Increase in gas prices decreasing spending

Increase in gas prices

Pain at the pump is having a profound affect on the spending habits of Canadians this summer. With increase in gas prices, many families are cutting back in other areas to offset the cost.

A recent poll by the Bank of Montreal found that:

  • Nearly 60% say they will reduce the amount of driving they do
  • Less trips and more staycations are planned for 52% of respondents
  • 38% will be cutting back on household spending

Tony Tintinalli, Regional Vice President of the Bank of Montreal, says staycations seem to be a trend this year:

“Staycations are increasingly popular, especially as gas prices rise,” says Tintinalli. “Canadians still want a summer vacation, so they are going to take advantage of their home towns, and all they have to offer.”

Jeff Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, says Canadians need to be flexible with their spending:

“It’s encouraging to see that Canadians are cutting back on discretionary spending,” says Schwartz. “We all deserve exciting vacations, but we need to make sure they fit within our overall budget. Staying close to home and spending responsibly is a wise choice when faced with increased travel costs.”

With about one month left in summer, Consolidated Credit has a few tips for budget-conscious Canadians who still want to have some summer fun:

  • Explore your hometown – Every town has its own hidden gems. Whether it’s an old church, a museum or just a beautiful park, get out and explore your own city. You’ll be able to save money by reducing travelling expenses while supporting the local economy.
  • Make it a party! – If you are planning on driving to a nearby, or faraway, destination, try to fill up the empty seats in your car. Invite some friends along and ask them to split the gas costs. You’ll end up getting where you want to go without spending more than you want.
  • Earn your vacation – Getting a part-time job on the weekends is a great way to save money for a vacation. By taking on this extra work, you’ll be able to feel good about spending the money on a vacation. As an extra bonus, you may be able to gain some valuable work experience that could help you in the future.

If you want to learn more about making responsible financial decisions, check out Consolidated Credit’s free Personal Finance educational section. If you’re struggling with debt, call one of our trained counsellors today at 1-888-294-3130 for a free debt analysis.

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