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BMO Survey: Canadian Summer Spending Heats Up
  • Nearly half (48%) admit to spending more than they know they should.
  • 15% believe impulse shopping is preventing them from making real financial progress.

TORONTO, June 18, 2024 /CNW/ - A special report from the BMO Real Financial Progress Index reveals Canadians plan to spend more on vacations and/or travel (20%), home renovations (15%), weddings for family and/or friends (10%) and special events such as graduations and showers (9%) this summer compared to 2023.

Household spending continues to be a primary driver of economic growth. According to BMO Economics, consumer confidence will likely improve following the Bank of Canada's first rate cut in four years, with expectations for another two rate cuts for the rest of 2024 and several more in 2025.  

"Inflation is showing continued signs of calming, opening the door for further rate cuts by the Bank of Canada," said Sal Guatieri, Senior Economist, BMO. "Lower borrowing costs and slower-rising living costs should provide sufficient relief to support moderate two per cent growth in consumer spending this year and next."

The BMO Real Financial Progress Index explores Canadians' summer spending plans and forecasts:

  • Sizzling Summer Travels: One-in-five Canadians (20%) plan to spend more on summer travel, while 38% plan on spending the same as in 2023. 15% plan on spending less than last year.
  • Overcast Conditions for Celebrating Milestones: Nearly a tenth of Canadians plan to spend more on weddings (9%) and special events such as graduations and showers (9%) for family and friends. More than a fifth (22%) plan to spend the same on weddings for family and/or friends and more than a quarter intend to spend the same as last year on special events (27%).
  • Ramping Up Home Renovations: 15% plan to spend more on home renovations, while nearly a quarter (24%) will spend the same as last year. 13% intend to spend less on home renovations in 2024.
  • Summer Splurges: For those planning on making a large purchase, including buying a car, 18% plan to spend the same and 10% plan to spend more than they did in 2023.
  • Climbing Summer Camp Costs: 15% of parents with children under the age of 18 plan to spend more on summer camps and/or childcare and 36% intend to spend the same as last year.

While many Canadians plan on spending more this summer and 85% believe they are making real financial progress, nearly half (48%) admit they spend more than they know they should and 15% say impulse shopping has prevented them from making financial progress.

"Many Canadians like to make the most of the relatively short summer and look forward to spending the season travelling, celebrating milestones and making memories with friends and family," said Gayle Ramsay, Head, Everyday Banking, Segment & Customer Growth, BMO. "However, too much fun under the sun without a budget can lead to overspending and you may find yourself drifting away from your financial goals. Working with a professional advisor can help Canadians build a personalized financial plan that allows them to enjoy the summer while staying on track towards their goals and make real financial progress with confidence."

Treat Yourself with Loyalty Program Rewards

As the majority of Canadians indicate that they are now more concerned about inflation (56%) and the cost of living (58%) than they were 3 months ago, many are redeeming rewards earned from their loyalty programs such as Air Miles to cover expenses and finance their summer spending plans.

Over half (56%) of Canadians plan on using rewards earned from loyalty programs on grocery purchases, followed by vacations (27%), entertainment experiences including dining and tickets (20%) and paying monthly bills (17%). Redeeming reward points on grocery purchases is popular among Canadians of all ages, Gen X (61%), Boomers+ (57%), Millennials (55%) and Gen Z (49%),1 and Millennials and Gen Z are the most likely to use their points for vacations (32% for both age groups) and entertainment experiences (29% for Gen Z and 25% for Millennials).

BMO Helps Canadians Keep Their Budgets Cool for the Summer

BMO offers the following tips to help Canadians create and maintain a personalized budget and make real financial progress:

  • Build a budget and regularly review spending and financial statements at least once a month. A separate budget should be developed to help save for more expensive plans, such as a vacation, travel, special events or large purchases.
  • Look for recurring "hidden" expenses, such as forgotten subscriptions, and cancel those no longer needed or in use.
  • Consider redeeming points from rewards programs or loyalty programs to help purchase gifts and/or finance travel costs.
  • Seek advice from a professional financial advisor or planner to help develop a personalized financial plan according to financial goals, circumstances and obligations, and time horizons.
  • Set up a savings goal and recurring savings transfers into an account – no matter the amount – which will provide a sense of progress and motivation to achieve their savings goals.

Customers can build financial literacy, monitor financial plans, and reach financial goals through BMO's innovative digital tools and resources: 

  • BMO SmartProgress: This tool helps customers learn more about important personal finance topics and build financial literacy anywhere and at any time. It is a free, online financial education platform featuring customized, interactive content, including videos and tools, on complex financial planning topics including budgeting and credit management, homeownership and investing.
  • BMO CreditView: Customers can quickly and easily check their credit scores and access new tools and advice to manage their credit profile online and on mobile.
  • BMO Insights: Customers get help saving more, monitoring spending and account values, and spotting unusual activity with 25 BMO Insights that provide customers free, quick, and personalized views of their daily spending to help them make informed decisions. Popular online insights include:
  • CashTrack: Using artificial intelligence, these insights monitor customers' cash flows and let them know if they will run out of money in the next seven days.
  • Spend Categorization: These insights notify customers when there has been a significant increase in a specific spending category or if a free trial has expired.
  • BMO Savings Amplifier Account: To help make saving easy and automatic, BMO's new Savings Amplifier Account offers no monthly fees, a competitive interest rate, and unlimited no-fee transfers to other BMO accounts. In addition, its digital Savings Goals feature enables customers to set, track, and manage their financial goals.

To learn more about how BMO can help customers make financial progress, visit

About the BMO Real Financial Progress Index

Launched in February 2021, the BMO Real Financial Progress Index is an indicator of how consumers feel about their personal finances and whether they are making financial progress. The index aims to spark dialogue that will help consumers reach their financial goals and to humanize a topic that causes anxiety for many – money.

The research detailed in this document was conducted by Ipsos in Canada from February 28th to March 18th, 2024. A sample of n=2,500 adults ages 18+ in Canada were collected via the Ipsos panel. Quotas and weighting were used to ensure the sample's composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. This survey has a credibility interval of +/- 2.4 per cent 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had all Canadian adults 18+ been surveyed.

About BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group is the eighth largest bank in North America by assets, with total assets of $1.4 trillion as of April 30, 2024. Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a diverse team of highly engaged employees providing a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management, global markets and investment banking products and services to 13 million customers across Canada, the United States, and in select markets globally. Driven by a single purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, BMO is committed to driving positive change in the world, and making progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society.


1 The BMO Real Financial Progress Index defines Boomers+ as Canadians born 1964 or earlier, Gen X as those born between 1965 to 1980, Millennials as Canadians born between 1981 to 1996 and Gen Z as those born between 1997 to 2012. Only Canadians over the age of 18 were eligible to participate in the survey.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: Media Contact: Anke Suwanda, Toronto,, (416) 867-3996