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“Your Money” with Ian Thomas
The CTV Morning Live “Your Money” segment features our
VP, Retail Operations, Ian Thomas. Every Tuesday at 7:40am,
tune in for Ian’s advice on financial issues that matter to you.
March 4 – Saving on spring break
It is hard to believe, but spring is nearly here. And with that, spring break is also creeping up on us. After a long winter, many families decide to head out of town to somewhere warm. But, taking the family somewhere for spring break can mean a big strain on your finances.
Here are some tips on trimming down the expenses that comes with a spring break getaway.
- Consider a staycation. Skip the exotic locale and expensive resort and stay home instead. This doesn’t mean that you can’t spend a night or two away from home – but think more Whistler or Harrison Hot Springs as opposed to Hawaii or Mexico.
- Save on accommodation. To start, look for alternatives to expensive hotels, such as apartment or vacation home rentals – there are plenty of sites that you can check out to find a rental in your price range/location. If you plan to travel with other families, rent a larger vacation home and you'll save even more.
- Save on food. Make as many of your own meals as you can – perhaps you do breakfast and lunch and treat yourself to dinners out. You can do that even if you are staying at a hotel – but certainly much easier if you are in a rental home or condo.
- Save on airfare. Track the cost of your fare at least one month in advance of booking to get a sense of when to buy. Don’t wait too long though – you want to book at least two weeks prior to your trip for the best price.
- Make and stick to a budget. Though spring break is about fun and relaxation, you still need to pay attention to your expenses. Put together a loose plan of entertainment activities for the week and price out what you think each will cost. Factor in food, car rental, gas, and spending money, parking expenses…everything that you will be opening your wallet for.
You should be doing this well in advance so that you can save a little bit each pay cheque and be ready when holiday time rolls around. If you haven’t done it this year, you can make it your goal for next spring break.
- Ensure you’re insured. Last tip to saving on spring break – ensure that your insurance is all up to date and that it covers you for everything that you might need.
That includes travel insurance – because there is no better way to incur unexpected expenses than getting sick when you’re out of country. But it is also about house insurance – just in case. Is it up to date, paid and in order? That way you can just focus on enjoying your vacation as opposed to worrying about health or house issues knowing that you’re covered.
Spring break should bring rest and family fun, not money stress. A bit of pre planning and creativity can ensure you have the spring break you and your family have been looking forward to.
Looking for more helpful information? Check out Ian's past segments