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We expect March to bring the sun and warmer weather with it. But what about the special expenses it brings as well?
Instead of allowing these costs to pile up and blindside you, be prepared. Check out this helpful list of budgeting reminders for the third month of the year (plus a few on-sale extras for all you bargain shoppers).
First, Some Expenses to Remember:
1. March Madness
If you plan on inviting friends over to watch some college basketball, put extra cash in the food fund to cover chips, drinks, wings and so on. Or if your budget’s tight, ask everyone to bring a snack. Hosting the party doesn’t necessarily mean footing the bill.
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The deadline for finishing up your taxes is just around the corner. So if you elect to do them yourself, your only expense will be the online service or tax software you use. But if your numbers are a little more complicated, make sure to budget for a trustworthy tax pro who might actually save you money.
3. Summer Camp/Sports Fees
March is a great time to start putting money aside for spring and summer sports. While the camp or sport may not start this month, deposits must be made and equipment must be bought. Plan accordingly.
4. Spring Break
Before you catch Spring Break fever, work it into your cash flow plan. If you can’t afford a week at the beach, plan something local instead, like a rental cabin at a state park. And if your dollars still aren’t stretching, a staycation might be smarter.
If you have a high schooler, prom is probably their number-one expense for the year. It’s okay to leave the majority of the cost to your teen, but if you want to pitch in for a gown or limo rental, now’s the time to discuss your budget.
Now for Those On-Sale Items:
6. Gardening Tools
A month from now, everyone will begin storming the home improvement stores in search of gardening gear. So if you need anything, go ahead and get yours now before the rush sets in and the prices go up.
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7. Winter Clothing
As temperatures rise, winter clothing prices drop. That’s great news if your coat is looking a little shabby or your kids have outgrown all their sweaters. Buying now will save you a bundle next year.
If you have avid bikers in the family, this could be a great time to update those 10-speeds. New models arrive in February and March, so you might just score a great deal on last year’s top seller.
With summer vacation still two seasons away, luggage is available on the cheap this month. The less you spend on your bags now, the more you can spend on lobster dinners and snorkeling adventures later.
Not only can this itemized list help you prepare for March, but it can also get you thinking about upcoming spring and summer expenses too. The earlier you save, the better off you’ll be.
What else are you budgeting for this month? Let us know in the comments section below.