Summer Spending a Financial Strain for Many Families

By CNN News Wire

Published 05/07 2014 07:26AM

Updated 05/07 2014 08:09AM

We often think of the holidays as a peak time for financial stresses, but spending on summer can add up too. From vacations to activities for the kids, how much Americans plan to spend, and areas where they can trim some costs.

A new survey finds the season of school breaks and warm weather can actually present more money tension than the  holiday season.

The American Institute of CPA's found about 60 percent of adults say financial stress during the summer either matches or exceeds what they're feeling during the holidays.

Among the top summer expenses -- the children.

Between sports camps, day camps, academic tutoring and more - 6 in ten parents plan to spend an average of 1,400 dollars for the summer.

The whole family should be part of choosing those activities carefully, and planning how to pay for them.

"This is a great opportunity for us to teach the next generation how to handle their finances," says Ernie Almonte with the American Institute of CPAs.

Another huge chunk - vacation. Of those who do plan a summer getaway - 41 percent said it'll cost them an average of 3,000 dollars.

If that number seems high, there are some ways to cut back.

Avoid weekend travel - especially holiday weekend travel if you can - when room rates and flights will be at their highest. And look for travel options with freebies - like free breakfast and free airport shuttles at hotels.

It's also a good reminder that family budgeting, shouldn't just be a seasonal priority.

"If we can teach people to handle their budgets, you can enjoy your summer, you can enjoy your holidays, and you can enjoy your relationships, without having the stress of finances,"Almonte says.

(Karin Caifa for CNN's Consumer Watch)

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