April Showers Grow Free Flowers

 

April is not just the start of the Spring season for most of us, but it’s also Financial Literacy Month! Let’s start the month out strong! Don’t let the change in weather change your intensity with your budget. It’s easy to loosen up and get caught off guard when more spontaneous events start happening.

Create your April spending plan now and be prepared by checking out the 9 categories listed below that can easily get overlooked. And don’t forget, budgeting is a team sport if you’re married! Sit down after the kids are in bed with your favorite beverage in hand and make it a plan you both agree on.

close-up-delicate-flora-1812886.jpg
  • Easter - Whether you’re planning on hosting or planning on traveling to family or friends for Easter, there will be a few extra expenses to consider. Looking to keep kids baskets simple? Shop at the dollar store or 5 Below for a few fun treats!

  • Tax Day - April 15th is THE DAY. If you haven’t gotten your taxes done, now’s the time to do them and to ensure you financially prepare to have them done. And if you’re one of the not so lucky ones who owes taxes, make sure you’ve got the money in your budget to pay by the 15th.

  • Real estate Taxes - If your home isn’t escrowed, keep in mind that depending on where you live, you may have real estate taxes due or coming due soon. Carve some money out in your budget this month to be prepared.

  • Wedding Season - So it’s not exactly wedding season yet, but it’s coming on like a train. You might find yourself invited to some bridal showers starting this month to get ready for the couple’s big day.

  • Home Improvements - With the change of seasons, it’s common to want to spruce up your curb appeal. Budget some money for the projects you have in mind. If they’re bigger, start a sinking fund for them and start funding while you’re freshly excited!

  • Lawn Maintenance - Whether you take care of your own lawn or hire someone to do it, there will be costs associated in your budget. Your gasoline will go up if you go it alone and possibly some mower repairs to be had. If you hire a company, be ready for that first bill to come in.

  • Garage Sales - ‘Tis the season! With the warmer weather you’ll soon start to see garage sales and estate sales popping up all over your street. Add a category in your budget if you have some things in mind, or better yet, add some income to your budget by joining in the fun!

  • Family Entertainment - It’s time for cabin fever to end and you’ll soon want to be out and about doing more as a family on the warmer weekend days. Budget in a little more family entertainment for zoo days, ice cream stops and little fun to be had along the way. Of course there are a lot of great free options as well, but don’t let this category catch you off guard.

  • Summer Vacation - If you’re planning on traveling this summer take the stress out of the vacation and start saving now if you haven’t already. There’s NO better feeling than being on vacation knowing it’s all paid for!

By creating a spending plan before the month begins, you’ll feel more in control of your money and you’ll have more left over at the end of the month! If you’re still not sure how to get started, click here to set up your FREE introductory coaching session to see how I can help!

 
 

Approaching Your March Budget Like A Lion

 

You know what they say, March rolls in like a lion and out like a lamb, right? Let’s approach this month’s budget with the same fierceness!

Did you know that 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail by February, so by March, they’re pretty much caput. Let’s get your financial resolutions back on the road with your March Budget. Don’t forget all the items below.

grid-march-note-910193.jpg
  • Spring Break - If you have kids, they might have a week’s vacation and whether you go somewhere or not, it’s probably going to cost you a bit more. Even if they just go shopping with you, out to lunch or you take them to the zoo, make sure to plan for some extra spending.

  • St. Patty’s Day - It’s not just a holiday for the Irish, don’t you know. If you’re planning on going out to celebrate, make sure you pad your entertainment budget.

  • March Madness - We’re not just talking about betting, but you might want to leave some extra in your sports or entertainment for hanging with some friends for the tournaments.

  • Taxes - UGH - yes, it’s that time of year again! If you’ve paid in the past or had any major changes in job, income or life events, you may want to start preparing to pay some taxes by April 15th. Also make sure to budget for your tax preparer or filing fees and if you own any property that isn’t mortgaged (yay!) then be prepared for the real estate taxes coming due also. Every city is different, but one of our counties has a 2% discount if you pay by March 31. Yes please!

  • Clothing - It just might be the best month to add an extra few dollars to your clothing budget and buy next winter’s boots, coats and clothing on major clearance this month. Stores need to make room for the spring line up and you’ll find heavy discounts on winter clothing.

  • Spring Cleanup - If the weather keeps staying nice, you’ll be prepping your home for spring clean up by the end of the month. Plan a little extra in your home maintenance budget as well.

  • Summer Camp Registration/Sports - Believe it or not, registrations will be starting soon! How about starting a category so that you can be financially prepared for all the fun!

By creating a spending plan before the month begins, you’ll feel more in control of your money and you’ll have more left over at the end of the month! If you’re still not sure how to get started, click here to set up your FREE introductory coaching session to see how I can help!

 
 

Don't forget these 10 items in your September budget

 

I can't quite get a grip on the fact that September is almost here!  It's time for pumpkin everything to come out, sweater weather, nighttime bonfires and of course, Labor Day, signifying the end of summer has come.

And as always, the weekend leading up to the new month, it's time to sit down and reflect on how you did with August goals, set new goals for September and most importantly, create a September spending plan.

Planning.jpg

So without further ado, let's look at September's budget.

Top 10 things to remember for September

1.  School supplies and fees - These should have been budgeted for in August, but now's the time to catch any overflow or things forgotten.

2.  Fall clothes and shoes - you might have been waiting for Labor Day sales or maybe the summer bbq's got to your waistline, but if you need fall clothes, make sure you have it in your budget.

3. Labor Day - We also looked at this in August, but now it's here.  Need extra gas money for travel, cookouts or a last minute getaway?

4. CHRISTMAS - That's right...I said it.  As of September 1, Christmas is officially less than 4 months away.  In fact, as of my writing, it's 121 days away.  If you haven't started planning NOW is the time.  Take the total amount you plan to spend and divide it by 4 and stock that much away each month to spend.

5.  Birthdays/anniversaries/weddings - It didn't even register until now, it's our 3 year anniversary this month.  Awwwwwww.  Did you know that September is one of the most popular months for weddings?

6.  Winterizing expenses - Yes summer is just ending, but there will be snow on the ground before you know it!  If you have a pool to close down or a boat on the water, you'll need to start preparing for the costs to take care of them.

7.  Halloween - It'll sneak up quick and I know that some people put Halloween up as high as Christmas on the favorite holiday list.  And unbelievably, costumes, candy and decorations are already out.

8.  Tailgating - WE ARE PENN STATE!!!  And, Here we go Steelers, here we go!!!

9.  Quarterly bills - If you pay any of your bills quarterly (car insurance, water, sewage, taxes, etc), they're often due October 1st. 

10.  Family photos.  Being such a beautiful time of the year, fall is very popular for family photos and mini sessions to be offered. Take advantage of the scenery!

 

As always, every person and family is different.  You might not include all these in your budget and maybe I'm missing some things that should be listed.  What's in your spending plan for September?