As the weather begins to rise in the summer months, so does overspending.
Summer seems to be the season of spending. There are vacations to take, spontaneous weekend getaways, weddings to attend, parties to buy new clothes for, and late nights out enjoying the summer weather. Do you really want to cook at home, when the foodie scene and longer daylight hours in the sun is beckoning you to enjoy a night out with friends?
A survey among 1,515 randomly selected Canadian adults by Angus Reid, found that 52% have adopted a laissez-faire and carefree attitude in the summer. Furthermore, when millennial respondents were isolated, they found that 62% were adopting a more laissez faire and carefree attitude towards spending in the summer versus 50% for Canadians ages 35-54.
When asked about their spending habits in the summer, 67% cited eating out, drinks and entertainment as the top reasons for increased spending, followed closely by weekend trips at 42% and vacations at 37%. One in five said they’re likely to book their summer vacation by using a credit card or go further into debt.
With medical residents prioritizing paying off six figure debt or trying to save money from every paycheck to the tune of 10-20%, sticking to a budget during the summer is all about practicing the following two habits:
Don’t vacate, staycate!
Stay local! This is the advice from Cait Flanders, author of the personal finance blog, Blonde on a Budget who proclaims: “Whether staying with friends at an Airbnb® or hostel, or just hitting the road in your car, there are many ways to ensure you stay within your budget while you travel.” She further states that: “My favourite way to save on travel is taking a ‘staycation’ and exploring areas close to home, which can be an eye-opening experience and cost much less. Canada is one of the most beautiful places in the world and we should all spend more time exploring it.”
- Defer big ticket items if you’re in debt
If your priority in residency is to pay down student loans and lines of credit, fight the temptation to purchase the big ticket items now and defer them until you are in better financial shape. Consider small indulgences, such as ice cream outings to Earnest or Rain or Shine, visit one of the beaches or lakes in Beautiful British Columbia, day hikes with friends and family and picnics in the park. There are lots of things to do that require little to no money, won’t put you into further debt, and will still allow you to enjoy the summer without feeling deprived. All it takes is committing to a little bit of extra planning before summer officially begins.
- Develop the discipline of reviewing your budget and discussing it with someone
As with most things in life, the key to achieving your goals is to develop discipline. When it comes to not overspending and getting your finances in order during the summer months, it helps to review where your money is going.
It also helps to reach out to a trusted friend or financial professional for accountability and to help you stay on track in terms of having a balanced approach to expenses this summer. The accountability will help you be careful, mindful and encourage you to spend wisely this summer.
Feel free to reach out and use the Financial Literacy for Residents Program if you need to speak to a Financial Coach. This service is offered through RDBC, VCH EFAP and the Financial Literacy Counsel as part of your benefits package as a member of RDBC. Simply call 604.620.6630 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
By Alphil Guilaran, Financial Literacy Counsel