With September right around the corner, it’s time to start setting up your September budget. As you’re getting your budget ready for the switch to school, and fall, don’t forget to add these September budget categories.
Depending on the weather in our corner of the northeast, September is when our grass is almost non-existent, and the weeds are what’s taking over. Whether you pay someone to care for your lawn, or you do it yourself, it’s not free. Look at your lawn expenses in the past to get an idea of how much you’ll be spending throughout the growing season.
My allergies run year-round. Nothing is weirder than having to be that one person that buys OTC allergy medicine in the middle of December. But my kids’ allergies kick it into high gear this time of year between the grass and ragweed. This results in buying our allergy meds more often than I do throughout the rest of the year. If this is your prime allergy season, don’t forget to budget for it!
September is when it’s time for us to close the pool for the season, which comes with a little extra cost in shock and conditioner. But then the pool is set for the winter and you can worry about it again in the spring. Thankfully our budget gets a slight reprieve.
Farmer’s Market / You Pick Farms
September marks the start of the main harvest season for us. It’s the perfect time to go to the orchards for apples, peaches, and pears. With all that comes pies, cider, butter, and applesauce! Apples are relatively cheap per bushel where I live, at under $20 per bushel depending on the type. No matter your preference, it’s a cost that needs to be taken into consideration when making your budget.
Be sure to keep up with your sinking funds. Don’t forget to review them based on your quarterly and annual bills, as well as medical expenses.
September means the start of school, fall activities are in full swing, and before you know it, Christmas and other winter holidays will be here. If you haven’t yet, it’s time to get started on saving up now so you know your budget when December comes.
Eye & Dental Exams
Just like annual physicals, the summer is a great time to get the kids in for their exams. Every spring and fall we have our semi-annual dental exams, and the summer is our annual eye exams. If it’s been a while for either, you may want to get yourself in for a checkup. Better to be on top of your health than have to play crisis management later on.
Back To School
September is when stores are swapping to the next seasonal item (Halloween), and if you’re unlucky, you’re on the hunt for the most coveted Texas Instruments calculator for the 7th grade (true story). Don’t forget to leave a little wiggle room in your budget for any back-to-school items that come up at the last minute.
SChool Technology Fees
Yes, while I could include this under the back-to-school category, I prefer to leave this as a separate line in our budget. Ever since the kids went back to school in the building full-time post-2020, the school now has a 1:1 ratio on technology. Each student above 1st grade gets a Chromebook on loan from the district. In order to make sure that I’m not financially responsible for any costly repairs or replacements to charging cords, I opt into the district’s insurance policy, for a very reasonable rate. I’m not sure I could cover the repairs on three Chromebooks for $45.
Fall brings loads of fun activities for the kids at their school. There are occasions when I can’t donate my time to help, I donate any snacks or supplies that are needed. If you happen to forget to add this category to your budget like I have done so many times, you can use a reasonable amount from our grocery budget for the week.
Birthdays, Weddings & Baby Showers
With the nice weather coming to an end, there also comes a plethora of birthday celebrations, weddings, and baby showers. If you’ve been invited, make sure to set aside some money in your budget so you don’t overspend. We have a separate savings account for gifting purposes, but sometimes we have more invitations than money in our account.
If you can’t afford any more financial stretch in your budget, slowly add money to a gift card over the span of a few weeks, or buy one item at a time within the normal constraints of your weekly budget. I find not only does it help keep us within our weekly budget, but we get really creative, and much more meaningful, with what we’re gifting.
September usually marks the beginning of your sports season, so be sure to include some room in your budget for snacks, fundraisers, fees, fuel, gear, and uniform fees because it can add up fast!
Also, don’t be so fast to gloss this category over if your child doesn’t participate in sports though. My three are in the marching band, and there is the added admissions and concessions cost on those busy Friday nights.
These come in all shapes and forms, from band or sports to PTO. If you’re committed to spending your money in support of these organizations, you’ll need to have that extra room in your budget for them, and a maximum amount that you’ll spend.
Are there any other September budget categories you included in your budget that aren’t on this list? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll be sure to add them!