It’s still Summer, but it’s not too early to start thinking about the Fall. Budget needs and spending habits are often tied to the seasons, and planning for these financial transitions can help you avoid overspending or going into debt.
So what types of things should you plan for?
The beginning of the school year will bring new financial responsibilities: books, uniforms, tuition, school supplies, etc. There will likely be costs for extra-curricular activities, too like sports and clubs. Start saving and drafting a budget for these costs now.
While you’re at it, look for ways to save. For example, try contacting the school or professors and ask for a list of books that you’ll need to buy, then try finding them used online or in bookstores.
In a few months, your heating needs will rise. On the other hand, you won’t be needing your air conditioner for a while. Look at past utility bills to get an idea of how much you’ll need to budget for gas and electricity during the Fall (and Winter, too).
If you have the time and money, now is a good time for money-saving home improvement projects. Replacing old windows, sealing leaks, and insulating your home can lower your heating and cooling bills.
When the cooler weather arrives, you might be less inclined to walk or bike. Additionally, if you or a family member start school in the Fall, there may be more occasions to hop into your car. If you drive (or take public transportation) more often in the Fall and Winter, be sure your budget reflects that.
The more you drive, the more likely your car will need maintenance and repairs. Plan for these costs, and start putting aside some money to cover automotive emergencies if you don’t already have an emergency fund.
What are your plans for the Fall?
The Fall might bring a drastic change to your schedule, or it might not change much at all. Regardless, the changing of the seasons is a good time to review your budget and plan ahead.