Preparing for Fall Finances
Posted by : Raj | Posted on : Tuesday, October 6, 2009
By Heaven Stubblefield
While it seems summer is coming to a screeching halt and Halloween costumes are sprouting up in department stores, it is not too late to prepare your fall finances. Here are some things to keep in mind has we say goodbye to summer and hello to fall…
1. Gas Prices
You have probably noticed that the price of gas begins to drop as fall weather sets in. Don’t be fooled. As a mother, I know my mileage always goes up when school starts. I am making more trips to friends’ houses because the pool is not available, and the simple running around of summer to the grocery store is now doubled with trips to buy sporting equipment, clothes and school supplies. On the same note, if you have a gas furnace, those cold nights might require more than an extra blanket, so don’t forget to budget an increase in utility bills if you don’t have a fixed rate per month.
Last month, I went through my closet and donated clothes that were too big (from my post baby days), too small (from my pre baby days), and simply worn out. Because of my savvy saving this summer, I have a chunk of change to spend on some fall clothes for work. Make sure you take into account keeping your clothes clean. A friend of mine works in a dry cleaning shop and shared with me how much more busy she is once school starts. It seems the mom’s who were donning t-shirts and jean shorts this summer are returning to work and breaking out the pant suits and blazers. Make sure you have money for both the clothes and keeping their upkeep.
3. Fall fun
Things get more expensive in the fall when it comes to entertainment as outdoor venues, aside from the Friday night high school football game or season tickets at your favorite sports arena, start to dwindle. Having fun comes at a swelled price. Your child may want spend the day at a gaming station or simply home watching television. While both activities are not superb for your child, if it becomes a habit in the fall, it will come with a price. Make sure you have plenty of low-cost options for fall fun.
Budget conscience planning
Getting ready for fall does not just mean being aware of what you are going to need to buy. Revisit your finances. Did you or your spouse get a raise? Is it time to increase your fund allocation to your retirement account or child’s college tuition plan? If you have had a change in salary, make sure you look ahead at your new income. In my household, when I stopped working full time and went to work part time, my husband and I were able to look at our finances with a clear lens so that there were no unexpected surprises. Make sure you look at those things first, then make your list of the things that you know will be needed this year. It will make fall more fun, and winter more bearable.
What are you doing to be ready for your fall finances?