Seasons of Savings – How to avoid overspending this summer

2023-09-20  4 minute read

Joey Zanni


Consumer Proposal

It’s been a long, cold winter, and summer is finally here. It’s a season for seeing friends and family. A chance to travel to new and familiar places. And an opportunity to get outside and socialize in the sun. Of course, with things like travel, socializing, and even family, it’s also a season that can put a lot of pressure on the pocketbook.

In a time when people are faced with financial challenges and the rising cost of living, the last thing any of us wants is for the dollar sign to put a damper on our summer. Well, it doesn’t have to. With proper planning, you can experience the sun-kissed season without setting your finances back. Here are six tips to avoid overspending so you can enjoy the summer even more. 

Family with small children hiking outdoors in summer nature

Travel locally

Summer Vacations are a great way to make memories with your family — even if those memories include backseat arguing from the kids over snacks and screentime. But we know the snacks, the gas, the hotels, and more all add up. With the costs of travel-associated goods and services on the rise, Canadians are under a lot of financial pressure. And holidays are often the first thing to go.

This summer, maybe it’s time to consider a staycation; a holistay, if you like. A local respite from work, the hustle and bustle, and from breaking the bank account. Look at what nearby towns have to offer. Look at what your own city has to offer. And treat those close-to-home places like a destination by making plans to explore and enjoy. Keeping your vacation local will save you money on travel, hotels, and food, while still making (mostly) magical memories with those you love.

Take a hike

Literally — strap on the hiking shoes and hit the trail. People travel from all over the world to experience Canada’s natural landscape and beautiful trails, and we all have the chance to experience the same wonder without the globe-trotting cost.

Restaurants, community sports, and theme parks aren’t the only way to get together. When planning to socialize, consider meeting at local hiking trails or public park settings. Pack a picnic to save money otherwise spent on restaurants and pubs while adding another layer of connection with each other, yourself, and with nature. The great outdoors combined with good company is one of the best summer experiences you can have this year.

Partake in park crawls

Got kids? Then you’ve been to a park or two. This summer, hit a park or two — or three — all in one day. Neighbourhoods are designed for families, with bright, inventive playgrounds in every nook and cranny. Venture past that same park around the corner and log some days making new adventures on bigger slides and better swings, and make sure to add a great zip line to the itinerary.

Don’t have kids? Summer’s a great time to take your nieces and nephews on a park crawl or two. Sit on the sidelines with a coffee or iced tea while the little ones have the time of their lives climbing, sliding, and — let’s be honest — probably screaming. And then do it again.

Check out community gems

Playgrounds aren’t the only treasure your community has to offer. We often spend so much time daydreaming about the culture and entertainment of cities far and wide that we forget the rich offerings in our own backyard.

Check out local festivals that fill the street with music and entertainers — your family could spend an afternoon taking in the delights without spending a cent. Take in a classic story with Shakespeare in the Park or outdoor movie screenings. All you need is a lawn chair and a smile.

Water parks, rivers and lakes, and bike paths are all great ways to take in some sun just a stone’s throw away from home.

Keep an eye on local newsletters or hop online to discover what’s happening in your community. You could fill up two months in your calendar without ever having to open your wallet. 

Consider active transportation

Fuel costs have risen dramatically over the last several years and are a main expense for many households. Even some of our other tips fall victim to some extra gas in the tank. We’ve got some ideas on how to counter the cost of fuel.

For shorter trips and errands, consider riding a bike or walking as opposed to driving. These outings can often turn into fun family expeditions as well. Not only will you save fuel costs but there are also the universal benefits of the exercise. The boost to your health, energy, and savings are hard to beat.

Conserve energy

One of the best things about summer? The sweet heat. Sometimes, too hot. If you’re lucky enough to have air conditioning on sweltering summer days, do your best to minimize its use. Even fans. The more they run, the more they affect utility bills — which have also increased dramatically in recent years.

Do your best to conserve your energy. Keep curtains and windows closed during the day, and open windows at night to let cooler air in. Turn your lights off when possible, keeping it cooler and more energy efficient. Become a temperature master through the strategic use of windows and lights to keep the room temperature in the room, and the hot summer days in the sun.

Enjoy your summer

Our website has a range of tools to help you assess your financial health and manage your finances. Maybe Bankruptcy is the right choice for you. Maybe it’s time for a Consumer Proposal. Or maybe our summer savings tips will make the difference you need.

The MNP Debt Scale will assist in understanding how debt is impacting your financial health. The tool is quick, easy to use, and completely confidential. It can help determine where you’re struggling and what you can do to improve your situation.

If the Debt Scale confirms you may be struggling, our Licensed Insolvency Trustees are always available for a Free Confidential Consultation. Together we’ll review your entire financial situation and discuss all the available options to help you begin moving in the right direction. In the meantime, we hope you enjoyed our six summer tips for saving.

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