Culture & Entertainment

How to stretch your summer finances

By: Guest Blogger
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

How to stretch your summer finances

By: Guest Blogger

Guest blog by Sarah ManningCourtesy CNW Group/Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Summer is always more expensive than I think it’s going to be. I get swept up in taking advantage of the nice weather, and my budget gets swept aside. How do you keep the family entertained and the books balanced? Planning The first thing to do to organize your summer finances is to make a plan. You have to know what you’re going to fill your days with so you know how much money you will need to spend. “Research locations, activities, cost and, of course, deals well ahead of time,” says Tenille Lafontaine, the mom behind FeistyFrugalAndFabulous.com. Social media can be a great place to find deals and events happening locally or at your summer vacation destination. Try using the city’s airport code as a hashtag. (If you’re going to Calgary, use #YYC.) “You’ll be surprised how eager locals are to brag about their city, as well as other tourists who have visited,” says Lafontaine. At the bank Once you know your summer plans, how do you organize your funds? Tony Tintinalli, regional vice-president for BMO in downtown Toronto, suggests creating a separate bank account for your summer budget. If you’re keeping the money for your summer plans separate from your regular expenses, you won't find yourself overspending. If your summer plans include travelling south of the border, Tintinalli suggests getting an American credit card to use on your trip. This will help you save on conversion rates. Gadgets With the warmer weather upon us, parents instinctively herd their children into the backyard for some fresh air and sunshine. However, summer might be the right time to embrace that new video game, cellphone or tablet that you’ve been fighting against. “Summer is about distraction, lazy days and kicking back,” says Lafontaine. Kids can use the summer to learn time management and find a balance between time outside and time with their tech toys. When back-to-school rolls around, this balance will already be well established and your kids will be ready to incorporate schoolwork into the fold. The kids “I’m bored.” It’s a phrase my parents heard countless times over the summer months when I was younger. Younger kids seemingly need constant stimulation, which can come with a price tag, but a little boredom is OK. “While kids love the excitement that a family vacation or weekend getaway can bring, they too crave the relaxation and lessening of responsibility that summer brings,” says Lafontaine. You don’t have to feel obligated to fill every day with a new activity. If you are planning a family getaway over the summer months, get the kids involved in choosing locations and activities. Lafontaine says that kids who help plan and understand the trip budget will appreciate the planning and the destination more. Local or abroad A lot of people feel that staying local is a great way to save money, and it can be. But Tintinalli warns Canadians to be aware of the price at the pumps when they start planning for summer. Even if you’re just driving around for a series of day trips, the price of gas has to be considered now more than ever. Lafontaine shares her big rule for cutting costs if you’re travelling a little further: breakfast in the hotel room. “I buy cereal, disposable bowls and spoons and milk to keep in our room for the week.” It’s a great way to keep costs down, and kids don’t usually want anything fancier than cereal anyway. (Photo courtesy CNW Group/Financial Consumer Agency of Canada)
Share X
Culture & Entertainment

How to stretch your summer finances

Login