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♡ Hello lovelies! ♡
I hope everyone is getting into the swing of things with August being in full-swing and the back to school frenzy coming about. I know it’s been super busy for me at work and it’s only going to get even busier when I start my fall MBA classes at the end of the month (Management and [ugh] Finance… HELP!!) So I wanted to pop in today to let you guys know of some of the things I like to make sure to keep in mind with the coming season. As many of you probably already know (and for those of you who don’t, you will soon find out when my “ber” month posts start hitting the blog) I LOVE FALL. It’s my all-time favorite season with the cool, crisp weather (takes a while to hit here, but hey TX tries!!), the smells of pumpkin spice and cinnamon wafting out of people’s coffee cups and dancing around through the breezes, and all the fun and holiday celebrations being planned one right after the other! 😍
I mean who couldn’t love that?!?
However, with that fun and festive atmosphere comes the not-so-fun part… Expenses. Expenses for back to school, expenses for planning for holiday celebrations, and expenses for shopping for the perfect gifts for your loved ones and preparing for the new year. That’s why I wanted to throw together a post about a few specifics I include in my fall-month budgets to make sure I stay aware of the coming expenses and plan and save accordingly.
Back to School Expenses
Whether you’re a college student yourself or you have children in school at any grade level (especially college), you already know… August means back to school and back to school means EXPENSES. From school clothes shopping to that DREADED tuition due (it seems like sooner and sooner every year?!) the expenses that surround going back to school can add up quickly! I like to make sure I prepare myself for this and write it into my expense sheet so that I can plan accordingly for the coming months and I won’t find myself stuck, trying to stretch a penny budget for weeks on end (We’ve all been there. Ramen Noodles are $1.94 for a 12-pack at Walmart. Do with this information what you will.)
Bottom line, just make sure you are aware of the cost of tuition, dorm prep items, etc. so you aren’t thrown for a loop when you get your bill. Sometimes, at least for me, it’s easier to stick with a spending limit if you write down how much you’re looking to spend and adhere to it.
End of Summer Sales
So this kind of goes with the whole back to school expenses budget. Summer sales. We all know they’re there, and most of us are going to take advantage of them to try to get some good deals on back to school clothes for the semester! And hey there’s nothing wrong with that, lemme tell ya! 😏 But I always go into these sales with a limit in mind so I don’t go and end up spending my rent money shopping those tax-free sales! (Speaking of which, tax-free weekend is THIS WEEKEND so keep that in mind, WITH your budget!!)
You can also find a ton of good deals online if you aren’t wanting to get out and brave the crowds, so make sure to look into that too! I made a post last week about a few of my favorite stores to shop online that have good deals for college students, so make sure to check that out if you’re looking for some good online deals!
Saving for Christmas Fund
Okay, this is probably one of the biggest things allocated in my budget. CHRISTMAS SHOPPING. I don’t know how you guys do it but for me, I HAVE to save for Christmas and buy a little bit at a time. First off, my family buys for EVERYONE. Everyone in the family, our friends, our pets (yes, Marilyn has her own stocking and she loves it.) So I start saving for Christmas and buying Christmas gifts little by little starting about 6 months ahead! I bought one or two gifts in July, and I’ll start putting about $100-$150 into my savings account for Christmas now that we’re in August. In addition to this, I try to specifically buy for one or two people every month so that when the end of November rolls around and the day comes when I buy the majority of my Christmas gifts for people (BLACK FRIDAYYYYY!!!!) I’ll a) have plenty of money saved up to buy all that I need during the sale, and b) I have a large chunk of the gifts already bought just from ordering them here and there during the months leading up! This is a strategy my mom has used for YEARRRRSSS and I always used to think it was so funny when she would start buying gifts for Christmas in July and stockpiling them in her closet or under her bed, but I realize now that she knew what she was doing!! Buying little by little starting months before is the way to do it! (THANKS MOMMA VIC ♡)
Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, bing, bang, BOOM!! Three holidays, one right after the other. While that’s one of the things I LOVE about fall because you get to connect with friends and family and have fun and spend time together, it can also get to be pricey. Buying Halloween costumes and supplying the food for Thanksgiving and Christmas costs a pretty penny in itself and throw in Black Friday shopping and other Christmas preparations and you’ve got yourself quite a large bill! I always like to make sure I add in a little extra to my budget for these months so I can give myself some wiggle room as far as how much money I’m setting aside and how much I should allocate to these costs. I always believe it’s better to over-budget than under-budget. Then, if you have a little extra cash left over in your budget at the end of the month, it’s the perfect excuse to reward yourself for being such a responsible adult with a little mini shopping spree! 😉
End of Year Trips
Aaaaaand finally, we get to the trips!! End of the year vacations are always so much fun. You get to get away from the hustle and bustle of everything and give yourself a little time to relax and rejuvenate from work or school before all of the craziness of the holidays and the New Year comes about. I don’t know about you, but I usually try to plan my end of the year trips about half a year ahead of time so that a) I have enough time to plan my days off work and save them up and b) I have enough time to save the money I need to so that I’m not struggling around that time trying to pay for gifts, celebrations, and a trip on top all together at once! Most end of the year trips I’ve taken in the past (and also including the one I’m taking this year) I’ve booked well in advance and set up a payment plan, so I can pay it off a little each month. I like doing this, because it gives me a chance to add that in to my budget for each month and I’m only paying a little bit each month rather than this huge lump sum at a time that’s difficult on the pocket book in the first place! So just make sure if you’re thinking you might want to take an end of the year trip, you plan accordingly and make sure you plan ahead of time and set enough money aside each month to where you won’t be hit with a huge bill to pay around the holidays.
Oh! Also make sure you remember to budget in food, spending money, and other trip expenses that go along with your end of the year trip! Trips never cost just what you pay to book it, so make sure you think of everything and budget correctly so there won’t be any surprises!
I hope these little reminders will help you guys when making out your monthly budgets this fall! I always start mine early since I live about 3 months in advance, so it helps me to have a written reminder of what I need to put down when I go to make it so that I don’t forget anything.
Happy planning friends!!!