Don’t pay the Euro penalty

Julian Berkeley of Christians Against Poverty shares advice on spending wisely during the summer holidays.

Coming this summer: Euro 2016

Coming this summer: Euro 2016

THIS year is a busy year for sport with the Rio Olympics in August and, first up, the Euro Football Tournament in France, but supporting your team doesn’t have to cost you the Earth!

It happens once every four years. It unites the nation against any form of civil unrest for the month that it lasts.

And it generally raises unrealistic hopes in the hearts of anyone who vaguely understands the rules of the game. Yes – it’s the Euros!

By now, France will be positively bursting with football fanatics desperate to experience the buzz.

But you don’t need to travel across the Channel in order to get infected with football fever.

But how can we support our players whilst trying to save the pennies? CAP has five ideas for enjoying the games without shedding cash:

Get togged up: Although you might want to demonstrate your patriotic support by wearing the team kit, you can reduce the cost by choosing the goalkeeper’s shirt, which is often cheaper, or wearing a ‘retro’ shirt from a previous tournament.

Alternatively, host a Euros party with ‘British’ themed fancy dress.

Playing at a big screen near you: If any England games are on a big screen in West Cumbria make the most of it!

So rather than standing in a crowded dingy pub, spending money on food and drinks and trying to control your excitable children, why not take your own mini hamper or a picnic to the screen and make more of a day of it. Then you can enjoy the sunshine while you cheer!

On the ground: If you are lucky enough to be travelling to France for the event, you’ll need to be streetwise in order to make sure you don’t fritter your hard earned cash unnecessarily. Buy a sim card in France so you don’t rack up an enormous phone bill gloating to all your jealous friends back home; travel light – not only will you save money paying for luggage with certain airlines but it will mean you can be more flexible with transport once you arrive; agree taxi fares upfront so everyone is clear how much money is being exchanged.

Organise a local game: If you’re really keen, how about holding your own tournament in a park or open space local to you?

Pop around the houses and schools in your neighbourhood, or post event and contact details through letterboxes.

It’s a great way of entertaining the kids and allowing the opportunity to get into the ‘fever’ without risking a rowdy pub.

And if you’re simply not interested in football … you could think about hosting an alternative Euro Party for those in your friendship group who are equally indifferent to the sport. Twister knock-out, anyone?

Managing debt is stressful. CAP offers free support regardless of age, gender, faith or background.

We also run free CAP Money courses to help you get more in shape.

Check out capuk.org or call 0800 3280006 for more information.