With the last few days of school upon us, I know I should be ecstatic about the holidays. But, this summer has me more stressed out than having the kids in school. Why? Because what people don’t tell you when you become a parent is that this time of the year can be costly, especially as the family grows and kids get older.
Consider this: If you’re a working mom or dad, you have to shell out for programs and activities during the summer when school is out (unless you’re planning to hang with the kiddos all day, every day for the next two months…as much as I love being with them that’s not really my jam, plus this mamma has to pay the bills). A full-day program for a week can run you up to $300 per child—and this is considered the norm—for eight weeks! Throw in a second child either attending full-day daycare or in their own summer camp programs, and money is t-i-g-h-t.
So, this year with my 8-year old getting antsy and wanting to do more activities and a 3-year old in daycare, I need to be is smarter and maximize every dollar I spend. I’m starting with the credit cards: I’m cancelling any that require an annual fee and taking a closer look at exactly what I’m getting for my spending.
Since I have nothing to lose and so much to gain I’ve decided to put this plan into action come July, with a welcome nudge from PC Financial®. The PC Financial® World Elite MasterCard® can earn you 30 PC® points on every dollar you spend when you shop at participating Loblaws grocery stores, Joe Fresh or Shoppers Drug Mart (go-to stops for my brood), plus added bonuses at Esso stations, PC™ travel services and PC® mobile monthly plans; everyplace else it’s 10 PC® points per $1, which isn’t too shabby either. (Just a heads up that 1000 PC® points equal a dollar, with a minimum redemption of 20,000 points).
The plan is to track my expenses on an Excel sheet —I’m kind of OCD this way— and see exactly what I’m spending my money on, maximize any PC points I’m collecting, and if I’m getting any serious rewards in return. You can also use this convenient PC® points calculator and see what sort of PC points you can earn with a PC Financial® Mastercard®. It ranges from free groceries, cosmetics, housewares or even clothing from Joe Fresh for the whole fam. I’m hoping that I’m not alone in my quest for financial balance and that you’ll come along with me for the ride. I’ll check in half-way and let you know how much I’ve spent (agh!), how many PC points I’ve earned and more importantly, how my stress-levels are doing.
If you have any tips or want to share your favourite ways to use your PC® points, share in the comments section below.
Until then, any of your budget tips are welcome!
xo – Tracey