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The sun is setting on summer, and fall is right around the corner. The leaves are about to turn and change will be in the air.
The same might be true for your budget. New expenses come up every month, so if you’re just changing the name of the month at the top of your budget and nothing else, then you are not accounting for new costs. But the good news is we have a list to help you plan.
In addition to your regular monthly expenses of food, gas and utilities, think about some of these costs to consider when creating your August budget.
1. Last-minute Cookouts
Is there a better way to end the summer than a good old-fashioned backyard cookout? If you’ve wanted to host a few friends over, now might be the perfect time—just weeks before school starts back. Remember, you can host a cookout without going overboard. Plan ahead and ask some of your friends to pitch in as well!
2. Christmas Saving
You’ve got four months until the gifts go under the tree. Start budgeting now so you are ahead of the game during the November and December rush. Set a reasonable savings amount (seriously, be reasonable!), and stick to your Christmas savings goals the rest of the year. When the holiday season rolls around, you’ll find yourself a lot less anxious because the budget is under control.
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3. Wardrobe Refresh
You might want to freshen up your wardrobe for fall, and your kids might have outgrown the pants they’ve been wearing the last two years. In 2014, the National Retail Federation reported that parents spent an average of $231 on back-to-school clothes. No matter what you’re spending, your main goal should be to make sure your clothing budget is realistic. Then all you have to say is, “My budget told me I could!”
Related: 2 Words That Will Change the Way You Shop
4. Sports Activities and Fees
Extracurricular activities, even at a public school, are rarely free. You may have to provide music instruments or band uniforms. Or if your child plays community sports, you will have sign-up costs and fees for jerseys, shoes or gear.
Related: One Thing to Remember Before You Watch Your Kid’s Sporting Event
5. Charitable Giving
Charitable giving tends to increase later in the year—tax reasons and all that. So if you’ve fallen behind on monthly giving to your church or favorite charity, now’s a great time to catch back up or at least start planning what your annual year-end gift might be.
August is the hottest month of the year, but that doesn’t mean your budget has to be a hot mess. Keep these expenses in mind this month as you plan out the budget.
For additional August budget line items you shouldn’t overlook, check out this article on EveryDollar.com.