Budgeting takes the worry out of money management, and extending this great financial habit into the holidays is a smart move. In fact, there are many instances throughout the year when having planned ahead will benefit you. Here’s how to handle seasonal expenses in a way that keeps your financial life as stress-free as possible.
If you are new to budgeting and there’s just not enough time between now and the next holiday or back to school shopping, you are probably wondering how you can possibly save enough money to buy school supplies or simply have a nice Christmas celebration with your family.
A personal installment loan helps ease the burden of seasonal expenses. You can use the money for whatever you want and spread the cost of the loan out over time. Personal installment loans offer equal payments over a fixed term. You’ll know the cost of the loan up front. Another benefit is most companies report your loan and payments to at least one of the three major credit bureaus. When you make on-time payments it will help build your credit file.
How to fit future seasonal expenses into your budget
If you have some time to plan for seasonal expenses, there are a few ways to go about saving the money.
Find out if you can have a small amount of money automatically transferred from your checking account to your seasonal expenses savings account on payday. Many credit unions offer this service. They may even set up a no-fee savings account with online access for you.
Alternatively, if you use the “Envelope Method” for saving for expenses, put a designated amount of money into an envelope for seasonal expenses on payday. Like your other envelopes, this method keeps you from overspending during the times of the year when it’s most tempting.
For example, if the two big yearly events you need to plan for are Back to School and Christmas, start by adding up how much you spend during each season.
Back to School
School Supplies $100
Registration Fees $50
Lunch Account $20
Gifts for family and friends $300
Extra food (potlucks, work celebrations, school events, etc.) $80
Secret Santa event at work $30
Teacher gifts $40
Travel expenses (extra gasoline, overnight stays, etc) $150
Back to School + Christmas = $950
$950/52 weeks = Approximately $20 per paycheck
Spreading out the costs associated with Christmas, Back to School, and any other seasons when you spend more money than usual over the entire year eases the burden considerably. Setting aside $20 out of each weekly paycheck for seasonal expenses covers everything on this list.
Similarly, a loan can also allow you to spread these expenses out over time if needed. Either way, when seasonal expenses arise, it’s nice to not have to come out of pocket for it all at once. The best part about planning ahead is that it will allow you to relax and enjoy spending time with your loved ones without financial worries.
Learning to manage a budget becomes a fairly simple task with a bit of practice. Take a look at The Basics of Budgeting to get started.