If your client is like many Canadians, now might be a good time to check his cash-flow plan.

Check monthly spending

That’s because, with March break just around the corner, 79% of Canadian parents plan to spend money on children’s activities, but 61% haven’t set a budget, reveals a BDO poll.

Parents are ready to drop an average of $597 (up to $1,000 in some cases). The table below shows the spending breakdown by income, which is relatively stable across income levels.

Household incomePlanned March break spending
> $100,000$890
$60,000 – $100,000$487
$40,000 – $60,000$489
< $40,000$429

And the spending for the most part isn’t for activities that substitute for childcare. Only 11% of respondents identified camp or childcare as activities for March break. Further, parents of teens spend the most ($696).

Although most parents use cash or debit cards to pay for the break, some plan to take on debt, by using either a line of credit (3%) or credit cards (18%), the latter being the most popular method of payment after cash and debit.

Accordingly, 20% of respondents admit to going into debt in the past because of March break spending.

And Canadians’ credit card balances are creeping higher.

TransUnion, a credit monitoring agency, says Canada’s average outstanding credit card balance rose last year by nearly $100 to $4,094 per card.

Further, 2016 saw a modest increase in the national credit card delinquency rate, which rose to 4.2%. (The increase is largely fuelled by delinquencies in Alberta and Saskatchewan, the two oil-producing provinces.)

Read: A new reason to pay more than the minimum on credit balances

Check for missing expenses

Another poll reveals where Canadians aren’t spending money: on insurance to prepare for disability, illness or death.

Fewer than a third of Canadians are covered by unforeseen life events, reveals a study from Edward Jones.

About a quarter of Canadians (25%) have personal term life insurance, 18% have personal whole or universal insurance and fewer than 10% have critical illness or personal long-term care insurance.

About half of Canadians (48%) admit they don’t think they could cover expenses if faced with serious injury or illness that prevents them from working. About a quarter (23%) say they’re not financially prepared to die, and only 16% have a life insurance policy that could cover mortgage payments in the event of death.

Only 26% of Canadians reviewed their insurance needs in the past year.

About the Edward Jones poll: Data were gathered in an online survey of a representative sample of 1,564 Canadians between October 10 and 13, 2016, using Leger’s online panel, LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

About the BDO poll: Ipsos conducted the poll between February 21 and February 24, 2017, on behalf of BDO. A sample of 1,002 Canadian parents of children aged 17 and under from Ipsos’ online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the population of parents according to census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe.

Also read:

Confidence in investment vehicles surges, despite cash challenges

What to do with insurance after a divorce