Summer is practically here which means backyard barbecues, summer camps, and family vacations. This time of the year is all about enjoying the kids being off school, being outdoors with family and friends, and the long weekends! Meanwhile, parents are working out how to afford it.
When you’re in relaxation mode, it’s easy to spend a little extra here and there…in fact, you might notice that you’re spending more than you anticipated. It’s easy to spend more during the summer, with end-of-year parties, kids summer camps, sports and activities, weekend getaways, and entertaining. I’m already knee-deep in expenses for kids’ soccer, swimming lessons, half-day camps, hockey clinics, and our upcoming hockey season (of which expenses begin now).
Here are some tips and tricks for making the most out of summer spending and saving with kids!
Making the Most Out of Summer Spending and Saving with Kids
Plan your schedule
Day camps can cost a fortune! There are eight weeks that the kids are home from school, and if you have several children, the costs of sending them to day camps can quickly add up. If you have vacation, be sure to take that time off during the summer to cut down on the number of weeks you have to send the kids to camp. Another smart tip is to team up with a friend or two, and rotate taking time off in the summer while watching each other kids.
Set your calendar
Part of the fun of summer is entertaining guests, which means spending money on food and beverages. Plan in advance so you can budget your meal planning. Stock up on popular summer food ingredients and products when they go on sale, like popsicles, hot dogs and ground beef for burgers. Set your social schedule early, and try not to go overboard with entertaining.
Choose a staycation
You don’t need to go far to have a good time! Check with your own city to see what events are happening in and around town. Take advantage of free festivals, farmer’s markets, and family-friendly events that are light on the budget.
Vacation in your area
You don’t have to travel far to feel like you’re having a getaway. Find some fun spots within a couple of hours, and explore your area for the day. You can find some great deals online for one night at a hotel, or try camping at a national park.
Earn cash back
According to a recent survey commissioned by Amex and conducted by Nielsen found that 27% of respondents say they put everything on their credit card, while almost half (47%) put the majority of their purchases on a credit card. Now that’s a lot of purchases! That’s why it’s important to earn something back and make your credit card work for you. Cash-back credit cards are a great way to earn some cash back, simply by using it on every day purchases. The SimplyCash™ Preferred Credit Card by American Express is my favourite cash back credit card because you earn 2% on every purchase, in every category.
Even more, you aren’t limited to just groceries, gas or restaurants; you can use the card for larger purchases, such as summer camps, amusement park passes, and hotels. The cash back can quickly add up with all of those purchases, especially with the 5% cash back welcome bonus on purchases for the first 6 months of Cardmembership (up to $300)! Use the calculator to see how much you can earn.
After the welcome bonus, you’ll earn cash back at 2% with no limit. For example, if I’m spending $1,650 a month on my Card, I can earn back $378 in the first six months ($300 welcome rate plus 2% for spend over threshold), then an additional $198 the rest of the year!
With a $99 annual fee, you’re covered for Emergency Medical Insurance, Travel Accident Insurance, and Car Rental Theft & Damage Insurance, which will already offer you savings if you’re planning to take that vacation. With the SimplyCash Preferred credit card, you’re also auto enrolled to American Express Invites, which includes Front of the Line.
The SimplyCash™ Preferred Credit Card by American Express is easy to use and can actually put money back into your pocket!
Disclosure: This post is proudly sponsored by American Express Canada. As always, the opinions expressed herein are my own.