As summer heats up, Canadians expect to spend 25 per cent less on summer fun than last year.
As the temperature increases, so too does our spending. It’s the summer after all, and there’s lots to do: pool parties, barbeques, home renovations, music festivals, road trips and connecting with friends at the local neighbourhood patio.
But this year, many Canadians are keeping a keen eye on their wallet. According to a CIBC poll, Canadians expect to spend 25 per cent less this year on summer fun in comparison to last. While last year it was estimated we would spend about $1,766 on summer activities, this year, we’re tightening our belt to the tune of $1,346.
Keep a watchful eye on the budget
One of the best ways to minimize spending is to know where your money is going, and a budget is the ideal way to accomplish this goal. One third of survey respondents said they’ll stick closely to their budget this summer and half said they’ll try to stick to the budget but sometimes find it tough to do.
A budget is especially important at this time of year as 67 per cent of those polled said that summer is the season when they tend to make more unplanned purchases. Being mindful of your budget and tracking your spending can help curb impulse buys.
Beyond the budget: Ways to save money
We here at InsuranceHotline.com have pulled together a few tips to help you free up your cash so that you can spend it on the things you really want to see, do or buy this summer.
In the car
- Keep your car maintained. It might be tempting to delay trips to the mechanic, but in the long run, regular maintenance will minimize the chance of a major repair bill later. Regular maintenance can also safe you on fuel. According to Natural Resources Canada, a poorly maintained vehicle can cost the equivalent of up to 15¢ more per litre on fuel.
- Drive efficiently. Accelerating gently, maintaining a steady speed (within the limit of course) and anticipating traffic are all ways that reduce the amount of gas that’s being consumed.
- Related Read: How to Save Money on Gas—10 Fuel Efficient Driving Tips
- Keep your tires properly inflated. Under or over-inflated tires may not accelerate, brake or steer properly. Properly inflated tires will also mean you’ll spend less at the gas pumps too.
- Related Read: Proper Tire Inflation 101—How to Check Tire Pressure
- According to Toronto Hydro, air conditioning can account for up to 50 per cent of your summer electricity bill so try to only use it when necessary. Keep it at a temperature that’s comfortable, but not too cool, and schedule the thermostat to turn it down when no one is home.
- Use your ceiling fans to your advantage. They help cool down your home, don’t use as much electricity, and reduce the need for air conditioning. Another way to keep the house cool is to draw your curtains and blinds on windows that face the sun during the day.
- Avoid doing laundry and using the dishwasher during “peak times” when you’re charged more for the energy you use. Also, go for cold wash and rinse cycles when doing laundry.
- Pack less to pay less. Packing poorly can cause you to use more luggage. And, the more luggage you have to check in, the more you’ll pay at the check-in counter. You could also be on the hook if your luggage exceeds the allowable weight. Pack lightly to save money.
- Related Read: Top 10 Things to Pack in Your Carry-On
- Travel-sized toiletries are great for helping you travel light, but can be costly if bought pre-filled. Instead, go to your local dollar store and buy empty travel-sized containers that can be filled with what you’ve got on hand at home.
- Only you should roam, not your phone. The pay-per-use fees for voice, data, and text messages can add up quickly when travelling. Get a travel bundle plan from your service provider before you leave to minimize how much you’ll spend.
Even just incorporating a few of these tips into your daily routine can make an impact to your bottom line this summer. Sometimes it’s the small changes that can make a big difference.
Have tips you’d like to share? Post them, we’d love to hear from you.