BMO Bank of Montreal
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BMO Bank of Montreal

August 30, 2011 09:44 ET

Dinners, Lunches, Lattes-Canadians Spending More on Eating Out

BMO's Annual Summer Spending Survey shows where Canadians are spending their money

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 30, 2011) - Canadians are spending more of their disposable income on leisure activities this summer compared to last summer, according to BMO Bank of Montreal's annual Summer Spending survey. The poll also revealed where consumers are choosing to spend their extra funds in the summer of 2011, with going out for dinner topping the list, followed closely by a trip out for lunch.

The annual survey, which asks where and how disposable income is spent in Canada, provides a year-to-year comparison on spending habits. The top daily items on which Canadians are choosing to spend their money on are:

Category Summer 2011 Summer 2010
Dinners out 32% 24%
Lunches out 28% 24%
Morning coffee, lattes, or tea 24% 20%
Transportation (excluding personal vehicle) 17% 12%
After work socializing 14% 11%

"With volatile market conditions and continued economic uncertainty, now is a good time for Canadians to review their daily spending habits and – if necessary – revise their budgets," according to Su McVey, VP, Customer Communications & Marketing, BMO Bank of Montreal.

"Our recent 'Rainy Day Survey' found that more than 40 per cent told us that even under stable market conditions, they did not have sufficient savings to handle their financial obligations in the event of an emergency," said Ms. McVey. "Learning to put aside savings and build a financial cushion to fall back on can be easy if you pay attention to where you are spending your money and address what is – and isn't – essential. This can make all the difference to putting those extra few dollars back in your pocket."

Ms. McVey added that Canadians should make use of the many vehicles available to help identify daily spending habits and keep on track to meeting budget goals. For instance, BMO offers BMO MoneyLogic, a free, online tool designed to give users immediate insights into their spending and savings habits and help them take better control of their spending.

To help Canadians curb their spending heading into the Fall, BMO offers the following top five money saving tips:

  1. Brown bag it: Bring your own food and snacks from home. This will save you from making impulsive purchases based on your stomach instead of your wallet. For example, instead of spending $10 a day on lunch, you can buy $20 worth of sandwich supplies such as bread, deli meat, and vegetables for the entire week. This puts $120 worth of savings back in your pocket at the end of every month.
  1. Brew your own: Take your coffee to go from home instead of buying it on the road. A jar of instant coffee can cost you approximately $5, compared to $3 lattes every morning.
  1. Cultivate your culinary skills: Instead of meeting up with friends and family at the local restaurant, offer to host a pot luck at your house. This will save you the added expense of dining out and allows you to work on your skills in the kitchen.
  1. Meal deals: If you choose to dine out, research restaurants that offer weekly/daily specials and/or where kids eat free. Also take advantage of coupons where you can pocket savings of up to 70 cent off of the regular price.
  1. Get cheap thrills: A trip to the movies can cost up to $30 after tickets, food, gas and parking. Rent a movie and watch it at home or take advantage of matinee shows to save on ticket prices. To be even more budget friendly, check out what's in stock at the local library or break out an old board game and have a family game night.

For more information on budgeting and BMO MoneyLogic visit: www.bmo.com/moneylogic.

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