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Manitobans whip out wallets for summer

A weekend at the cottage could run as high as $1,000.

TOM THOMSON / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Enlarge Image

A weekend at the cottage could run as high as $1,000.

While the rest of the country is preparing to exercise some financial constraint this summer, Manitobans are getting ready to spend like drunken sailors.

A new report from Tangerine found 70 per cent of Manitobans have a "carefree" attitude towards summer spending, compared to just 49 per cent of Canadians.

The study also found Manitobans are also most likely to book a summer vacation they can't yet pay for (31 per cent vs. 23 per cent nationally); lose track of their budget during the summer months (23 per cent vs. 17 per cent); spend more in July and August compared to the other 10 months of the year (44 per cent vs. 34 per cent); and are most likely to blame food, drinks and entertainment as a main reason for money burning a hole in their wallet (65 per cent vs. 54 per cent).

Winnipeg-based financial adviser Chris Van Bastelaere wasn't surprised to hear the survey results.

"I wonder if it has something to do with the fact it goes to -45 C in the winters (in Winnipeg)? That type of weather depresses people and they spend more in all facets," he said.

So, after being cooped up for the coldest winter in 116 years, Winnipeggers are "going for it" now that summer is here.

Van Bastelaere said many of the people he knows spend plenty of money on gas and boats as they head out to cottage country. Even if you're going to stay at a friend's cottage, it could cost you $1,000 just for the weekend once you factor in travel costs, groceries (often prime cuts of beef for barbecuing), beer, a couple of nice bottles of wine and incidentals, plus wear and tear on your vehicle.

"At a cottage, you can have drop-ins and then you're entertaining multiple people," he said.

Weather can be a funny thing, said Scott Jocelyn, executive director of the Manitoba Restaurant & Foodservices Association. Sometimes when it's not great, local bars and eateries rake in the money.

"But if it's nice outside, people go away to the lake. When the weather is not quite perfect, people are more likely to stay in town," he said, before adding with a laugh, "We're difficult people to please."

Taking advantage of the summer isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's how you do it, said Silvio Stroescu, Toronto-based vice-president and head of deposits and investments at Tangerine.

"If you've planned ahead and saved for it, that's fine. The alarming part about Manitobans is losing track of their spending," he said.

He recommends people track each time they open their wallets so they know how much money they have and won't end up putting unnecessary items on their credit cards.

Tangerine surveyed 1,508 randomly selected Canadian adults from June 13-16 who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The results are considered accurate within 2.5 per cent 19 times out of 20.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Do you spend more freely in the summer? What do you spend your fun money on? Join the conversation in the comments below.

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