Budgeting for the Month: May

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Before you start your Mother’s Day or Memorial Day shopping, take some time to remember why you’re celebrating these great holidays.

It’s not so you can score discounts or go out to eat. It’s because you want to honor the self-sacrificing men and women who’ve done so much for your family. So as you’re enjoying the fun parts of these May festivities (and we want you to!) don’t forget the real reason you’re buying those flowers or visiting that sale.

Here are some important expenses you might want to work into your May budget:

Mother’s Day Buys:

Breakfast in Bed

Before the big day, head to the grocery store and stock up on everything she loves. We’re talking homemade waffles, fresh squeezed OJ and real maple syrup—not the high fructose stuff. Then serve that gorgeous woman an I-love-you-this-much breakfast in bed.

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Flowers and Gifts

Your mom or wife deserves the very best. So splurge on her favorite bouquet of flowers or buy a nice rosebush that will bloom year after year. There’s also the classic spa gift card. Who wouldn’t want a free facial or mani pedi?  

Lunch Out

If you don’t feel like cooking lunch or dinner for Mom, that’s okay. Just take her somewhere delicious. Keep in mind that prices are inflated and restaurants are overcrowded, so you’ll need to plan ahead and budget a little extra.

Memorial Day Sales:

Seasonal Clothing

Spring styles are calling! If you need some lighter-weather wear, start hunting for those half-off stickers now. But before you go on a shopping bender, make (and stick to) a specific dollar amount. Cash is a great way to control your on-sale spending.

Refrigerators and Mattresses

Is your 10-year-old refrigerator on its last leg? Now is a great time to buy a new one, as retailers make way for the latest models coming in summer. And if you’re sick of waking up with a backache, look around for discounted mattresses as well.

Camping and Outdoor Gear

Whether you’re a backwoods trailblazer or more of an electricity-loving glamper (glamorous camper), gear up for the season while the sales are hot.

The Other Stuff:

Teacher Appreciation

The first week of May is National Teacher Appreciation Week. Encourage your child to say “thanks” with a handwritten note and some homemade cookies or a nice indoor plant for the classroom. A little gratitude goes a long way.

Another way to show appreciation to your child’s teacher is to let them know about Dave Ramsey’s Teacher Appreciation Giveaway. The giveaway is sponsored by Fifth Third Bank and runs April 1–30, 2015. Tell the teachers in your life to enter at daveramsey.com/teacher for their chance to win an all-inclusive tropical vacation for two!

Gardening

Fresh tomatoes, crisp cucumbers and giant watermelons. Hungry yet? Whether you’re planting a veggie patch or just brightening up your yard with blooms, prepare your gardening fund for the warmer months ahead.

Holiday Travel

Pools are open and cookouts are in full swing—finally. If you’re planning a weekend trip to the lake or visiting extended family, remember to budget for gas, a hotel, a pontoon rental and lots of food!

There’s a ton of fun happening in May. So get your family’s budget in order before the month begins and you’ll free up more time to enjoy the sales and celebrations ahead. Check out EveryDollar.com to help organize and track your family's budget.

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