The month of November was ‘Financial Literacy Month’, and after an introduction to some key family budgeting ideas from Interac, I spent the entire month thinking.
Summer is just beginning, and while parents likely have a line-up of activities ready to go to keep kids busy, many find themselves scrambling to pay for additional expenses that come up while school is out. What scares me is that with the high cost of activities and childcare, many parents allow their kids to play on screens and watch TV far more over the summer months than during the school year. While we love tech.. free play and connecting with nature is crucial for our children.
According to a recent TD survey, 55% of Canadian parents with children under the age of 18 take on additional costs during the summer; in fact, 71% of them spend up to $999 per child. EEK! Summer camps, day trips, dance, sports and summer vacations add up FAST. And then the stress follows. At UrbanMommies we believe in reducing stress on parents as much as humanly possible, so we’ve partnered with TD Canada Trust to share a few tips on how to help parents avoid the financial heat wave summer can bring.
TD’s Tips for Saving on Summer Activities
1. Check your rewards balance – redeem some of your loyalty rewards, such as points from your First Class Travel Credit Card, to help fund activities and travel. For example, you can use your loyalty rewards to redeem certain theme park passes or tours and excursions
2. The early bird gets the worm – some organizations may provide a discount on early registration; check the sign up dates and sign up in advance to save a few dollars.
3. Budget and start saving early – save a little money each month and put into your TFSA; online budgeting tools (visit tdcanadatrust.com) can also help you determine how much to save each month.
4. Shop around – municipally run activities through community centres or the parks and recreation department often offer lower cost programming. We have an amazing list for Vancouver here. You can search our site for other cities internationally and in the US, but here are a few roundups: Victoria, Halifax, Calgary, Fredricton, Toronto, Winnipeg, St. John’s, Kelowna, Edmonton, and Montreal.
5. File your receipts – some summer costs could be tax deductible as a child care expense or under the child fitness tax credit on your tax return.
Do you have other ideas to add? We’d love to hear how you and the family are spending your summer and saving money while reducing stress!
Disclosure: This article is sponsored by TD Canada Trust. All opinions are our own.
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vastateparksstaff/ and https://www.flickr.com/photos/redcube75/