As I started working on this post, I briefly considered making a wide-sweeping statement about my audience (you, reading this post) or painting everyone with just one brush. Today I wanted to talk about the expenses that are laying in wait just around the corner, but the simple truth is that there’s no way to list all the different circumstances affecting the lives of all our readers.
Sure, we do all have a couple things in common when it comes to summer spending habits:
- We probably spent too much money this summer
- Our lives will change at least a little bit in September
- We’re probably sad to see the summer end*
That last one comes with an asterisk because if you’re the parent of a preteen, you’re probably thrilled that school is almost here!
So let’s start with that one, since it’s the most obvious.
1. Back to School!
While you’re jumping up and down with glee, your children and your wallet are cringing. A couple weeks ago we talked about a few ways to save money on supplies and clothes, but the main thing is to simply be aware that the fall spending season is coming up quick.
I know, this is depressing, right? Well, ignoring your financial responsibilities until the 11th hour won’t help you keep your budget in check in the longterm. A lot of our self employed clients will make tax instalment payments in the late months of 2016, so either make sure your business account is in good shape for those payments or make sure you’re making extra deposits into your savings account so you’ve got something waiting for you when it’s time to do your taxes.
Oh man, when I thought about the meat and potatoes of this post, I didn’t think we’d be uncovering so many stressful circumstances! But I suppose that’s kind of the point, no? If you prepare for the holidays now, then once they finally roll around (which we all know will happen in the blink of an eye), then you’ll save yourself a lot of sanity. So, in a bit of ironic investing, keep an eye on your savings now so you can spend a bit in the future.
4. Random Home Improvements
A lot of the emergency situations we’re faced with at One Stop occur because something goes wrong at home. Well, when the school year beings and life gets hectic, there’s nothing worse than an expense dropping in your lap that you have no choice but to deal with.
Could this be classified as a catch-all reserve? A rainy day fund? Sure. But the best way to demonstrate prudence is to be prepared in the event something breaks or starts leaking.
5. Swelling Utility Bills
There are a couple obvious expenses at home that are about to start growing steadily. It costs more to keep your home heated as the mercury begins to fall. It also costs more to heat water for showers and dishwashing. So if you ever wanted to switch to cold water laundry, now’s the time!
Growing utility bills are a fact of life in Canada, though moreso for our friends in Northern BC and Alberta.
Here in the lower mainland, we have a far more sinister symbol of the coming autumn months for which we need to prepare.