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ACCC Survey Reveals 35 Percent of Budget-Conscious Consumers Will Hold Back from Spending on Summer Activities

As gas prices continue to rise, many budget-conscious consumers are opting out of summer activities including vacations, summer camp and other recreational activities.   Low-cost or free summer activities

(Boston, MA) – July 14, 2014 — Over one-third of budget-conscious consumers across the US are reining in spending this year according to a recent online survey by national financial literacy nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling. The online poll, which surveyed more than 447 consumers across the US, found that 35 percent of respondents indicated that they have not budgeted spending money for vacation, summer camp for children, social events or other recreational activities this summer. These results come as gas prices reach the highest they have been since 2008 with the national average reaching $3.67 for regular unleaded — 19 cents higher than a year ago.

“For many families, summertime means an uptick in spending,” said Steven Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “But for those still feeling the effects of a slowly recovering economy, coupled with a sharp increase in gas prices, the season now means more time at home.”

ACCC’s online survey supports a recent poll released by SKIFT Travel that reported 63 percent of Americans are not even planning on taking a vacation this summer, with half saying that they simply cannot afford it.

Citing a recent rise in gas prices as a potential factor, a similar survey compiled by American Express shows that those who are planning a summer vacation will feel the bite as the average price of gas nationwide is about 20 cents a gallon higher than the average last year.

“If gas prices continue to rise throughout the summer, it is critical now more than ever for families to develop a firm budget before jumping into any plans,” says Trumble. “Whether deciding on a weekend away or a staycation, having a budget for all activities allows families to indulge in summer fun without regret from living beyond their means.”

To best stay on track, American Consumer Credit Counseling recommends that consumers stick to the following staycation tips:

  • Take time off work to spend with your family or friends doing low-cost or free activities and sleep at home, saving you the cost of a hotel stay.
  • Visit your local library to get day passes to museums in your area – free or discounted admission, air conditioning, and you might even learn something! You can also rent movies from the library, and some libraries offer streaming services.
  • Shop local farmer’s markets for cheap produce and even entertainment for the kids as many offer free activities and entertainment.
  • Look to your local community for entertainment. Look for free festivals, summer concert series, and free outdoor screenings of movies.

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization, that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

  • For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
  • For bankruptcy counseling. call 866-826-6924
  • For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  • Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com

About American Consumer Credit Counseling

American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management and debt relief through education, credit counseling, and debt management solutions. Each month, ACCC invites consumers to participate in a poll focused on personal finance issues. The results are conveyed in the form of infographics that act as tools to educate the community on everyday personal finance issues and problems. By learning more about financial management topics such as credit and debt management, consumers are empowered to make the best possible financial decisions to reach debt relief. As one of the nation’s leading providers of personal finance education and credit counseling services, ACCC’s certified credit advisors work with consumers to help determine the best possible debt solutions for them. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies.  To participate in this month’s poll, visit ConsumerCredit.com and for more financial management resources visit TalkingCentsBlog.com.

American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) provides nonprofit credit counseling, debt relief, and debt elimination services for consumers nationwide. We offer free credit counseling to help consumers identify the right debt reduction program or debt solution for their unique situation. Since 1991, our certified credit counselors have helped thousands of individuals and families learn how to pay off a credit card balance and how to get out of debt fast through programs designed to payoff credit card debt within five years. Our debt management programs consolidate card credit debt payments and help reduce interest rates and finances charges, reducing the time it takes for getting rid of debt. And we offer comprehensive financial education services where consumers can get answers to questions like "How do I create a budget?", "What is debt consolidation?" and "How can I avoid debt in the future?"

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