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Post summer-time blues

The lazy, hazy days of summer can lead to high credit card bills, in part due to Canadians’ love of dining out.

With the summer of 2018 nearing the finish line, it’s time to take stock of what we actually spend our money on during those leisurely days at the beach or cottage, sightseeing, or visiting the grandparents.

A survey released this past July by the online savings site RetailMeNot.ca, conducted by Maru/Blue marketing company, reveals that 41 percent of Canadians spend more in summer than any other season. This carefree spending comes on top of a tendency of Canadians to forego saving beginning in January, with only 19 percent of Canadians admitting that they try to save during the first half of the year. It doesn’t seem to worry us much; only 23 percent of Canadians feel like their summer spending might be out of control compared to the rest of the year.

The highest percentage — 29 percent — of the summer spending budget went towards gas, travel and accommodations. Another 21 percent of summer expenditures paid for dining out and entertainment. A further 24 percent funded clothing, alcohol, gifts, sporting activities and personal care items.

A different study, detailed in Canada’s Food Price Report 2018 by Dalhousie and Guelph universities, has found that Canadians are prioritizing convenience by spending more in restaurants or consuming ready-to-eat products. The average family is expected to spend $208 more this year eating out in comparison to 2017, an increase of almost eight percent. This means that nearly 30 percent of consumers’ food budget will be spent on food service, the highest level in history. ◊