I'm a finance expert & mum and here's how to have a fab Bank Holiday weekend on the cheap | The Sun

GEMMA Bird's practical and savvy money-saving tips have made her a social media sensation.

She is a regular on ITV's Lorraine ('Saver Squad') and has amassed over 330k followers on her Instagram: @moneymumoffcial.

Gemma, who previously has often worked up to five jobs at any one time, never earning more than £25k, managed to pay off her mortgage by aged 40 due to adopting money-savvy skills and investing from a young age.

The mum, who promotes No Spend Days and Make Money Days, never misses out on a deal or saving, but believes that cutting costs doesn’t need to mean cutting fun, and there's no shame in being on a budget…

If you want to use the long weekend for a holiday but it's not in your budget, check out www.freecampsites.net or have a staycation – grab your camping stuff and camp out in the garden with the kids for a night; if the weather is good, it's still great fun!

Bike rides and walks in the park are free. Make sure you take water bottles and snacks with you – a decent backpack is always a good investment for days out. Coffee shops will usually refill water bottles for free when you are out and about. 


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Need inspiration? Google 'Free things to do in my area’ and Visit Britain for some ideas.

Weather not good? Look for free trials from streaming sites and pick a film the whole family will enjoy, grab some popcorn and make a proper film night together. If you prefer to go to the cinema check local cinemas for cheap tickets – Cineworld offers discounted weekly screenings with a selection of family films from just £2.50 per ticket – for kids and adults alike! 

Check out your local council website, as some may run clubs and activities in the holidays; your local library may also offer story time and other activities.

Are you heading to the beach? Your Parking Space and Just Park offer cheaper parking options than you will find parking on the seafront. I used the Your Parking Space app – which tracks where you are and finds cheaper parking alternatives. I recently spent £3 instead of £10 on parking in Devon and Southend just by using this app!

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Cineworld offers discounted weekly screenings with a selection of family films from just £2.50 per ticket

Build a den in the lounge…have a board games day …set up a treasure hunt at home…or grab water pistols and super soakers and head into the garden.

GeoCaching is a fun and free adventure day out. To find out where geocaches are, sign up for a free account at geocaching.com and download the app to your smartphone. Opencache.uk or Terracaching.com also include lists of caches in each area around the UK.

Baking or crafts with the children makes for low-cost fun. £1 shops often have a great crafts section.

Arrange a big family & friends meet-up in the park, with everyone contributing to an epic picnic. If you are hosting dinner or a BBQ – agree with friends and family who will bring what

Pick up some packets of seeds from the £1 shop and get planting with the kids – in the garden or pots on the windowsill – even better if it's some herbs you can enjoy adding to meals when they grow!

Check out 'Kids Pass' – it's the no.1 family savings membership club in the UK and offers up to 57 percent off family days out and has some great Free Trial offers.

Many galleries and museums are free but check if you need to book in advance during the school holidays.

Create an at-home spa day – Primark has some bargain face masks and nail polishes.

Want to go out for a meal? Check which local restaurant chains, cafes or garden centres are offering Kids Eat for Free Deals

Check if your (council run) local leisure centre offers free swimming lessons for kids.

Pick up some packets of seeds from the £1 shop and get planting with the kids

The National Trust and the Ramblers will inspire you to try out new walks and discover new places on your doorstep! gps-routes.co.uk offers over 3 thousand walks without needing to sign up or subscribe. Just click ‘Walks Near Me’ – with free download formats with maps from Google or Ordnance Survey. Don’t forget to pack water and snacks and along the way you can collect pebbles to paint & decorate and flowers to press.

The Woodland Trust has inspiration for children & families including Tree ID and wildlife spotting www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/categories/children-and-families/

Set up a Sports Day with your friends in the park -potato on the spoon race, frisbee, football, tug of war.

Have a baking day or craft day, there are lots of great crafting ideas on YouTube, and £1 shops often have a great crafts section.

Be honest and open up about being on a budget. Remember, holidays are all about spending quality time with family and friends to make memories – it’s not all about money.

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