Avoiding a Fall Financial Hangover

by Daniel Budd, CIRP, LIT
June 26, 2024

Living in Montreal, there are two times a year when it becomes very difficult to control your spending. During the depths of winter, Montreal can be harsh and unforgiving, and I am not just talking about the potholes! Finding activities, whether for an individual or a family, can become very costly when you take into account the different articles needed for traditional Canadian winter activities. Once you take into account the apparel needed and possible transportation costs, finding solace in winter can be tricky.

Thankfully, we are approaching the summer months when it can be a little bit easier to entertain yourself, especially without buying all the gear.  That being said, without keeping an eye on your budget, the summer can be just as costly, if not more, than the winter.

During beautiful and hot summer days it can be very easy to forget about tedious things like budgets and responsibilities, but come the fall, they will be there waiting, with very high interest on your credit card or line of credit if you are not careful.

It is important to remember that you developed your household budget for a reason, and that you need to stick to it, even if it seems like less fun.  In reality, you can have all the same summer fun while respecting your financial boundaries.

Just because terrasse (outside Quebec “patio”) season has begun, does not mean you need to go everyday, A day by the local, river, canal, beach can be just as much fun with the right people.

There are also many free activities to uncover. Look in your local newspaper or community flyer for different activities or shows to attend.  Pack your lunch and snacks (and drinks!!) where you can.  As a father of two children under 6, I have become accustomed to bringing little snacks wherever we go.  This has saved my family enormously when the snacks available at some free activities are astronomical in price.  Where possible I even pack a light lunch, which we will supplement with a treat or something special to better appreciate the day.  That ice cream will be a lot more special when it is the only element you had to pay top dollar for, especially if that means you can go for two scoops!

I also find that the barbecue season is a great time to save $$$.  Getting a few families or people together can help offset individual meal costs and make a great time also be cost-friendly.  Even if you do not have a space or barbecue of your own to use, many cities have set up parks or other communal spaces with grills to use. A cooler may be one of your savviest investments to date!

Mostly, it is important to remember that the good times and good vibes come from you and the people you choose to spend your time with. Setting up that speaker, tossing that football or playing a few rounds of KanJam will give you same endorphins as eating that fancy meal – without the financial (and possibly conventional) hangover.

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