9 Things You’re Probably Forgetting In Your March Budget
Welcome to March!
I usually get these monthly budget posts out earlier than the 1s of each month, but February has been a bit crazy, between pausing our snowball to save up for a car, remodeling our fifth wheel, and then selling 2 of our vehicles – and all in a month with only 28 days!
But I’m here now, and ready to hit you with 10 things you’re probably leaving out of your March budget.
You should definitely consider adding these in…..
St. Patrick’s Day & Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras is Tuesday, March 5th, and St. Patrick’s Day is Sunday, March 17th. If you’re planning to attend a parade downtown, a festival, or any sort of celebration for these holidays, no is the time to put these in your budget!
Even a trip downtown to see a free parade can result in unexpected expenses like beignets from a food truck, or corned beef and cabbage from a street vendor – and those small expenses can really mess with your budget if you don’t plan for them.
Arguably a larger, more expensive holiday for families than St Patrick’s Day and Mardi Gras (although it totally depends on personal preference) Easter can post a huge expense for families – especially if you have children.
This holiday always seems to move, and is on April 1st this year – but you should still include a budget for it in your March budget because you’ll want to purchase candy, eggs, presents, decorations, and even food for Easter dinner during March.
It is important when dealing with a holiday like Easter to be vigilant about not only setting a realistic budget – not too large and not too small – and then sticking to it! Easter can be so much fun, but blowing your budget never is!
Did you know that March is national Frozen Foods Month? Neither did I, until I saw a blurb on Facebook about it.
Seems like an inconsequential thing to celebrate – frozen foods aren’t very exciting – but it means big sales on frozen foods all month long.
If you can swing it, set aside some extra money dedicated to stocking your freezer with on-sale foods your family can eat all year long.
Tax Preparer Fees
We’re coming down to the wire for tax preparation, so if you haven’t had your taxes done yet, make sure to set aside some money for the preparation fee.
And, if you receive a large refund or owe a large amount of money, make sure you adjust your withholding for 2019 is adjusted so you don’t end up in the same situation next year.
Going somewhere for spring break? Whether it’s a full-fledged family beach vacation, or a nice long weekend at home, the same goes for budgeting for spring break as it did for Easter – set a realistic budget and stick to it.
Setting the budget too low will only frustrate you, but setting it too high sets you up to spend excessively. And that’s less money you can put toward your financial goals!
Sales will start soon on spring and summer clothes, so take an inventory of your warm weather clothing for yourself and family, and then plan to shop the sales to fill in those gaps in your wardrobe.
This is also the time to take stock of what you have in your colder weather clothing so you can snag any items you need when they go on clearance!
If you have teenagers who are going to prom don’t forget to budget for it! Prom can be quite expensive, between the hair, makeup, limo, dress, flowers, and the tickets. Discuss with your teen what the plan is, set the budget, and find time to have a discussion with them about sticking to that budget.\
It’s not time for summer vacation yet, but since taking a family vacation can be a significant expense, it is a good idea to start a sinking fund to save for that vacation now.
Decide where it is you will be going, the dates of your travel, and how much it will cost. Then, divide the total cost by the number of paychecks you will receive between now and then to get the amount of money you need to set aside from each paycheck to fund family vacation.
You’ll also want to factor in the cost of summer camp is your kiddos will be going during summer break!
Spring means it’s time to spruce up your landscaping. Costs like mulch, rakes, fresh flowers, and plants for the garden are all things you’ll need to include in your March budget.
Starting to think about spring and summer in your budget can be challenging after you’ve weathered those cold weather expenses, but don’t neglect your budget!
What other expenses will you add to your March budget?
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