Power to the Mini-Budget

dw_flowerMom would approve
Every year it sneaks up on you—Mother's Day (hint: May 9).

We'll leave the last-minute gift scramble to you (brunch? flowers? a… scarf??), and instead focus on this felicitous financial opportunity.

If you don't have a mini-budget for gifts, don't just sit there. Make one.

Coping with curveballs
We've covered the art of budgeting, but it's the mini-budgets within your budgie that keep it humming.

Think about it: Your rent or mortgage rarely changes. Your utilities are fairly consistent.

It's those erratic, holy-cow-it's-Mother's-Day expenses that (heh) do a number on you: home repairs, car repairs, kid expenses and… gifts.

Three ways to mini-budget:

  1. Sock away fixed amounts for designated expenses (e.g. $20/week for gifts, $100/month for inevitable car repairs, etc.).
  2. Or, calculate the yearly amount that you typically spend on a category, divide by 12, and save that each month (this is helpful for property taxes, tuition, and other semi-annual bills).
  3. Contribute religiously to your curveball fund—at least 5% of your income—to cover all sporadic expenses.

Bottom line
Expect the unexpected, as they say, and build it into your budget.

Your move
Have you planned your summer budget, Ms. Pina Colada? Arrrrriba!