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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.