Enjoy your summer – without financial stress!

July 11, 2018

By Jane Rooney, Canada’s Financial Literacy Leader

Summer’s here, and not a moment too soon! The sun is shining (hopefully!) and leisure calls. It’s a time for reconnecting with friends and family, and maybe taking a little time off. 

But summer can also be a time of financial challenges and stress. Whether it’s stretching the budget to cover a vacation, additional child-care costs when school closes for the year, or even the price tag for unexpected yard work, managing your summer finances can be a challenge!

The truth is, it’s easy to over-spend in the summer months, and that means only one thing come fall: increased debt. Some studies have shown that up to 40 per cent of Canadians exceed their budgets in the summer. Statistics Canada figures reveal that Canadians are already over-leveraged, and the Bank of Canada has warned that excessive household debt may pose a risk to the overall economy.

So what can you do?

First of all, it’s always best to start early when mapping out your summer. At FCAC we talk a lot about the importance of using a budget year-round. That’s because a budget is the foundation of a solid plan for managing your finances and staying out of debt. If you decide you want to go on a summer vacation, you can choose what kind of vacation suits your budget, and plan accordingly.  Not every vacation has to be expensive. Getting outdoors with friends or family can mean going on a camping trip, or day-trips to parks. 

If you decide to have a stay-cation, look for free activities and events in your community, as there are usually lots! Take advantage of free access days at Canada’s national parks – every national park, marine conservation area and historic site will have at least one free day in 2018.

If a longer trip is in order, it’s good to make a plan. At FCAC we have lots of online tools and resources to help you turn your dream into a reality. Visit Canada.ca/money to access tools like our very useful financial goal calculator, and our budget calculator. There’s also a section on managing your money to reduce costs, and find more ways to save. 

Finally, whatever you decide to do, don’t take a holiday from paying down your debt. Our online resources include information and tools for managing debt, choosing the right credit card (and finding one with lower fees and rates), and how to get help if you are overwhelmed by debt.

Above all, summer should be a time for some relaxation. Don’t let your finances stress you out – have a plan to save and pay for your activities, so that you and your loved ones can enjoy this season! 

 

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