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March 08, 2022

March Break doesn't have to break the bank

While some Canadian families are heading off to warmer destinations or even ski trips for March Break there is still plenty to do without having to break the bank.

Personally speaking, I have never taken a vacation during March Break. My children and I have always stayed local and have still had fun.

The average household debt is sitting at 164 per cent, so why go crazy spending money you don't have to keep up with the Jones' just because it's March Break.

Our family March Break has always consisted of day adventures either sledding, heading to conservation areas that feature free activities for kids like the Maple Syrup run, movie days at home by inviting over their friends for popcorn and shows or doing crafts and painting.

I have been fortunate to be able to do these things because most of my working career has been from my home-based office. It provides me with the opportunity to schedule my kids' activities during March Break around my business activities.

There is plenty to do for kids without going over budget and Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, agrees, "March Break doesn't have to be about a week on the beach or an extravagant family vacation.

"If you're staying at home for the break, give your kids a budget and let them plan their activities for the week. Not only will it take the pressure off mom and dad but it's also an effective way to teach kids the value of money."

Here's some great and inexpensive March Break activities Consolidated Credit suggests: Get off the couch - go skating, sledding or the local pool; Movie Marathon - host an indoor family party or invite friends; Crafternoon - pick up some inexpensive craft supplies at the dollar store and have fun creating; Baking and cooking - there's nothing like bonding with the kids in the kitchen; Game-a-thon - play board games, other games and make up your own games for a competition; or Make it a Group Affair - get together with other families to plan activities for the week. You can do things together or take turns hosting the fun to work into everyone's schedule.

There is a ton of inexpensive or free fun things to do during March Break. Look in your local newspaper, check the library and other local services for a list of March Break activities.

You can create memorable family moments without having to worry about going into debt.

By Donna Donaldson, MSN Money

What do you do with your children during March Break?



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

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The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...