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Tips for saving on summer camps

5 Tips for Saving on Summer Activities

FAM, kids By July 7, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Summer is just beginning, and while parents likely have a line-up of activities ready to go to keep kids busy, many find themselves scrambling to pay for additional expenses that come up while school is out. What scares me is that with the high cost of activities and childcare, many parents allow their kids to play on screens and watch TV far more over the summer months than during the school year. While we love tech.. free play and connecting with nature is crucial for our children.

According to a recent TD survey, 55% of Canadian parents with children under the age of 18 take on additional costs during the summer; in fact, 71% of them spend up to $999 per child. EEK! Summer camps, day trips, dance, sports and summer vacations add up FAST. And then the stress follows. At UrbanMommies we believe in reducing stress on parents as much as humanly possible, so we’ve partnered with TD Canada Trust to share a few tips on how to help parents avoid the financial heat wave summer can bring.

Summer Activities - RV

TD’s Tips for Saving on Summer Activities

1.  Check your rewards balance – redeem some of your loyalty rewards, such as points from your First Class Travel Credit Card, to help fund activities and travel. For example, you can use your loyalty rewards to redeem certain theme park passes or tours and excursions

2. The early bird gets the worm – some organizations may provide a discount on early registration; check the sign up dates and sign up in advance to save a few dollars.

3. Budget and start saving early – save a little money each month and put into your TFSA; online budgeting tools (visit tdcanadatrust.com) can also help you determine how much to save each month.

4. Shop around – municipally run activities through community centres or the parks and recreation department often offer lower cost programming. We have an amazing list for Vancouver here. You can search our site for other cities internationally and in the US, but here are a few roundups: VictoriaHalifax, Calgary, Fredricton, Toronto, Winnipeg, St. John’s, Kelowna, Edmonton, and Montreal.

5. File your receipts – some summer costs could be tax deductible as a child care expense or under the child fitness tax credit on your tax return.

Do you have other ideas to add? We’d love to hear how you and the family are spending your summer and saving money while reducing stress!

Disclosure: This article is sponsored by TD Canada Trust. All opinions are our own.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Redeem AIR MILES for Everyday Purchases

FAM, self By December 11, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

Redeeming AIR MILES for Everyday PurchasesThe reality is setting in. December has arrived and the holiday to-do list is longer than my children’s wishlist for Santa. (Which is saying something). I haven’t started to shop for gifts, haven’t chosen cookie recipes and my pantry is bare.

This year, our family has also undertaken the enormous task of chairing a Family Ball for 450 adults and kids to raise funds for mental health. The event is on December 7th, and I think a whole big bunch of my angst stems from having slightly too many things to do. But just as I was about to have a panic attack, my AIR MILES American Express Card fell out of my wallet and the inspiration hit me.

I have always been so wise in using both my AIR MILES Collector Card as well as my Amex AIR MILES Credit Card to get twice the miles on purchases, and now it’s time to be rewarded for my efforts. Let’s see just how many AIR MILES I can redeem and how much money I can save this year while purchasing the items I need to buy anyway…

AIR MILES Cash RedemptionI chose from one of my many list-making apps and came up with a cunning plan. Every 95 reward miles redeemed equates to $10 off of the bill at participating stores if you are an AIR MILES Cash Collector, so I will attempt to end up with the smallest credit card bills I’ve ever seen this coming January! My plan:

1. Redeem AIR MILES for eVouchers at Toys R’ Us toward Minecraft toys to use as silent auction donations that will appeal to kids at the Family Ball. While there, with the miles available for redemption, I’ll add a few stocking stuffers for my kids and find games for the cousins.

2. Redeem AIR MILES while filling up the gas tank at Shell before our family trip to Big White Ski Resort in mid-December. Actually, I’ll also add in a couple jugs of windshield wiper fluid while at the gas station to combat the dirt from snowy roads!

3. Make a quick visit to the movie theatre and coffee shop during next week’s soccer practice to redeem my AIR MILES for movie tickets for the teachers, coffee for the mail carrier and other eVouchers for both as part of another silent auction prize. DONE.

4. Groceries. I can never quite fathom how long the holiday list is. This year I am going to calmly analyze the recipe books and make sure I only have to do a big shop once. I will take into account the brownies-in-a-jar mix we are gifting to neighbours, extra hot chocolate for snow days and plastic containers to replace the ones whose lids have miraculously disappeared. My local store participates in AIR MILES Cash redemption… wouldn’t it be incredible if I did my whole holiday shop for $17?

5. After realizing that all of our children’s fever medications are expired, I need to head to the drugstore. Beginning a new year without a proper first aid kit is not a wise move. Not only will I redeem some AIR MILES Cash balance for the new medicine, but I may treat myself to some holiday makeup with a touch of glitter.

I’d love to hear how you make out – and especially which everyday spending you choose to tackle with your AIR MILES Cash over this busy holiday season!

If you want to learn more about the Amex AIR MILES suite of cards you can check them out here.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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Moonjar

GEAR, toys By November 12, 2009 Tags: , , , , No Comments

MoonjarSpend.  Save.  Share.  Wouldn’t it have been nice if all of the world’s fighters had been given a Moonjar when they were little?  A special piggybank, the Moonjar helps to teach children financial concepts, and encourages them to learn how to handle money.  We need to save.  We need to support charity, and spending a bit is never a bad thing either.  The three pieces of the Moonjar fit together, and it cannot be a unit without the other pieces.  Pretty clever.  I bet the kids who grew up with these are never late on their Visa payments.  www.moonjar.ca

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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