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How to have fun while getting out of holiday debt

The holiday season is a time of great joy for many Canadians, but it’s also a time of year where concerns over mounting debt and overspending come to the fore. In 2019, Canadians spent an average of $1,593 over the holidays, and nearly one in five of us had concerns about how credit card debt would increase during the holiday season. If your New Year’s resolutions include sticking to a financial plan in 2020, you are not alone. Getting back on track in this new year will certainly require some corrective measures, but you can do that while still taking the time to enjoy budget-friendly winter activities.

Cheap winter fun

When trying to get out of holiday debt, a trip to a warm sunny destination isn’t an option, but enjoying the great outdoors is still a possibility. If you’re not sure how to get started on the hunt for fun things to do that don’t cost a lot of money, we have some ideas.

Ice skating: In addition to being a great exercise, ice skating requires no more than buying, renting or borrowing a pair of skates to get started. Many municipalities offer access to outdoor skating facilities to the public for free. For example, the City of Toronto provides over 50 outdoor rinks that are open every day, including weekends.
Snowshoeing: Snowshoeing is another activity that requires very little investment to get started. Many resorts that offer snowshoe rentals also include the cost of a trail pass with the equipment rental, so that you can try it out for a great workout at a low upfront cost.
Winter festivals: If athletic pursuits don’t strike your fancy, there are a number of outdoor festivals that are designed to chase away the winter blahs. For example, the Toronto Light Festival runs from the middle of January until the beginning of March, and admission is free. Those on the west coast need no help with finding outdoor adventures in winter, but for the less adventurous, there are attractions like Dine Out Vancouver that can lift the spirits on a budget.

When you are trying to get your finances back on track, it’s easier to stick to a budget if there is some room built in for fun activities to make cutting back seem less like a chore. If those fun activities also include time outdoors, it can be beneficial for your mental health too!

Resetting finances in the new year

To help make the fun manageable next year, be sure to keep our recommendations for holiday budgeting handy as you make a plan for more financially responsible spending this year. The start of a new year presents an opportunity for a fresh start — make the most of it. 

If your holiday debt is more than you can manage, you may want to consider consolidating that debt to lower your total cost of borrowing. Try our savings calculator to see how much you could save by consolidating your debts.


The information, materials and opinions contained in this Blog are provided for your information only. This Blog does not constitute legal, financial or other professional advice and you should not rely on it as an alternative to specific advice based on your particular circumstance. This Blog contains links to third party websites. These links are provided for information and convenience; Home Trust does not endorse the content of any third party website, and it makes no representation or warranty as to the information on such third party sites. By clicking on any link to a third party site, you leave Home Trust’s website and do so at your own risk. Home Trust disclaims all liability for any damage or loss that results from your access to or reliance on information contained in this Blog or any third party site.

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