Remember September! Extra Budget Items to Include

septemberI realize that we still (thankfully) have a whole lot of summer left, but one of the cornerstones of good budgeting is leaving yourself enough time to accumulate savings.

September is one of those sneaky months that clobbers you with extra spending- and I have been caught unaware on more than one occasion. It took a couple of school years and the writing of multiple cheques before I was hip to the scene- and remembered to anticipate these expenses at the beginning of the next school year.

While you are probably anticipating back-to-school shopping for books, clothes and other must-have accoutrements, I urge you—remember September!

Feeding Time

Does your school participate in hot lunch programs/milk programs/breakfast programs, etc?  Plan to shell out money in the first weeks of school to cover this. Some items are spread out over the year, so you might be able to post date, but if not- plan for these expenses.

Oh- and if you have more than one child (as I do) plan to double or even triple your expenses.

Afterschool Activities

Do you have a young athlete/musician/fitness buff in your house? Most seasons begin sometime during the end of August through to October. Regardless of your start date, you are likely going to be paying expenses for the activity in late August/early Sept.

Depending on the nature of your activity, you may have the opportunity to spread payment throughout the year. Sometimes you are even able to get multiple sibling discounts too.

Don’t forget to check out equipment that may have sat dormant over the summer. My future NHL-ers have their bags in mandatory dry-dock over the early summer, and we have just discovered between the two of them that there is going to be some equipment shopping to be done prior to the season, (but that is a topic unto itself).

School Activity Fees

Many schools charge “school activity” fees that cover anything from supplies to school trips to educational enrichment activities.

You may get lucky as some schools charge a “family fee” if you have multiple kids. However, you may even have kids in two separate schools (I get to put this one off for another year), which means two separate cheques, likely for the full amount.