Please tell me I am not the only one who is panicking that that summer is almost here. This is Monkeys first summer “off”. Now that he is a school kid, this is the first time I have had to worry about summer plans for him as he was always in daycare previously. And wow is there a lot of planning, organization and saving that needs to go into 1 summer!
We are going to be part of the 55% of Canadian Families that take on additional costs during the summer months including day trips, summer camp and sporting activities (as determined by a survey by TD Bank). It can be stressful trying to come up with additional funds all at once to cover the cost of summer activities.
After speaking with Linda MacKay, Senior Vice President, Retail Savings and Investing and Shirley Malloy Associate Vice President, Acquisition & Sales Management from TD Canada Trust I got some great insights on how to make the summer fun without breaking the bank.
Here are some tips for budgeting for summer activities:
Shop around for camps – the cost of day camp can very buy hundreds of dollars, so be sure to check out several options before deciding on one. Municipally run activities through the Parks & Recreation department often offer lower cost programming
Early Bird Discounts – since this is my first year planning a camp I didn’t even think about early bird discounts. But I know better now! Next year I will be ready to book summer camps in advance and cash in on the extra savings offered. Don’t see an early bird discount listed? It can’t hurt to ask.
Trade in those Points – check your rewards balance on your loyalty cards. Can they be traded in for theme park passes, gift certificates for restaurants or hotels? Cut down on the costs of your day trips and vacations by using points.
Budget and start saving early – consider putting money away each month to put towards summer expenses takes the bite out of summer expenses. You can use an account such as a TSFA to keep the money separate from your regular funds. There are also online budgeting tools like the ones provided by TD bank, that can help you determine how much to save each month. You might be thinking my budget is already maxed, I don’t have money to save up for camp. Don’t forget about the changes coming to the Universal Child Care Benefit, which means many families will be receiving an extra $60 per child per month. Saving that extra money would make a great little nest egg to put towards summer expenses.
Save those receipts – come tax time those camp cost may be tax deductible as child expense or under the Child Fitness Tax Credit on your tax return.
I know that I will be planning farther ahead when it comes to next summer! With these tips we can ride the wave of summer without breaking the bank.
Disclosure: This post was brought to you by TD. All opinions are strictly my own.