How much is the unpredictable weather costing families?

Changing tack on summer plans because of last-minute weather changes can cause some spending regrets for households.

Rainy weather can prompt some people to change their plans
Two people on a beach in rainy weather Rainy weather can prompt some people to change their plans (Alamy Stock Photo)

The great British summer doesn’t always go as expected, and whether you’re sweltering in hot temperatures, or running back indoors to grab an umbrella, the weather can be unpredictable to say the least.

For many families, it can also be costly to change plans at the last minute due to weather conditions.

New research from website TopCashback has found that 45% of people spend beyond their means on a rainy weekend.

When the rain clouds gather, people spend £67 typically over the course of a weekend on activities to keep themselves and their family entertained, the survey found.

(Alamy Stock Photo)

Younger adults aged 18 to 24 were found to spend the most money on rainy weather activities typically, spending an average of £92 on a single weekend.

Across all adults surveyed, takeaways, alcohol, meals out and cinema tickets were the most common extras people bought during a rainy weekend to keep themselves entertained.

Sometimes the rain can prompt much bigger purchases – two-fifths (38%) of people surveyed say the desire to escape the rainy weather has prompted them to plan a holiday.

Heatwaves can also spark spending sprees – as well as regretted purchases.

(Alamy Stock Photo)

Nearly two-thirds of (62%) people surveyed have regretted how much money they’ve spontaneously spent on last-minute plans on a sunny weekend.

Around two-fifths (37%) have spent more money when there’s great weekend weather compared with a typical weekend, whether it’s on buying new clothes, dining out, dragging out the barbecue or having a picnic.

People spent £62 on activities or accessories on average during their most recent sunny weekend, with 18 to 24-year-olds spending £93 on average, according to the Censuswide survey of more than 2,000 people across the UK in May.

Adam Bullock, UK director at TopCashback, says: “While it’s part and parcel of life in the UK, it’s always a pain when unpredictable weather disrupts our plans, especially when it means forking out cash to change tack.

(Alamy Stock Photo)

“But thankfully there’s an abundance of last-minute travel and attraction deals and discounts that don’t listen to the forecast.”

Vouchers, discounts and cashback can help to ease the financial strain.

Bullock also suggests using browser extensions to see what savings you could make while shopping online.

Unspent points on some loyalty cards can also be put towards the cost of activities, so it may be worth digging through your wallet to remind yourself what points you’ve got.

It could also be worth checking out what cheap or free activities are taking place at local museums or libraries – just so that you have a back-up plan if the weather doesn’t quite pan out as hoped.