BMO Bank of Montreal
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BMO Bank of Montreal

September 01, 2011 08:00 ET

Cottage Etiquette-Money and Manners Matter

BMO Offers Budget Friendly Tips for Cottage Hosts and Guests to Keep in Mind This Labour Day Long Weekend

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 1, 2011) - As the last long weekend of the summer approaches, many Canadian cottagers will be abandoning city life and heading out to enjoy the great Canadian outdoors. For owners and guests, coveted cottage weekends bring with them certain responsibilities that ensure the stay is enjoyable for everyone.

BMO offers cottage goers a list of etiquette and budgeting tips that will make this Labour Day Weekend a memorable one, without stressing the bank account:

For the hosts:

  1. Avoid piling on extra costs: Don't assume that your guests have the energy or funds to partake in all the excitement you pack in on your cottage weekends. Some activities such as golf carry significant extra costs including greens fees and rentals. Consult your guests on activities and costs, and where possible, plan together.
  2. Just split it: To avoid money mixups and maximize savings, talk to your guests beforehand about carpooling and buying groceries together. This lets you save by buying in bulk and can help you avoid buying unnecessary items.
  3. Boat gas: Entertaining guests with activities such as tubing and waterskiing can result in higher gas costs. Talk to your guests about splitting boat gas and factor your share into your weekend budget.

For the guests:

  1. Roll up your sleeves: While cottages are a place to relax and get away, they do require manual labour. Help out your host by offering to get a little messy with routine tasks such as yard work, fix-it projects and repairs. This will save your host the cost of a contractor and the added time and effort.
  2. Plan ahead & budget: Consulting with your host beforehand can give you a realistic idea of what and how much you should contribute. This will give you a budget guideline for the weekend and can help you avoid over-spending on last-minute items.
  3. Suit yourself: From towels to linens, outfitting a full cottage can take a lot of effort, not to mention loads of laundry for your host. Show your grace by bringing your own – this will save your host time and the added cost of laundry.
  4. Serve it up: If you are staying to eat and haven't split groceries with your host, take responsibility for one meal, from start to finish. If your host declines, suggest that you can provide a dish, dessert or appetizer to suit their needs.
  5. Be the guest that keeps on giving: Dedicate a small amount of your cottage budget to a gift for your hosts. Keep in mind that a cottage-themed gift avoids your hosts having to transport extra items back to the city and the gifts that keep on giving include beer, wine, flowers and board games.
  6. Bring your cash: Come prepared for the weekend with some cash in hand. Save the cost of extra banking fees and be prepared for stores that don't use debit or credit for purchases.

And, for a little post-weekend satisfaction, BMO offers one last money saving tip for cottage owners and guests alike:

  1. Cash in on your empties: After you've enjoyed your Labour Day relaxation, collect and redeem your empty beer and wine bottles, where applicable, for some extra cash.

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