Roadmap for a Fiscally Sane Fall

woman with road map

Knock the sand out of your ears—September is around the corner, bringing a bonanza of seasonal expenses. You need a roadmap to keep your money in track for fall. Here it is:

  1. Remember your summer budget? Sure you do. Now you need a new one for all the fun and games you have to pay for this season. Take 20 minutes: Look at your commitments for the next three months (school starting up, quarterly taxes for the self-employed due September 15th, the holidaze, etc.). Get a grip on basic costs and start to plan your cashflow to match.
  2. Create a mini holiday budget. It's never too early to run numbers on gifts, travel, your annual Champagne bash—and start a savings account for those big end-of-year expenses.
  3. Make the necessary cost-of-living adjustments. Every year brings a tug-of-war between tradition ("But we always visit Gran in Phoenix") and financial realities. With about 15 weeks until the present-buying, travel-booking season starts, you have time to rein in expenses now so you have more money to spend then.

Or—put it all on Visa so you can enjoy your own personal financial crisis throughout the first half of 2011? We leave it to you.

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