Summer Debt – Blowing budgets


by Joel Ceausu


As summer delivers a slew of hot, humid days to remind us that it won’t leave quietly, it won’t be long until Canadians are again groaning about Christmas shopping and the resulting debt.

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But don’t reach for those credit cards just yet, as a recent Ipsos poll reports that three in ten (29%) Canadians increased their debt load this summer.


Unlike winter vacation period, Canadians typically do not set a summer budget, only 32 percent, but of those that do, nearly a quarter exceeded it led by adults aged 18 to 34.


Almost a third of Canadians say they have more debt now than in May, according to the poll of 1004 adults on behalf of BDO Canada.


Specifically, nearly one quarter (23%) increased their debt load by up to 10 percent, with those most likely to have increased their debt living in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and with kids in the household.


Nearly one half (46%) of Canadians say that they met their budget for summer spending, with Quebecers least likely to set a budget, but the most likely to respect the limits they set for themselves.


The average Canadian spent $701 on vacations and day trips; $770 on food, drink and entertainment; $1422 on home renovations and improvements; $404 on recreational purchases; and $250 on other summer activities. For those who blew their spending caps, the biggest debt-incurring expense was vacations ($1059).


The poll is accurate to within 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.