Buying a static caravan is a big investment that needs careful financial consideration. You don’t need to worry about paying the whole lot in one go, but whether or not you’re taking out a finance package, you should think about the additional costs you might incur. So here’s a quick breakdown of what’s included and what’s not when you buy a holiday home at Haven.

Included:

Access to the park’s activities and facilities

One of the main benefits of staying on a holiday park is undoubtedly the access you get to the great facilities, activities and entertainment that will keep the whole family happy. Kids and teenagers will be the first to complain about being bored but on a holiday park there’ll be something to keep them occupied all week.

Most facilities, such as the heated indoor and outdoor swimming pools, are included as standard but as holiday home owners you’ll also be entitled to special privileges on park. For a group of 4 or 5 this is great as it gives you 15% off on purchases around the park – great if you’re eating out! All you need to do is show your privilege card and you’ll also get free sports and leisure activities to save you getting your wallet out.

Not included:

Running costs

After you’ve finished choosing the correct caravan park for your static caravan, it’s time to think about finance. Buying a static caravan isn’t just as simple as paying for the caravan; you’ll also have running costs to pay. This includes your water, gas and electricity bills and to make sure you’re not caught short, it’s a good idea to budget for this. Generally water bills tend to cost around £500 while average gas and electricity bills are around £420.

Site fees

Another additional cost you’ll incur is site fees; covering park maintenance, security, landscaping and the use of the park’s facilities. These fees can be quite costly so it’s best to look into them in advance to avoid any nasty surprises.

One handy tip is to ask how much the site fees are on different parks and on different pitches. Some pitches have higher site fees than others so doing your research could save you some money. You could even treat yourself to a meal out with the money you save!

 

 

Bodmin Jail, set in the middle of Cornwall, is a terrifying, yet gripping, family attraction which documents life in an eighteenth century jail.
It was featured on Most Haunted in 2005, and after spending a couple of hours exploring the six levels of spooky jail space, it is easy to see why Yvette Fielding declared it one of Britain scariest places to spend the night.

What is there?

The exhibition is set in three acres of the original jail which was built for King George III in 1779.  It details how the jail was built, how its purpose has changed over centuries and shares the history of some of its notorious inmates.

You can see an execution pit, stand in a cell (if you dare), and put your other half in the stocks.

Is it any good?

It is slightly terrifying.  The lower levels of the prison are dimly lit and creepy wax models of murderers and thieves stare at you from their cells.  As soon as you enter the cold overwhelms you and the hairs on the back of your neck begin to tremble.

It is devastatingly saddening when you read about women hanged for drowning their illegitimate babies.  You cannot help but feel a heart tug when you read stories of children imprisoned and flogged for stealing bread.  Then you taste disgust at cold hearted murderers who beat their wives with irons and tossed them in the fire to burn.

I thought the children would be scared and worried we had brought them to something inappropriate for their age.  However, they loved the exhibits, belly laughed at their father in the stalls and saw the exhibits as fantasy, unreal relics from a history that will never impinge on their present.

The only person really scared was me.  I stayed away from dark corners, shrank back from the statues, and although I found it utterly fascinating I was very happy to feel the sun on my face when we reached the exit.

Value for money

The tour cost £25 for my family of five and we spent 2.5 hours wandering around the dark cells and learning more about the 18th century British correction system.  It felt a fair price to pay and the whole family enjoyed the experience.
(Now I just hope those wax works don’t make it into my dreams!)

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My quest to be thrifty seems to be continuously thwarted by my non thrifty dreams.

Plus my eternal love of holidays.

But I do try to be thrifty on holiday, does that count?

We have just finished a very sensible, thrift led week in Cornwall, where dinner was eaten by sundown fresh from the BBQ and days out included many soggy sandwiches on the beach.

But I have just booked an extravagant stay!  My daughters have both been through the mill this year.  My eldest was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on Halloween 2013, and my youngest is currently undergoing tests and MRI’s to ascertain the reason why she suffers from hypoglycemia.

As a family we need a break from the white walls of hospital and EuroDisney seems to be an ideal destination.

Ok – it is not thrifty – but I think the girls (plus my son) deserve a massive treat.

But I am going to do my best to visit France without spending a fortune.

We are not staying on Disney and have saved a fortune by booking a hotel close by that doesn’t have Mickey Mouse in residence.  For travel, I have secured a car, cheap car hire in France is nice and easy to arrange. It means we can get off the plane and drive straight to the hotel without any fuss.  As we are staying for five days we plan to spend 2-3 in Disney.  Then we plan on hopping in the car and spending some time sight-seeing around France.

Picnics are the plan for food in the day, plus a good breakfast to set us up for the day.  Tea will be planned and budgeted – if I give up wine we could save serious funds on the evening meal bill.

Lets not try to run before we can walk!

We will spend the anniversary of my daughters diagnosis in the Magic Kingdom.

I can’t think of a better place to be!

Living thrifty doesn’t always mean you have to give up everything you love.  Paying attention to sales, looking in second hand stores and using the internet to compare deals are great ways to cut down on your spending.

Here are a couple of deals that have caught my eye this week!

BrandAlley’s Original Penguin Kids sale is underway and finishes on July 28th – so hurry on and check out some of the beautiful items on offer (maybe it is time to start squirreling away stuff for Christmas?)  Find them at www.brandalley.co.uk

Want a free holiday?

Well, you can get one if you gave birth on the same day as the Wills and Kate.  The fab folks down at our favourite holiday park in Cornwall, Trevella, are offering a free stay to be taken in September or October 2013 or in April, May and June 2014.  Find out more at www.trevella.co.uk.

My favourite dress shop, Curvety.com, have a great sale on at the moment, so much so that my other half has banned me from looking!

Check out Debenhams for the last two days of 20% off and H&M have up to a whopping 70% off at the moment!

For more in depth retail sale details have a look here.  May not be as thrifty as second hand shopping, but sale shopping is at least making an effort!

Happy half price spending.