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How to enjoy the summer on a budget

An undated file photo of a man with a laptop. (Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels) An undated file photo of a man with a laptop. (Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels)

According to a survey from the Angus Reid Institute, more than half of Canadians say they can’t keep up with the cost of living with seven in 10 being stressed about money.

“Canadians’ household budgets are becoming squeezed from all angles as the price of goods rises,” reads the report. “The costs of food, gasoline, and energy in particular are adding to household bills.”

Financial strain limits people’s choices when it comes to choosing and participating in activities, such as the summer ones, and this phenomenon is called “The Social Squeeze,” according to’s director of everyday banking, Natasha Macmillan shared five tips to help you enjoy summer on a budget in a news release. Here are the tips:

  • Identify your favourite activities and prioritize your spending, says Macmillan.
    “Focus on what matters most to you this summer, whether it’s travelling, dining out, attending music festivals, or saving,” Macmillan said. “Don’t be afraid to say no to certain social events to stay within your budget.”
  • Setup a budget with priorities in mind. Macmillan says this can be done by tracking your spending and distinguishing between wants and needs.
  • Macmillan adds that it’s also useful to “start a sinking fund,” which can be done by “setting up separate bank accounts for specific savings goals, allowing you to track your progress easily. Consider using a high-interest savings account to grow your sinking fund faster.”
  • And who doesn’t want to take advantage of those free events that happen all summer long around the city? Macmillan encourages people to keep an eye out for free festivals, concerts and events.
    “Look for these opportunities in local newspapers, on the radio, and online to plan affordable outings for the coming months,” Macmillan said.
  • Know how to use your cards, such as using cash-back or rewards credit cards.
    “Compare different cards to find the best one for your spending habits,” Macmillan said.

With files from CTV News’ Daniel Otis Top Stories

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