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As Canadians settle down to embrace summer fun, what many are really doing is creating a winter of financial pain if they do not make the right choices over the coming months. We need to be mindful of a “Carefree Summer Spending Spree” and plan appropriately.
survey reported, 83 per cent of Canadians confirmed they were less focused on budgeting and approached summer months with a carefree domineer increasing spending on weekend trips, vacations and hot summer nights of patio’s enjoying food, drink and entertainment.
The survey also confirms that approximately 33 per cent of Canadians do not save any money over the summer months. Eighty-eight per cent of Canadians do not believe the summer months is a period where funds are saved. This is compared to 47 per cent of Canadians who believe that the winter months are a period where they are to save funds.
If Canadians over spend in the summer, fall months are likely to be a period where savings are forfeited to help pay for summer fun. This process of robbing from periods where Canadians believe they can save to pay for a period of indulgence continues to develop a cycle where debt grows and savings decrease.
Millennials are likely to place their budget on hold over the summer and 62 per cent of them opt for a more carefree summer and are likely to use credit to go into debt.
So what can be done today to help avoid a spending free this summer?
To start Canadians should start to pay down their debt today and put their credit cards away or set a limit on their lines of credit. Making payments that are over and above the interest portion will bring your level of debt down.
Watch the strength of the Canadian Dollar compared to the US dollar or the Euro. Paying a 35 per cent premium to have summer fun in the USA may not be an effective use of Canadian funds. If you have put funds aside for 2017 summer fun, budget to ensure you get a dollar for dollar return.
There have been several points of view expressed in various publications that saving funds ahead of paying down debt may not be the most economical choice. From a dollars and cents perspective, that is correct, from an opportunity aspect, putting money away on a monthly basis to save for your summer spending will work to avoid individuals increasing their debt over the summer. Again, it becomes a matter of choice and proper budgeting.
If you are travelling and want to stay within your budget, consider using a prepaid credit card. The intention here would be to loan the cash you can afford to spend and you’re your credit cards at home.
Avoid taking trips around long weekends. If you avoid peak periods you are likely to save some money, have less stress with fighting track and long lines.
Our kids have interesting ideas on things they would like to do. You might even find yourself surprised as to what they would say would be a fun day, like go to the beach, play mini-put, go for a bike ride or a walk in the park. Again, fun, cheap things that get you out but also save you money.
You can start planning today by creating a detailed budget for summer fun and putting funds aside to help pay for it. If you plan in advance and increase your chances that summer fun can actually be fun and not contribute to the fall blues!
John Haralovich is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee serving our Ottawa region. To learn more about how MNP Debt can help you, contact our local office at 613.691.4270.
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