Scrimpy summer? Canadians plan to spend 25% less on travel, recreation: CIBC poll

TORONTO – A new survey says Canadians plan to keep a close watch on their wallets when it comes to discretionary spending this summer.

The poll from CIBC (TSX:CM) quoted respondents as saying they planned to cut spending to an average of $1,346 on things like summer travel, dining and recreational activities, as well as purchases like barbecues and sports equipment.

That’s down about 25 per cent from the $1,766 they spent last year.

The two-part online survey of 1,500 adults conducted June 20 to June 24 by Angus Reid also found that about a third planned to stick very closely to their budget, up from 29 per cent last year, while half said they would somewhat stick to their budget, up from 45 per cent.

It also found that respondents make most of their impulse purchases in the summer, 67 per cent on average compared with 17 per cent in winter, nine per cent in the spring and seven per cent in the fall.

The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

“Summer is filled with social events, outdoor activities and family travel, and it’s easy to lose sight of your spending when you’re trying to make the most of the short-lived season,” Jamie Golombek, managing director at CIBC’s Wealth Strategies Group, said in a statement Thursday accompanying the results.

“So it’s encouraging to see that more Canadians are trying to stay on top of their budgets this year.”

Golombek said cutting back on spending doesn’t necessarily mean cutting back on fun, saying consumers can stretch their dollars with some planning and smart budgeting.

“Online tools are a great way to track your spending,” he said. “You can set budgets in customized categories and create spend alerts to notify you if you exceed your budget or when you approach your credit limit.”