Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Budgeting for Autumn


Creamy Nutmeg Slatkin candle


I'm taking time today to look at my budget for the next couple pre-holiday months. (I'll worry about my Christmas shopping budget a bit later). I've been living away from home for months, working at a gift shop for far less wages than I make in my own home business, so my budget this year is a lot lower than last year.

I need to think about upcoming birthdays I'll need to send gifts, cards and flowers for, Thanksgiving expenses (I don't travel for that holiday, so that helps), and all the grocery shopping I'll need to be doing for the autumn dinner parties I throw.

Two huge upcoming expenses are my adoption in 2010, and the nursery I'm creating for her in my guest bedroom.

Meanwhile, I will need money to maintain my home (and better it, not just keep it at the same level). I need a chimney sweep, carpet cleaning, and a furnace inspection. I have a flatscreen TV that STILL needs to be mounted on the wall. If I can squeeze enough into the budget, I'd like to get the electricity rewired in the garage so I can put an inexpensive $300 garage refrigerator from Home Depot out there. And very soon I'll be buying bulbs to plant in my fall planting spree.

I'll likely need to buy a couple new sweaters for the fall. The teenage cousin living with me needs textbooks and some clothes for fall, too. This year there is only one musical coming up that I'm particularly interested in (Wicked) and I definitely will forego Starbucks, manicures and other non-necessities in order to save up for that.

QUICK THINGS TO DO TODAY:

- Balance checkbook; pay any outstanding bills that didn't get done on September first.

- Do a quick maintenance-cleaning wipedown of bathroom mirrors, counters, and sinks

- Launder bath towels, wash towels and hand towels, if needed

TODAY'S PROJECT: Budgeting

Sit down with your significant other/spouse/partner (or yourself; or your accountant) and look over your budget for the next 2 months. Are you able to put away money in savings? Pay down credit card debt? If not, what things do you need to give up, and behaviors to change, in order to do so?

What sorts of upcoming expenses can you anticipate? Need to buy any coats or fall clothing for family members? New shoes (the kind someone actually needs because their existing shoes are worn out; not the kind we just want because they're pretty).

Do you have any medical appointments coming up? Dentist visits that need a co-pay? Veterinarian visits for your pets? School pictures for your kids? Any upcoming field trips at their schools that have a fee associated? Will your family members need haircuts, or pets need professional grooming, in the next two months?

Any birthdays coming up, or parties you plan to throw? Need to stock your pantry for fall, and buy cleaning supplies? Planning on attending any movies, concerts, or events between now and November? Are you well stocked on fall home fragrance and candles?

What home-repair, home maintenance, and home improvement projects do you need to get done in the next 2 months? Doing any home organizing or redecorating, and maybe need to budget in organizing supplies?

Write your estimated budget (and expenses) down on paper. If you have a significant other, have them sign it, and make a copy so you both have one. That way you can refer back to it later (especially during an argument, laugh!)

I post mine somewhere I see it every day - my bathroom changing area. After a couple weeks I'll forget to look at it, so hopefully I will remember to move it somewhere else so I will notice it again. I wouldn't put it anywhere public like the fridge where visitors could see it, though. Mostly it's just a reminder for me of all the things I want to accomplish and to be able to provide for my household.


LOVELY BLOGS: Liqurious

This blog aggregates cocktail recipes (with beautiful photographs to accompany them) from various blogs around the world. Currently there are nearly 4,000 cocktail, beer, wine and liquor photographs and recipes here.

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LOVELY LINKS FOR TODAY:

25 Sexy Fall Finds for Under $100 (Glamour)

1 comment :

Dig HayZeus said...

Adoption - congratulations!
Also, very good budgeting advice.