Successful Budgeting Requires Looking Ahead

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 look out for:

Holidays

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.

Birthdays

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.

Car Maintenance

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.

Taxes

One can usually get a good idea as to whether they will owe taxes to the government based on how the previous year’s 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 certainly 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 unexpected large tax bill can give a person sticker shock.

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?

 

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