When creating a budget, the best thing you can do is review it as the seasons change. With August, you are prepping for back to school shopping and you have taken your vacations. This is the time to clean out the closets and buy clothes for cooler weather. There is a lot to consider with your budget and it’s time to review.
Back To School Shopping
I hope you have already been saving for this. If you lack enough funds to cover your child’s needs, now is the time to shift your budget. The older your child gets, the more expensive their needs become. Middle and High schoolers may need an expensive calculator or replace a laptop. This is a great time to investigate refurbished or display electronics. Refurbished and display models are often more affordable than something brand new. If you need to shift money around to have enough funds, don’t choose something that is a monthly expense.
Out With The Old, In With The New
August may still be hot but when school clothes are necessary, it’s a good idea to think ahead to winter. The first thing to do is to take inventory of the winter wear you have stored away. If anything is repairable, try that. If you know you won’t wear it, that can go into a donation pile as well. The idea is to have enough to get you through the beginnings of the cooler weather. That is when seasonal clothing is most expensive. That can be harder when your child is growing fast but do the best you can. From now until then, shift the budget to reflect new shoes and outfits. If your child requires special clothing include that in your needs. Consider a clothing swap with some neighbors or other local moms. You can get a few things free while disposing of older clothing.
Think About The Rise Of Utilities
With the loom of cold weather coming your way, especially if you’re a renter in a cold weather city like Minneapolis or Chicago, you may need a shift for covering heating. Look at last year’s bills and save for the same amount or a little more. If you are not on a flat-rate plan, consider talking to the electric company about doing so. The flat-rate plan will make it easier for you to budget and you won’t have to shift the budget each season. Also investigate using other methods of heating, such as your fireplace or a wood stove.
The goal is to shift your budget to cover your needs in a new season. You may find that you have to put a little less into your savings or IRA for a little bit. Or you may hold off on vacation savings until later.