Kick Off Summer without Emptying Your Wallet

It’s the unofficial start to summer – and with Victoria Day plans kicking into high gear, many cost-conscious Canadians will be looking at ways to have memorable and budget friendly long-weekend.

While packing up the family for a weekend away may not be in your plans, there are plenty of ways to make the Victoria Day weekend memorable and fun without piling on credit card debt.

In fact, mix a little planning and a lot of ingenuity with these spending savvy tips, and your family can have a long weekend you’ll be talking about for years.

Establish a budget – Before you make any plans, establish your weekend budget. Setting and sticking to a budget is the easiest way to keep from going into debt. Better yet, go cash only, and keep long-weekend spending limited to the money in your wallet.

Cheap thrills – Going camping, visiting amusement parks and even going to the movies can quickly do damage to your budget. Think outside the campsite, and think of frugal ways for your family to have fun together-perhaps a movie night or a weekend-long board game tournament.

Public transit – If you’re planning on venturing out this weekend, check your local transit website for holiday hours and family discounts. This will help you take advantage of all your city has to offer without the costly parking fees.

Local attractions – Check your local newspaper or community website to see what local attractions are happening this weekend. Many communities host annual fairs, farmers markets and festivals on long-weekends.

The great outdoors – The best thing about the start of summer is the opportunity to get outside. Take advantage of the great (and free) outdoors; plan a hike, go for a walk, or have a picnic with friends and family.

Backyard campout – Can’t fit a camping trip in your budget? No worries. Pitch a tent in your backyard so the whole family can camp outside. Share snacks, tells stories, play games and even roast marshmallows over a mini bonfire (if safety regulations permit).

Fireworks – What would the long-weekend be without some fireworks. Not only are the fun for the whole family – they are also free! Check your local media or community website for show times and venues in your area.

Going all out on the first long-weekend of the summer can be tempting. But if you are working towards eliminating debt or are trying to live a more frugal lifestyle, racking up a pile of bills is no way to enjoy a relaxing weekend.

For more tips on how to plan a holiday, whether it’s a long weekend or much anticipated vacation, take a look at our Vacation Budgeting Guide, for great tips on how to plan and save for a holiday that will leave you with nothing but great memories.

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