Stepping away from careless spending habits

Since most Canadians are erring on the side of caution when managing their personal finances, it should come as no surprise that half of the survey's respondents are taking things further by cutting back on day-to-day expenses. Another 37% are forgoing expensive purchases, and more than a quarter (27%) are scaling back their travel plans.

For those who have already made travel plans, 40% intending to spend less than $2,000 on travel. To stretch their dollars further, most (67%) are planning to vacation in Canada over getaways in the United States (28%) and overseas (24%).

Nearly half of Canadians who are opting for domestic travel are choosing more affordable options like road trips (48%), while one-in-five are choosing to camp to reduce their expenses.

Regardless of where Canadians are planning to travel this summer, 60% are planning to fund those trips with personal savings, though 74% say they are finding it harder than ever to save money due to the current cost-of-living crisis.

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Top expenses for Canadians this summer

With whatever discrestionary funds Canadians have at their disposal, the top expenses this season are dining out, entertainment and clothing.

However, the poll also found nearly 60% believe they could benefit from professional personal financial advice to maximize their summer savings and fun. Another 26% looking for ways to mitigate the cost of living, while 21% are seeking strategies to offset inflation.

Other noteworthy poll findings reveal:

  • Just over half (55%) of Canadians say summer is the season they spend the most money
  • About 67% say they are more interested in spending on experiences than physical items
  • Lastly, 68% of Canadians say they are worried about the value of the Canadian dollar

Looking to travel? Opt for a travel-friendly credit card

For those who are still opting to travel either nationally or internationally, a travel-friendly credit card can gather useful points that can be put towards flights, accomodations, waiving foreign transaction fees or other perks.

Here are some alluring options availabe on the Canadian market right now:

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card: With this card, the usual 2.5% fee on foreign currency purchases is waived, while cardholders can also take advantage of a range of travel insurance coverage including travel emergency medical insurance, trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance, delayed and lost baggage insurance and others. This Amex card also includes other perks like earning 6X Scene+ points on every $1 CAD you spend in Canada at Sobeys, Safeway, FreshCo, Foodland, and more eligible grocers. Plus, earn accelerated rates at restaurants, other eligible grocery stores, bars and food delivery in Canada (5X Scene+ points for every $1 spent); and eligible gas, select streaming services, and transportation (3X Scene+ points for every $1) in Canada.

The Rogers World Elite Mastercard: This card is an more appealing option for frequent U.S. travellers since it waives the foreign transaction fees while also giving 3% unlimited cashback rewards on any purchase made in US currency, as well as 1.5% in cash back rewards on purchases in Canadian currency. This Mastercard also comes with $1 million in coverage for up to 10 days if you are 64 years or under; coverage drops to three days if you're aged 65 or older.

BMO Ascend™ World Elite Mastercard: This mastercard is perfect for frequent flyers/loungers since it grants complimentary membership in Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass, with four annual complimentary passes. That feature alone is worth as much as the card’s annual fee (which is $150/year). Customers are also offered a number of other features that are a godsend to travellers, like a thorough set of travel insurance and very respectable sign-up BMO reward bonus points.

Survey methodology

Survey results were based on an Ipsos poll conducted between May 13 and May 17, 2024, on behalf of CIBC. For this survey, a sample of 1,500 Canadians aged 18 or older were interviewed online. Weighting was employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population.

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Nicholas completed his master's in journalism and communications at Western University. Since then, he's worked as a reporter at the Financial Post, Healthing.ca, Sustainable Biz Canada and more. Aside from reporting, he also has experience in web production, social media management, photography and video production. His work can also be found in the Toronto Star, Yahoo Finance Canada, Electric Autonomy Canada and Exclaim among others.

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