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How To Have A Debt-Free Summer

Ah summer — sunshine, warm temperatures, days spent at the beach…and debt.

With the extra costs of child care, day camp and travel, summer can be an expensive time of year for many families. Unfortunately, these extra expenses can sometimes lead to overspending and even adding more to your current debt load.

Given the fact that the average amount of consumer debt in Canada is already pretty high, not to mention the fact that interest rates are expected to increase again this year, it’s important that families in Peterborough try their best to steer clear of summertime debt. Here are a few tips that will help:

Make a plan

Now is a great time to consider the extra costs that you may encounter during the warmer months and make a plan that will help you manage these costs without increasing the amount of debt you owe.

A 2015 summer spending survey revealed that families spend a lot more in the summer — as much as 75 per cent more on groceries and more than twice as much on gas. There’s a good chance that a lot of families will try to rein in their summer spending this year — still, there’s no doubt that summer expenses can challenge the family budget.

Although you may already use a budget to plan your spending during the rest of year, it’s a good idea to create a special summer budget that accounts for the extra expenses that will likely come your way such as  child care and travel.

If you are travelling, Practical Money Skills Canada a has a great online travel budget calculator that can help you plan for your travel related expenses and avoid spending more than you can afford. You can check out this handy tool here.

Start saving now

In order to avoid and reduce summertime debt, it’s a good idea to start saving now in preparation. Although summer is almost here, cutting back in a few key areas now and putting that money aside might help lessen your summer spending burden.

For great ideas on how you can save a little extra, check out this article from the Simple Dollar.

Choose simple and low cost

One final way to avoid debt this summer is to keep it simple. Instead of an extravagant family vacation, opt for a campout in your backyard. It’s more than likely that the fun you will have be just as memorable.

As Anna from the personal finance blog And Then We Saved points out, free activities are also a great way to spend less and avoid adding to your consumer debt this summer. Luckily, there are tons of great free activities and events in and around Peterborough. Check out all the free things you can do with your family this summer by visiting the City of Peterborough website.

How do you plan to avoid debt this summer? Share your tips and tricks using the hashtags #Budgeting #DebtSolutions.

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