Skip to main content

Always Save Money
A blog by personal finance journalist Rubina Ahmed-Haq

KEEP SUMMER SPENDING ON TRACK


The warmer weather is finally here and families across the country are starting to make their summer plans. Personal finance experts love to talk about how expensive the Holidays are in December, but we often don’t discuss how pricey summer events can be. Unlike Christmas, a one-day event, summer holidays are two months long. With endless vacations, BBQ with friends and last minute dinner plans, the costs can add up. A 2015 BMO Bank of Montreal survey of summer spending found Canadians plan to spend an average of $5,605 during the hot summer months. Here are my tips to keep your budget on track all summer long.

Plan, Plan, Plan
Benjamin Franklin famously said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail! You should apply this to your summer spending plans as well. Map out now all social events you already have planned. Summer wedding, family vacation, dinner dates. Big and small write all the events down than attach a guesstimate of how much you believe each event will cost. The BMO survey shows Canadians spend more than $2700 on social outings, entertaining friends and family, general summer activities and entertainment. By mapping out your social calendar you can easily see where you might be overspending.  You can tweak your spending now to keeps costs down, and maybe decline any invites early that might be out of your budget.

Quality over quantity
Focus on events that are most important to you. Summer spending can often get out of control when you start accepting every single invitation. What might end up happening is you find yourself spending money (and time) on people and things you don’t even enjoy. Now that is a total waste of money. Avoid all that by picking events that really mean something to you and your family and friends.

Keep it Canadian
Vacations are expensive, especially those taken outside the country. In many cases, you have to fly to your destination. The BMO summer spending survey finds Canadians expect to spend move $2,000 on longer vacations and weekend trips this summer. You can bring this cost down significantly by simply taking trips that are closer to home. Wherever you live in Canada there are often amazing vacations spots only a few hours’ drive. Start by drawing a radius around your home that shows all that places that are within 500 km of you (as an example.)  You can easily figure this out by using a site like freemaptools.ca. Road trips are much more cost effective than flying.  

Do a big bulk shop now
We know summer is all about the last minute get together. Be ready for all your spontaneous parties on the patio and dinner plans, by doing a big bulk shop now. Stock up on essentials like burgers and hot dogs, get some frozen vegetables to make a quick stir-fry. Have a good variety of mixers ready to go for the adult drinks. This means if you make plans in the morning to have a party that afternoon, your shopping is already 75 per cent done. Planning is key to keeping your budget in check.

Get energy efficient
Summer is hot, and it can get uncomfortable without AC. You can cut your energy bill by 15 per cent by using a programmable thermostat, which keeps the home cooler at night for sleeping, but warmer when everyone is out of the house. Keep air vents closed in the basement and make sure your window shades are turned down so your AC is not competing with the heat from the sun. Also check that the door and windows seal are in good shape so cold air isn’t escaping.

Extra childcare
Parent’s often find themselves scrambling to get childcare for the summer months. Camps and short-term childcare options can be expensive.  The best idea is to take your own holiday during the summer months to bridge that gap. For the weeks when you need childcare find city-run camps for the best value. 

Free first
Focus on the free events offered in your area. Visit your city website to see what’s happening near you, there are events near playgrounds and community centres that cost nothing. Join your local parents Facebook group to post questions and keep in the know of what’s happening around you.

Regardless of what your plans are in this summer, it’s important to make a rough budget of what you can afford to spend. This will help keep your bank balance in check. Summer is supposed to fun and spontaneous, but you don’t want it to leave you in debt by the end of the season. With some careful planning, you can enjoy all summer long without putting yourself in financial distress. 

Comments

  1. I have a fancy for your posts and I think they are very good. I can make full use of them to handle with some problems in my life. Articles seems to be written well, so they are easy to understand. Thank you for your sharing.
    best free e-mail with love
    the apps e-mail with love
    koi Nhật

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

MORTGAGE COSTS ARE GOING UP

The mortgage landscape in Canada is changing so fast that many current mortgage borrowers and first time home buyers may not realize how much it will affect their bottom line.  According to a new CIBC Capital markets reports, 47 per cent of all existing mortgages in Canada are up for renewal in the next year.  This number is significantly higher because CIBC says borrowers in recent years have taken on mortgages with two- or three-year terms, because at the time they were cheaper.  These shorter mortgages have created a refinancing glut, as they are up for renewal alongside the typical five-year mortgages. New mortgage applicants will be affected in three major ways
Rising interest rates Both fixed and variable rates are higher. When it comes to fixed rates, all of Canada’s big banks have raised their five-year fixed mortgage rate. The posted rate for TD, CIBC, BMO, Scotia and RBC is now more than 5 per cent. The move is a reaction to rising bond yields. Bond yields are higher because…

TOP TEN REASONS WHY SENIORS ARE IN DEBT

I thought we were supposed to get wiser with age? But it seems Canadian seniors are racking up debt faster than any other age group. Another reasons for young people to save more for retirement and for those reaching retirement to practice some self control over their finances. An Equifax report called, Canadian ConsumerCredit Trends, details spending habits of Canadians during the second quarter of 2013. It found consumer debt in Canada rose by almost $77-billion, but year-over-year, but the group racking up the most debt is 65 and older. This group saw their debt increase by 6.5 per cent. Here’s why Canadian seniors are taking on more loans than anyone else. Most Canadians underestimate the cost of retirement.
Retirement costs about 80 per cent of what your working years did.
You can’t borrow for your retirement.
Canadians are living longer and healthier lives.
Many Canadian don’t have adequate health care to take care of their needs.
We spend most on healthcare in the last 10 years…

MONEY SAVING TIPS TO USE RIGHT NOW

Buy smaller fruits and vegetables. If you are paying for fruits and veggies per pound buy smaller, apples, oranges, zucchinis mushrooms etc. This will avoid wasting fruits and vegetables. How often have you wasted half an apple because it was too big to finish? When you throw out half an apple you are throwing out money!
Dine out on weekdays: This might be the hardest sell, but eating out during the week can cost you less and makes more sense. Most restaurants have great deals during the week to attract customers and you will appreciate not having to cook and do dishes on a work night. But remember it’s cheaper to eat at home, so don’t over do this one.
Clip coupons: I know it’s what your mom used to do, but mother knows best! Using coupons, especially on already sale-priced items, will give you maximum savings on household goods. My best advice is clip coupons for products you already use in your home and then scan the fliers to see when they go on sale and stock up!
Take your lunch…