For many Canadians, summertime is when you will get a lot of invitations to a variety of events from birthday parties to backyard barbeques. On top of all of your events, you may even plan a road trip, a staycation or head to your favourite camping ground for a week in the wilderness.
All of this summertime spending will hit your wallet if you do not plan for it. To stay ahead of the game, account for it in your household budget. According to a BMO Summer Spending Survey, Canadians plan to spend on average $5,605 in the summer. That’s a huge chunk of anyone’s budget and will likely; add to your debt if you are not careful.
“This time of year, is filled with many distractions, all of which are encouraging you to spend your hard earned cash. Enjoying the summer is fine however you have to live within your means to avoid going into debt,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
“You do not have to avoid social events because you’re short on cash. Work it into your budget ahead of time so that you can avoid adding to your debt,” says Schwartz.
If summertime spending puts you into debt and you are trying to find ways to end the trend, look no further. Consolidated Credit has the following tips to help you end your summer debt free:
Start saving in January
I know this sounds like an evil joke however the earlier you start to save for your summertime expenses, the better shape you will be in the long run. So create various savings accounts in January dedicated to weddings, birthday parties, vacations, anniversaries etc. and start putting money into it. To make things even easier, you can have an account for vacations only and another account for social events. You decide what is best. By the time summer rolls around, you will be financially prepared.
Look for opportunities to save
If the summer months are your favourite time of the year, dig into your budget and make some sacrifices. Set a goal to put aside a specific amount for your summer activities and find a way to make it work. Drive less, turn the heat down, eat in more, bring your own lunch to work are just a few simple ways to cut down your budget.
Spend less during your quiet months
When the temperature hits the freezing mark, no one wants to enjoy the great outdoors as much. As a result, you will end up spending less as there are not as many social invites to accept. Remember, this is the time when you can gain ground in your finances; put away the money you are not spending so that you have it when you want it.
If the summer months wreak havoc on your spending and you end up turning to debt to finance your summer year after year and you are tired of the cycle, it is time to seek credit counselling. A trained credit counsellor will listen and sympathize with you and suggest ways to help you get back on track. Give a counsellor a call now at 1-888-294-3130 or go online for a free debt analysis.