Rights & Money

Canadians Are Stressing Over Summer Spending

How to manage a vacation on a budget is a concern for a lot of us


By Jennifer Hughes

Photo: iStock/NYS444.

While summer isn’t usually thought of as a time of stress, a recent survey suggests that almost of third of Canadians are fretting about what summer might do to their bank accounts.

In its Annual Summer Spending Survey, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) found that 31% of 2,001 respondents are worried about summer spending this year. Unexpected expenditures (38%) topped the list of worries, followed by large expenditures (22%) and existing debt (21%).

While many believe that their spending will remain the same as last year when it comes to food (45%), entertainment (57%), and home maintenance (44%), more than a third (38%) anticipate spending more money on their vacation and travel this year, with many citing increased transportation fuel costs. Only 18% of those surveyed said that they don’t plan to take a vacation.

Among the travellers, some plan to go to the United States (20%) or abroad (14%), but most plan to travel within their own province or territory (35%) or to another part of Canada (23%). Just over a quarter of respondents (27%) are planning a “staycation” within their own community.

The average cost cited for a vacation was $3,226, but 12% are planning to spend more than $5,000 this summer. Three of five (59%) of those who intend to take a vacation say they’ll use their general savings; 30% will use money they’ve set aside for a vacation, and 16% plan to borrow to fund their holiday.

“Curbing spending now can help alleviate a lot of stress,” says CPA Canada’s Doretta Thompson. “You might feel you need that vacation, but if you’re planning to borrow for travel, will a more modest close-to-home trip or even a ‘staycation’ do the trick? Remember: being debt-free is a great stress reducer.”