Parents spend £2,327 a year on ‘making memories’ for their children – including birthday parties, trips to theme parks and outings to the zoo

A study of 2,000 mums and dads of six-16-year-olds revealed the true cost of family time – with Easter, Halloween and Christmas adding up to £727 a year alone.

Trips to the zoo, theme parks and the cinema come in at £541 annually for the average family, with activities such as bowling, mini golf or pottery painting setting parents back a further £186.

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Going on a day trip to somewhere different is a favourite way to make memories for half of mums and dads, while 44 per cent enjoy going to the cinema.

And more than a third love to host elaborate birthday parties for their children – spending a total of £581 on hosting their own and attending other people’s get-togethers.

However, 78 per cent of those polled worry about being able to afford these precious family moments.

The research was commissioned by Asda which has partnered with money-saving expert, Emmanuel Asuquo, to celebrate the return of ‘Asda Price’ and its iconic ‘Pocket Tap’ ad by launching a series of ‘Tap Tap Talks’ to provide tips on how families can save.

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Emmanuel Asuquo said: “During these times of uncertainty, there is so much value in time spent together as a family making special memories, but this doesn’t always come cheap.

"Making changes like selling unused items online, creating budgets with your children, and opting for own brand goods if they are cheaper, plus many more, means families can make their budgets stretch further to focus on what they value most.

"I have teamed up with Asda to share my money saving top tips for families to help them cut costs so they can save for the moments that really matter."

Importance of family time

The study also revealed the importance of quality family time, with 68 per cent enjoying watching their children grow up, and 54 per cent valuing the experiences they share.

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A further two-thirds like to create memories for both themselves and their family, and 42 per cent enjoy the adventure of outings together.

But nearly two out of three parents worry that if they can’t afford days out together, then they won’t be able to build their relationship with their family.

It also emerged that British parents value family time above anything else – including holidays and a good work-life balance, and more than half treasure it even more so in light of recent events with the pandemic.

The impact of coronavirus is evident, putting pressure on family finances as the average household has missed out on just shy of £400 every month.

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It also takes the average parent nearly two months to save for a family day out together.

Can't put a price on family

The research, conducted via OnePoll, also found 86 per cent agreed you can’t put a price on quality time and making memories with your family.

But 64 per cent said financial struggles can be a barrier to them having more moments together with their loved ones.

And more than half of parents are now less able to afford trips, even sacrificing days out together as a result of the current economic pressures they face.

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A spokesman for Asda added: "The current climate means many families across the country will be making cutbacks.

“We know that saving money is more important than ever for our customers.

"This September Asda has brought back the famous pocket tap through the ‘Asda Price’ campaign, launching Asda’s great big rollback event – featuring a £100m investment to lower prices on thousands of own label and branded products across food, baby and toys.

“To help families get even more value, we’re launching a series of ‘Tap Tap Talks’ partnering with a selection of experts, including TV’s Emmanuel Asuquo, to share tips and tricks over September and October.

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"Like many of our customers, Emmanuel is a busy parent of four, so knows family life only too well and can provide helpful advice from his own experiences to help others."

Customers can watch the ‘Tap Tap Talks’ from experts during September and October by following @Asda on Instagram.

Emmanuel Asuquo's top 10 money saving tips to help families afford to make memories together:

1. Opt for own brand in the supermarket if it’s cheaper than the alternative2. Packed lunches compared to school meals3. Make the household shopping budget a family project4. Sell unwanted items online5. Rent out things you’re not using6. Switching your gas and electricity suppliers annually7. Check mobile phone contracts8. Consider a staycation in 20219. Utilise your savings allowance10. The 48-hour rule - Waiting 48 hours before you make a purchase to stop impulse buying

Cost of family memories each year:Hosting a birthday party - £403.56 (£201.78 per child)Birthday parties (your child/children attending such as travel/gifts) - £177.81Birthday presents - £292.28Christmas presents - £437.26Trips to the zoo - £170.57Trips to theme parks - £198.72Activities such as bowling, mini golf, pottery painting, arcades - £185.89Cinema outings - £171.89Halloween (sweets, costumes, decorations etc.) - £144.76Easter (gifts, sweets, activities etc) - £144.96

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