Looking at the calendar, I knew my wife and I had to do some extra planning during our next budget talk. Our budget cycle runs bi-monthly because that’s how I get paid. Looking at the 2021 calendar, I get paid on January 29th, and then again on February 15th. In between those two paydays are three weekends. We normally split the discretionary funds for a pay period between two weekends, but just how the calendar laid out in this instance, we have three.
This situation requires us to look ahead, and plan ahead. Life is full of scenarios just like this that require some foresight to deal with. If you don’t, they can cause overspending. Here’s a list of other everyday situations I’m always on the lookout for:
Many holidays mean gatherings with friends and family and extra spending. Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Thanksgiving are all holidays that may require saving extra funds ahead of time.
For some people, birthdays are no big deal. For others, a birthday requires significant recognition. My wife is one of those people. As a parent, I’ve planned my share of over-the-top birthday celebrations for my kids.
There’s literally nothing inexpensive about owning a car. Expensive maintenance items include brakes and tires, each of them costing hundreds of dollars. These are items that you usually know are coming and can be planned for. If you don’t, they could wipe out your emergency fund or result in going into debt to pay for them.
One can usually get a good idea as to whether they will owe taxes to the government based on how the previous years turned out. But changes during a year such as income changes, the addition of a child, or purchasing a home can all drastically change the amount of taxes owed. There are certain tools and professionals available that can help a person with tax planning. Getting a large refund in April may not be all that bad, but an unexpectedly large tax bill can give a person a sticker shock.
Your monthly bills can also be planned well in advance, looking ahead can guarantee you’re getting the best prices and therefore the most savings. If you know you’re going to be working from home at some point during the next 12 months, you should look into upgrading, or downgrading your broadband provider if you’re paying too much. You can compare the cheapest broadband deals to get the best prices in your area.
The time of year can also depend on which gas and electric providers are the cheapest. During windier or sunny times during the year, greener energy is typically the cheapest option. However, getting closer to winter means some suppliers hike up their prices as most people need to keep warm.
Budgeting for financial success isn’t just handling recurring monthly bills. It also requires looking ahead for those infrequent but significant expenses.
How about you, EOD Nation, what would you add to this list?