, and other helps and encouragements to help you kick the habit. See also this BBC News Article for ideas on how to give up. Quit smoking
So if you smoke, DON'T DELAY - make an appointment TODAY to speak to your doctor about quitting.

Other sources of help:-
Kent Stop Smoking
Breaking free from addiction

Allen Carr's book 'Easy Way to Stop Smoking'

4. Money Saving Websites

There are many excellent websites which offer ideas for saving money. Many people's favourite is Martin Lewis' Money Saving Expert, which has downloadable guides that are both knowledgeable and comprehensive. There is also a weekly email you can sign up to, to keep abreast of developments that affect your money.

Another useful website is Frugal.org.uk 'Frugal Living in the UK', which offers suggestions on food & recipes, general tips around the house, days out, finance etc. Mad About Bargains is also worth a visit. An excellent website for saving money on food is Love Food Hate Waste. If you look through these websites carefully you are almost sure to save some money somewhere.

Martin Lewis

5. Help with Childcare

FREE Early years education places - every 3- and 4-year-old and some 2-year-olds in England is eligible for a free part-time early education place. This means that from the term following the child's 3rd birthday, they are entitled to at least 15 hours/week, for 38 weeks of the year. You can usually use your place over 3 days/week for 5 hours/day, or over 5 days/week for 3 hours/day. The places are provided through OFSTED-registered childcare providers that are approved to provide early education in England. This includes: Sure Start and other children's centres, day nurseries, pre-schools/playgroups, nursery schools and classes and childminders. From September 2013 some 2-year-olds will also be eligible.So if you're paying for childcare, you may be able to swap it for this free provision.

The Government has announced plans to raise free nursery entitlement to 30 hours per week from September 2017, but not everyone will get the extended entitlement - both parents will need to working the equivalent of at least 16 hours per week at the national minimum wage, and less than £100,000 a year.

For more information about free early education in your area, visit the Free Childcare and Childcare Advice Line pages on the Kent County Council website.



'Childcare' Tax Credit - if you're a single parent working 16+ hours/week or a couple where both work 16+ hours/week (or one partner is incapacitated) you could be eligible for up to 70% of the childcare costs youíre currently paying, to a maximum of £175/week for 1 child and £300/week for 2+ children - this is paid as part of Working Tax Credit. The upper limit for combined earnings works out to be around £41,000 per year, so it may be worth investigating this further - you could try the Tax Credits Helpline on 0345 300 3900. Help with childcare extends to children aged up to 15 (or 16 if disabled).

If your childcare costs are paid to a childminder, creche, nursery or preschool etc then they must be registered with the Local Authority for the costs to be eligible. The Local Authority (e.g. Kent County Council) operate a Childcare Advice Line on their website for you to find or check appropriate childcare. The Family and Childcare Trust have excellent information on their website.

Most after-school clubs are also included for older children, in some cases even during school holidays.

Tax Credits


Tax-free payment of Childcare through Vouchers - many employers offer Childcare Vouchers, such that you 'sacrifice' an amount of your wages or salary (up to a max of £243 a month per parent) and get the same amount back in vouchers free of Tax and NI. The Vouchers must be 'spent' with a registered childminder, pre-school, out-of-school club etc, and apply to children up to the age of 15 (or 16 if disabled). But make sure you look at Tax Credits BEFORE Childcare Vouchers as the savings are greater.

Childcare Vouchers


There is an excellent guide on Martin Lewis' website at MoneySavingExpert.com.


6. Save money by Switching Energy Supplier

Your gas and electricity are brought to you in a continuous and (normally) uninterrupted supply by the network operator National Grid. However your energy supplier (British Gas, EDF, etc) then meters how much energy you have used and bills you for it. Therefore your uninterrupted energy supply should never be at risk when you change energy supplier - there is no disconnection/reconnection involved, normally all it takes is a phone call to the new energy supplier to set up the new billing, and they take care of the transfer.

Therefore you may be able to save money by switching to another supplier, especially if you have never switched before. HOWEVER the six major energy suppliers increase their prices once or twice a year, so you have to choose the time of year carefully when they have all just increased prices to compare like with like - this is often in the Autumn. So December-March is a normally good time to make the comparisons. For wise information about switching energy suppliers, visit Martin Lewis' MoneySavingExpert.com website.

For comparison all you need is your present Energy Cost in ££s or Usage in kWh (your estimated annual usage should now be displayed on your fuel bill) for gas and electricity, then check out the following websites:-

Each of these websites gives you an incentive (up to £40) to have them complete the switching for you (which you receive approx 6-12 weeks after switching).

People with Prepayment Meters (Gas: card meter, Electricity: key meter) have a right to ask for a credit meter, which is generally approx £300 per year cheaper (British Gas apparently do not charge for this, Npower and EDF might not charge), OR they can also use the switching websites above to find a cheaper supplier of prepayment fuel, where they do not have arrears above £500. For more information visit Martin Lewis' MoneySavingExpert.com website.

Generally with fuel, always provide meter readings when requested, this avoids estimated readings which can be wildly under- or over-estimates and play havoc with your fuel bills and budgeting.

Electricity Pylon















Electricity Meter

7. Social Tariffs for Gas & Electricity

All the major energy suppliers allow for a Social (subsidised) tariff for people on low incomes, especially those with a disability, long term illness, those receiving Pension Credit or those with young children.

Eventually all of the energy suppliers will adopt the Government's  Warm Home Discount Scheme which provides £140 rebate on winter electricity bills. People with Prepayment Meters are also included. British Gas, EDF, E-ON, NPower, SSE (Atlantic, Scottish Hydro, Southern Electric, SSE, SWALEC) and Scottish Power all now offer this scheme.

The major energy suppliers have their own eligibility criteria and have a limit on the number of customers who can benefit, but typically they include the following:-

  • people receiving Pension Credit, Child Tax Credit up to £16,190 a year, or means-tested benefits such as income-related ESA, JSA or Income Support
  • vulnerable customers (e.g. those with mental or physical disability or illness, those with children aged 5 years or under, those aged 60 or over, etc) where the household annual income is less than £16,190
  • low income households where the annual income is less than £16,190 AND they spend 10% or more of this income on fuel

For further information visit the Direct Gov website and/or visit the Turn2Us (charity) 'Fuel Poverty' website which gives further advice if you spend more than 10% of your household income on fuel.

Social Tariffs

8. Social Tariffs for Water

Most of the major water companies, including South East Water and Southern Water, operate the WaterSure scheme for low income households where there is a water meter - the annual cost is capped at the level of an 'average' bill (approx £149 for South East Water, plus £267 for Southern Water waste water disposal).

To be eligible the following conditions must be met:-

  • water meter as above
  • qualifying benefit - Pension Credit, Child Tax Credit / Working Tax Credit, or means-tested benefits such as income-related ESA, (usually not JSA), Income Support, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, etc
  • three or more children under the age of 19 and in full-time education living in the property, OR
  • a medical condition which requires significant additional use of water (from a specified list) that can be supported with a doctor's certificate

For further information visit the Ofwat website and the
Direct Gov website.


9. Saving money on your Phones

Generally a land line is much cheaper for making calls, if you have one - the standard rate for a local call is around 9p/min, much cheaper than most mobiles. There is also a Social Tariff offered by BT, BT Basic. With this you pay around £4.50 per month  which includes a call allowance of around £1.50 (includes international calls but excludes 0870, 0845, calls to mobiles and Internet) - if you go over your limit you pay at the rate of 10.7 p/min, however you can find out how much you have spent to date by dialling a specific number which is available 24/7.

You can usually get BT Basic if you are claiming one of the following benefits:-

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekerís Allowance
  • Pension Credit (Guaranteed Credit)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income related)

Otherwise you can cap your monthly phone costs with a package that includes (a) Line Rental (b) Anytime Calls and (c) Unlimited Broadband. With the cost of technology dropping all the time, look out for special offer deals - at February 2014 the going rate is now under £25.00 per month for a 1-year deal (you'll normally have to search out a new deal every year). For more details see Martin Lewis' website. However check out the following providers (if you have to input your postcode and/or phone number they don't normally bother you):-

Otherwise BT Unlimited Anytime calls excludes calls to mobiles, international calls, 0844 etc) plus line rental. Many other providers offer a similar deal (see comparison websites below for details).

As with domestic energy you can compare and switch your land line provider - there are excellent comparison websites at uSwitch, SimplySwitch and HomePhoneChoices.

If you make a lot of calls to mobile phones from your land line, it's possible to cut costs by using a provider with an 0844 number prefix (the cheapest charges 3.06 p/min) before you dial the mobile number, OR you open an account and dial (for example) 18185. For full details see Martin Lewis' UK Call Checker. 1899 is also worth a look.

With your mobile phone, Channel 4's Superscrimpers estimates that a massive 76% of mobile phone users are on the wrong tariff, i.e. are paying more than they need for the services they use. To get the best deal you need to look through your last 3-6 months bills (your current provider can also tell you) to determine the following information:-

  • number of minutes and texts you need
  • Internet data allowance - 1 GB max, but possibly you might only need 250 MB for Facebook, Twitter, email etc
  • proportion of calls made off-peak
  • are most of your calls to 1 person? (there could be a special offer)
  • do you want a package (phone + calls) or SIM-only where you provide your own phone?

Then plug your details into uSwitch, MoneySupermarket.com (both claim to compare over 1 million deals), MobilePhoneChecker or BillMonitor and look at the deals that emerge from the calculation.

When your mobile phone contract comes up for renewal make sure you don't just renew it - do your homework as above to find the cheapest deal, then phone your current provider and haggle! Various commentators estimate the success of getting a much cheaper deal even with your current provider to be over 70% success. Martin Lewis has an excellent page on the MoneySavingExpert website to help you do this.

However whether you use a landline or a mobile you can make further savings by:-

  • avoiding expensive numbers beginning with 0870, 0845 and especially 0871 and 0844
  • for Directory Enquiries, using the Internet instead of 118 services

Even if you have an 'inclusive landline calls' phone package, then it is not always the case that 0845 and 0870 calls are all included in your 'free minutes' allocation - it is almost certain that the even more expensive 0844 and 0871 calls will not be included. According to the BT Price List at August 2012 0871 calls cost up to 23.31 p/min for the first minute (10.21 p/min thereafter) and 0844 calls up to 13.1 p/min for the first minute (7.0 p/min thereafter).

The website SayNoTo0870 has a searchable database of national numbers (including many Freephone numbers) that you can call instead of the 0870, 0845, 0871, 0844 numbers - however you need be careful to ensure you've connected successfully to the intended number as this website is unregulated and some numbers could be scammers.

Alternatively if you look very carefully at the company literature (letter etc) of any firm you are calling you may see the phone number for 'Calling from Abroad' which shows the first digits as +44 for which you substitute '0' (zero) - this costs the same as any 01, 02 or 03 type call.

For Directory Enquiries BT's 118 500 costs a whopping £5.50 for the first minute, and 118 118 costs a minimum of £6.98. So instead go to the The BT Phonebook website home page where you'll find a searchable directory enquiries section for both Residential and Business numbers. Or use the Yellow pages website for business numbers. If you don't have access to the Internet you might be able to 'phone a friend' who has access or pop down to the local library for help.




















Mobile Phone



















SayNoTo0870 logo


10. Don't get fined for not having a TV Licence!

You need to be covered by a TV Licence to watch or record live TV programmes on any channel, or download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer.

This could be on any device, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or DVD/VHS recorder. If you do any of the above without a valid licence, you risk prosecution and a maximum penalty of up to £1,000 plus any legal costs and/or compensation you may be ordered to pay. You will also still have to buy a TV Licence if you need one.

To find out more, go to tvlicensing.co.uk/info

One simple question makes it easy to know if you need a TV Licence: Am I watching or recording live TV on any device? Live TV means any programme you watch at the same time as itís being shown on a TV channel or an online TV service. This applies to all channels (including the +1 channels) on any main TV device including Freeview, Virgin or Sky.

You'll also need a TV licence if you record live TV at the time of broadcast using a digital recorder, Sky+ box or TiVo, or VHS recorder. This is because you're recording them as they are being shown on a TV channel. It doesn't matter when you watch them, or how they were recorded - you still need a licence.

If you watch or record live TV on a subscription channel such as Amazon Instant Video and Now TV, then you need a TV Licence.

If you watch live TV from a channel that isn't broadcast in the UK (including those picked up via satellite or online), then you need a TV licence Ė this is regardless of the country of origin or the language of the broadcast.

If you have two homes (e.g. main residence and a holiday home or caravan with mains supply) and you watch live TV at either location you need a TV Licence for each location. However some portable devices can be powered solely by their own internal batteries, and your home TV Licence should cover you to use these to watch live TV away from home. However, as soon as you plug one of these devices into the mains and use it to watch live TV away from home, you need to be covered by a separate TV Licence at that address.

If you are a student and you only ever use devices that are powered solely by their own internal batteries, and aren't plugged into an aerial or the mains then you are covered by your parents' TV Licence. This means you are OK to use BBC iPlayer and/or watch live television on a tablet, smartphone or laptop that's not charging at the time, without having to pay for your own licence (as long as that's your usual place of residence outside term time). More details from Martin Lewis here.

If you never watch or record live TV, you donít need a TV Licence. HOWEVER from 1st September 2016 you need to be covered by a TV Licence to download or watch BBC programmes on demand, including catch up TV on BBC iPlayer. This applies to any device and provider you use - more details here

If you only ever watch other on-demand programmes, you donít need a TV Licence. On-demand includes catch-up TV (e.g. ITV Hub 4 On Demand, My5 etc), streaming or downloading programmes after theyíve been shown on live TV, or programmes available online before being shown on live TV.

If you have a TV but only use it to watch DVDs or for gaming, you don't need a licence. Many people wrongly believe you need a TV licence if you have the ability to watch live TV, even if you don't watch it. You only need a licence if you actually watch live TV.

You donít need a Licence to listen to the radio (including BBC stations) Ė this applies however you listen, even if you listen using the TV!

If you donít need a TV Licence you need to inform TV Licensing by completing the No Licence Needed Declaration.

  • If you already have a licence, you will need to cancel your licence before you complete your No Licence Needed Declaration
  • You can declare that you donít need a TV Licence at https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/cs/no-licence-needed/about.app
  • TV Licensing will then send you confirmation of your No Licence Needed Declaration
  • It is TV Licensing's policy to visit some addresses randomly to check that the occupants don't need a TV Licence - this is because almost one in five people actually do need one
  • You can read and download TV Licensingís No Licence Needed policy here (82K).

Concessions on TV Licences

Are you, or is someone you live with:-

How can I buy a TV Licence?

There are lots of different ways to buy a TV Licence. Whether thatís through weekly cash payments, using your nearest PayPoint outlet, spreading the cost with monthly, quarterly or yearly direct debit, credit/debit card or by post Ė just choose the one that suits you best.

For more information on the ways to pay, go to tvlicensing.co.uk/payinfo

TV set







Digital video recorder







Caravan with TV aerial



BBC iPlayer logo TV gaming



TV Licensing logo

11. Saving money on your Insurance

This applies to:-

  • Car Insurance
  • Household Insurance (Buildings and/or Contents)
  • Car Breakdown Insurance
  • Travel insurance

The days appear to have gone when you could rely on your Insurer to renew your policy at the best price. Nowadays, it seems, insurance companies prefer to increase renewal charges steeply for existing (loyal, known) customers, and give large discounts (typically 40%) to new customers they know nothing about. So never just renew your policy, do your homework first.

Some months before your policy expires, make a note on the calendar at least 2 weeks before the expiry to start shopping around. Firstly get an online quote from your current insurer - even call centre agents now admit it's usually cheaper to cancel your current policy and take out a new one with the same insurer than to renew. Some firms such as Saga try to block you from doing this by recognising your address, so you may have to use your next-door neighbour's address to do this. Then go to the comparison websites, tweaking the options to ensure you're comparing every detail of cover with your present policy:-

Then armed with this information, phone your current insurer and try to get them to match the price comparison prices or online prices, OR if they won't budge, change insurer. Then you'll need to do this all over again next year...

Young drivers can make considerable savings by adding
one or more experienced drivers to their policy
(but should NOT try to get insured in Dad's name with
Dad as the main driver, as this will not be valid insurance, and is illegal).

















Young drivers

12. Saving money on your Petrol

Martin Lewis has an excellent page on the MoneySavingExpert website for cutting your fuel costs. Firstly there is the challenge of keeping your car as fuel-efficient as possible, then driving for fuel-efficiency - it may be fun to drive fast, BUT it's also expensive!

Then find the cheapest places for fuel at PetrolPrices.com - simply input your postcode, and the cheapest filling stations are listed at
5, 10, 15 or 20 miles away from your base. To get the best out the website it's best to sign up for free, and perhaps even sign up for their regular alerts by daily, weekly or monthly emails.


13. Buying Electrical and other goods

You can buy goods (especially electrical / electronic) much more cheaply on the Internet - two 'benchmark' reference websites that can give you a good idea of the amount to pay are Amazon (good for almost everything) and Google Shopping (white-on-black toolbar on Google home page, click on More, then on the drop-down menu click on Shopping, then rank on price-ascending).

Martin Lewis has the MegaShopBot shopping robot on his website which is claimed to 'harness the web to find the cheapest prices for goods online' amongst multiple retailers. Otherwise Kelkoo and Twenga are good for comparison, but never forget other retailers such as Argos and John Lewis, and also supermarkets' offers (e.g. Asda Direct Sainsbury's and Tesco Direct) which can work out cheaper especially if you have your goods delivered to store.


Amazon logo
Google logo


MegaShopBot logo
Argos logo
John Lewis logo
Asda Direct logo
Sainsbury's logo
Tesco Direct logo

14. Taking in a Lodger or a Student

One of the ideas often put forward to people struggling with their finances is to Take in a lodger. If this idea appeals, then you might then consider putting an ad in the window at the local paper shop, or registering and placing an ad with Gumtree or some similar website. With Gumtree you'll need to click on Flats & Houses, For Rent, Wanted, then key in your locality in the search box. This link may work for Tonbridge.

However to have somebody living permanently may not be the right solution for you, so the next idea might be to take in a student, in which case StudentNoticeBoard could be helpful.

But even this might seem too permanent so you might consider taking a foreign exchange student for limited periods only - for this you could contact the local language schools (look in Yellow Pages/
Thompsons directories) and/or local secondary schools.

15. Save Money on Days Out

School holidays can be an expensive time when children get bored and the pressure is on for an expensive day out at a theme park or trip to London or wherever. However it need not be like that! Martin Lewis has an EXCELLENT list of possibilities that need not cost the earth. HOWEVER:-

  • If you DO go to a theme park or other attraction (Alton Towers, Chessington, Thorpe Park, London Eye, Legoland, zoo etc) look out for reductions beforehand. For example with Chessington if you book 7 days before you can get 40% off. Previously 2-for-1 vouchers were available if you bought KitKat or certain cereal packs or The Sun or National Rail or you shopped at Currys & PC World, WH Smiths, Tesco,  Argos etc. Look at TopDogDays.com and Martin Lewis for the latest offers.
  • Another way of saving on the entry to theme parks and other attractions is to use your Tesco Club Card points or your
    Nectar points.


Chessington logo

Free / inexpensive pastimes:-
  • Walking - decide how far you want to walk, then go to Streetmap.co.uk, design your route and print out an Ordnance Survey map to take with you. Or visit nationaltrail.co.uk, ramblers.org.uk and walkingbritain.co.uk for ideas. Very healthy, lots of fun, very cheap!
  • Geocaching - For a bit more than just walking, Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices - you may have this on your mobile phone. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.
  • Have a picnic - go down the park with friends, or have a picnic in the back garden if it looks like rain!
  • Treasure hunt - make up some clues (with treats and/or prizes) and hide them round the garden or local park
  • Make you own tent or den in the garden with some friends, and perhaps even camp out for the night
  • Make your own water park - get some friends round and have fun in the garden with the paddling pool, garden hose or water sprinkler
  • Crazy Golf in the garden - a Kids Plastic Golf Club Set 3 Balls + Hole & Flag costs under £5 from Amazon, so why not get some pipes, trays, wood and various containers and make up a crazy golf circuit
  • Gardening together - dig and prepare some soil in the garden, plant some things and watch them grow!
  • Make things - out of cereal boxes and other materials. Enchanted learning have a website full of things that children can make using ordinary household materials, as do Woodland Trust Nature Detectives - also check out their downloadable activity sheets. Searching in Google for 'things for kids to make' brings back countless possibilities.
  • Your local library or local council website lists lots of free or cheap activities for children to do over the summer holiday - a favourite is storytime
  • 50 things to do before you're 11ĺ website - run by the National Trust contains a Parents area with suggestions for 50 activities.
  • Wacky Warehouse is part of the Spirit Pub Company and has 74 venues nationwide attached to family pubs, such as Fayre & Square with soft play and activity centres for children.



Free (or reduced price) sports coaching:-

  • The FA Skills football coaching offers FREE places for boys and girls aged 5-11 years of all abilities during the school holidays at Skills Centres throughout England. The sessions take place during every school holiday except Christmas, and are a great way for children to try the programme for the first time, and perhaps go on to the weekly after-school Skills Centres. The Tesco Skills holiday sessions last the duration of a morning or afternoon and are completely FREE.
  • Tennis For Free is a charity working with schools, tennis clubs and local authorities throughout the UK to create vibrant tennis communities utilising public park court facilities FOR FREE. They provide free equipment and a 2 year coaching programme delivered in a fun and lively environment by qualified coaches to children, young people and adults of all ages, standards and ability for 50 weeks of the year. You can look on their website for (a) free courts (b) free coaching.
  • Activate Sport also run Sport and Activity Academies (Athletics, Tennis, Cricket etc) and also Summer Camps for children aged 5-12 at various (though limited) locations.


FA Tesco Skills logo Tennis for Free logo

Free Festivals:-  

Free Museums and other places:-
  • Martin Lewis has a list of free museums and art galleries
  • Nerdy Day Trips - keep zooming in on the map for an amazing list of 'interesting' places to visit
  • Archaeology - check out http://www.archaeologyfestival.org.uk which boasts over 1000 archaeology-based events across the UK - Displays/talks, develop Archaeological skills, go on a Guided walk or tour, Family-friendly Hands-on activities, or visit an excavation site. The website has a Postcode search so that you can find local events.

Events, Cinema & Eating Out:-
  • Ents 24 at https://www.ents24.com/ provides details of Music, Comedy, Theatre & Shows, Sport, Cinema, Festivals and Days Out. You can search by Postcode to find local events, and under Feature on the left side of the page you can select all the
    Free Events.
  • Free Events at http://www.free-events.co.uk/ provides a non-commercial listing of hundreds of amazing events - Festivals, Carnivals, Parades, Shows, Fireworks etc - many free. Many make ideal family days out and holiday ideas, whilst others are more adventurous, colourful, exciting, and even eccentric or quirky. Unfortunately the listing is nation-wide and does not include a Postcode search, but is still worth a visit.
  • Cinema - also check out 2-for-1 offers if you're intending going to the cinema. Or check out 'Senior Screen' at the Odeon for 'mature guests' (no definition given) for a film + free tea or coffee.
  • Make sure you look out for offers where kids eat free - simply search Google for 'kids eat free' or Martin Lewis items 48-52 for 'kids eat free' and see where the special offers are.
Ents 24 logo

Cheap Travel:-
  • Family & Friends Railcard £30 per year - from Railcard.co.uk cuts a third off off-peak travel
  • Megabus - from Stagecoach can cut the cost of inter-city coach travel
  • Tesco Clubcard Rewards - you can use these to buy train tickets

Two-week Adventure Holidays:-
  • With National Citizen Service (NCS) - NCS is a Government initiative open to all 16 & 17 year olds in England, that helps you build your skills for work and life, while you take on new challenges and meet new friends. It runs in the spring, summer and autumn. You'll have a short time away from home and take part in a team project that will help your community. It costs £50.
  • YHA also run Summer Camps but these are rather more expensive (£375) although there are a number of bursaries which give 40% off.
NCS logo


At West Kent Debt Advice we sincerely hope that these web pages will help you save money, but this Disclaimer is to make it clear that you use the information presented here at your own risk, and in particular that (1) we cannot accept liability for any outcome arising from the use of information presented here (2) with the links to other websites we cannot be held responsible for their content (3) the information on these pages does not in any way constitute financial advice Ė you must always do your own research and make your own decisions about anything affecting your finances.

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This page was last modified on 26 February 2017