Tell expensive vacations to take a hike

(TORONTO, ON) – Planes, trains and automobiles — travel-crazy Canadians are setting aside money for vacations at the expense of saving for a stable future.

A recent poll by CIBC determined the top non-retirement savings goals for Canadians –

  • 25% – A trip/holiday
  • 17% – An emergency/rainy day fund
  • 14% – Home renovations/repairs
  • 10% – Child’s education
  • 8% – Down payment for a house

The results show that people value the short-lived thrill of boarding an airplane to an exotic location over less enticing goals like preparing for a financial crisis or buying a home.

Jeff Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, hopes people are not sacrificing their future for the thrill of a trip –

“Why not do both? Put some money aside each and every month for savings through a payroll deduction, and look for frugal vacation alternatives in your own backyard,” advises Schwartz. “We have all worked very hard for our vacation and we deserve it, just not at the expense of financial freedom.”

Consolidated Credit offers these tips for Canadians committed to saving –

    • Payroll deductions – Why work at saving when it can be done automatically? Automatic withdrawals will direct portions of your paycheque into specific savings accounts which will allow you to keep on track with your saving plan. Unfortunately, the CIBC poll indicated only 14% of Canadians are utilizing this effective tool.
    • Frugal staycations – There are lots of great community events in various cities throughout the country. For those that live near the major centres, here are a few ideas for some frugal fun

– Montreal – Just for Laughs festival in July

– Toronto – Beaches International Jazz Festival in mid/late July

– Calgary – Inglewoods Sunfest in early August

– Vancouver – Pride Parade and Festival in early August

– Halifax – International Busker Festival in late July/early August

  • Leave it up to the kids – Give them a budget and have them plan a day or weekend. You’ll be teaching financial responsibility while providing a fun activity for them.
  • Give back to your community – Participate in a community clean up day, donate your time to a Habitat for Humanity project, volunteer at the food bank, or seek out other initiatives that give back to the community.

When making a saving regimen, Consolidated Credit suggests focusing on two areas that will protect you from a financial crisis and save you money in the long run –

  • An emergency fund – Build up a 6 month emergency fund. It’s far less expensive to whether the storm using cash than building up expensive debt on a credit card or line of credit.
  • Down payment – Saving for a larger down payment on a house reduces your costs. Putting more down on the purchase of a house will reduce the mortgage required and save you thousands of dollars in payments and mortgage insurance.

“Your financial health will improve by making saving a habit in your life,” says Schwartz. “However, creating a plan for your savings will get you where you want to go now, and in the future.”

About Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.:
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada is a national non-profit credit counselling organization that teaches consumers about personal finance.

For more information or to request an interview with Jeffrey Schwartz, please contact:

Eric Spence, Public Relations Coordinator, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc., T: 416-915-7283 ext.1041, C: 416-731-5588, F: 416-915-5200, E: [email protected]

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