Every month there are predictable expenses, as well as expenses that only occur a few times a year. No matter how long we’ve been budgeting, there always seems to be a category or two I forget in our monthly budgets. Here are 10 budgeting categories you probably forgot in your November budget.
The beginning of November is the perfect time to pick up some Halloween clearance items. Clearance costumes make great additions to any dress-up clothes bin you may have around the house.
But costumes aren’t the only clearance Halloween items I think are worth picking up. I like grabbing bags of clearance candy for lunch box treats, pencils for classrooms, and those little spider rings for sending home in kids’ reading bags through our elementary school.
Between Halloween just ending, Christmas coming up, and Thanksgiving at the end of this month, holidays can take a toll on our food budget.
When we host Thanksgiving at our house, we divvy out who brings what. Since we host, we usually take care of the larger items, like the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Then our guests bring any remaining sides, desserts, drinks, and snacks. It helps to offset how much we’re spending on a Thanksgiving dinner.
How I allot what we spend on Thanksgiving changes from year to year. Most of the time I will take what we spend on our portion of food from our Gifting sinking fund, but there have been years I set aside an estimate on food over the course of the month, or even slowly stocked up on food (mainly pantry foods) throughout the month.
If you’re traveling for Thanksgiving, don’t forget to include fuel, lodging, and extra food costs you’ll encounter during your travels.
If you’re traveling too far, or your pet doesn’t travel well, you’ll want to include a budget line for boarding costs.
It’s not too late to set a budget and start saving for Christmas! Any amount you can set aside now, and sticking to that budget, help keep you debt free over the course of Christmas. It also reduces the chances of overspending during the holiday season.
As we’re getting closer and closer to Christmas, the store will be having numerous sales. Don’t forget to make a list, set a budget, and stick to it for major sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Nothing hurts your financial goals worse than going off the budget rails on your Christmas spending before you’re even into December!
I’m not one to set out a ton of decorations; I’m very minimal when it comes to that. But I know some people love to decorate their house from top to bottom in preparation for Christmas. If this is you, you absolutely can still have your house ready for Christmas on a budget! Set a limit, stick to the limit, and don’t be afraid to check out the after-Christmas sales at the end of December and beginning of January.
With the colder weather comes increases in heating costs, such as natural gas or electric bills. At our previous two houses, we had natural gas as our main source of heat. Our bill was always higher by a few hundred dollars in the winter than it was in the summer when the water heater and the stove were the only uses of natural gas. Even after we were on a budgeting “pay-one-monthly-price” program, the bill would reevaluate in the winter based on our actual usage.
With the cooler weather on its way, the heat will be in constant use soon, an increased heating bill isn’t the only thing that should be in your budget for the month. Make sure that you’ve got your heating system inspected and in top-performing shape before it’s running all the time.
Indoor blues can cause an increase in spending. It is possible to have some frugal fun in the fall, but if you’re looking for something a little more, you can still have some fun while remaining on a budget! For example, if you want to go to the movies, or out for a family dinner to help break the monotony, make sure that you set a line in your budget for it!
Looking to set up your budget for a different month?
Do you have any categories for your November budget that I forgot? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll add them to the list!