Last month’s newsletter had information on how to prepare a monthly budget. Remember the four keys to a budget are 1) completing a budget monthly 2) income minus expenses equals zero 3) both spouses have input 4) agree on the budget and then you must actually do what is on the budget you created. But what happens if an unexpected expense comes up during the month or you forgot to add an expense in the budget? Here’s how.
You call an emergency budget committee meeting. Both you and your spouse need to sit down together and add the expense item to your budget. You will quickly realize that your income minus your expenses does not equal zero. There is no need to panic. Just go through your budget and see if there any items you can trim down or eliminate that month. Maybe you have an expense that you were going to pay early that you can move to the next month. Either way, if you together can determine how to rearrange your budget you will prevent arguments over why the budget didn’t work for you this month. If you had an emergency expense that is a larger dollar amount, then use your emergency fund. Remember, you will need to go back and refund your emergency fund before going back to your debt snowball.
Just like in sports, coaches have to make adjustments at halftime before playing the second half (and there is nothing wrong with that). The best way you can make those adjustments to your budget is by being on the same page with your spouse.
The Scary Truth About Halloween
With Halloween quickly approaching I thought it would be interesting to see how much people spend during the trick or treating season. As I was touring the Wal-Marts and Targets of the world I noticed that most costumes cost around $20 each. That adds up in a hurry for a family of four (and we haven’t even bought any candy or any decorations yet).
I was reading an article just the other day and it said that retailers are projecting to sell $5.8 billion dollars worth of Halloween goodies this year…and that’s not all!
According to the National Retail Federation, the average household will spend $66 on Halloween this year (which includes costumes, candy and decorations). That begs the question “Is there a cheaper way to enjoy Beggar’s Night?”
All you have to do is Google “How to make Halloween costumes” and you will find many different ways to make your own costumes for the little guys all the way to adults (that are fast and very inexpensive). Also, take a look around and see if you kept last year’s Halloween costumes and decorations.
Keep in mind that Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. Begin to implement good shopping habits now before the REAL shopping season begins. Bottom line is if you are struggling with your finances right now, don’t freak out about spending lots of money for Halloween. You can still enjoy Halloween without breaking an arm or a leg.