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4 Fun and Easy Ways to Avoid Debt This March Break

Worried that March break will be too much for your budget to handle? If the thought of the extra spending that often comes along with spring break has you stressed out, you are certainly not alone. Many parents who are already finding it difficult to manage their household debt and everyday expenses, amidst rising interest rates and ever increasing levels of household debt, are worried that their spring break spending may actually break the bank.

A recent poll conducted by BDO Canada Limited last year shows the following spring break spending stats:

  • 8 in 10 parents reported that they would spend money on March break activities
  • On average, parents were planning on spending approximately $600
  • 1 in 5 parents were planning to use credit to fund March break fun
  • 40 percent of parents planning to use credit reported that it would take them at least a month to pay off their spring break debt.

Spring break doesn’t have to equal more consumer debt. Here are four fun ways you can enjoy time with your kids without overspending:

1.) Spend time outdoors

Not only is spending time outdoors with your kids is a great way to be healthy and active, it’s also a great way to spend time together without spending a fortune. Whether it’s building a snowman, going tobogganing, lacing up your ice skates or simply going for a walk and enjoying the sights and sounds of your town, there are lots of fun and free things to do outside during March break.

2.) Look for free activities and events

Free community based activities are also a great way to spend time together as a family during Spring Break without incurring any extra costs. Check out the Sarnia Mom Source for some great free and low cost, family-friendly activities in the Sarnia area.

3.) Get creative

Getting creative is another great and frugal way to have fun together as a family. Putting on a play, building a fort, or simply doodling with crayons and paper is not only an easy way to keep the kids occupied, it also doesn’t cost a great deal and can help you avoid any unwanted March break debt.

4.) Pick one big activity and work towards it

If your kids have their heart set on Disney World this March break, but it’s simply not in the budget, it’s not all bad news. In fact, this actually represents an excellent opportunity to teach your children about managing their money, budgeting and avoiding overspending and debt. Start by explaining to your kids that a trip of that size is simply not in the budget this year, however, if your family is able to save throughout the year and pay off any outstanding debt, it may be possible next year. This not only reinforces the idea that it’s important not spend beyond your means, but also the idea that you sometimes have to make sacrifices when it comes to spending money in order to stick to your budget and be able to afford the things you really want. You can find some great resources, available for all age groups, at Talk with your kids about money to help them understand the importance of saving and spending money wisely.

While focusing on the fun ways you can spend time together, if your debt is really overwhelming or is causing you to lose sleep, it may be time to do some research to find the best way to reduce your debt and get back on track. Debt relief professionals, such as a credit counsellor or Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) can provide you with the information and guidance that can help you get your debt back under control. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) also provides a wealth of information on their website focused on helping Canadians find debt relief.

Are you worried about the expenses and debt that can come along with spring break? Join the conversation and share your tips using hashtags #DebtSolutions #ParetingTips #KidsAndMoney

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