We are all very aware of the times of year when we need to do some spending. The holiday season, of course, comes to mind. But what about all the other events throughout the year that you don’t typically plan ahead for? Your friend’s Halloween party? Your parents summer cookout? Birthdays? Weddings? The list goes on and on. They may not be huge expenses, but they can wind up feeling like unexpected expenses that creep up on you. Planning ahead can make it sting a little less.
Break out your calendar and a pen and get to work. Mark down every holiday, birthday, and event where you expect to spend some money. You can also note a dollar amount that you’d like to set as your budget. For example, maybe you want to set aside $25 for your niece’s birthday.
If you want to take it a step further, include a note a few weeks ahead of that date. This will serve as your reminder to start putting aside money leading up to that day. Here are a few ideas to set aside the funds…
- Envelope system: Get yourself an empty envelope and put in a certain amount on a weekly basis. Say, $5 a week for a month for your niece’s gift. When the day comes, you’ll have an envelope of money without having to empty your wallet.
- Holiday bank accounts: Open up a separate account at your bank and have a portion of your paycheck deposited automatically each week. The same idea as the envelope.
A little planning can take the sting out of unexpected expenses, and make saving easier.
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