The Determined Dollar
Essentials to Add to Your July Budget

Three Essentials to Add to Your July Budget

July is the month for kicking back and eating popsicles, busting out the red, white, and blue, and enjoying evening walks accompanied by summer sunsets. And, it’s time to put three very important non-summer expenses into your budget!

It’s hard to believe that the year is officially halfway over. Every turn of the calendar is another reminder of how time flies by, even when days can feel slow. Just like summer is suddenly in full force now, before you know it we’ll be headed into fall, and then winter (which I will try not to think about too much!)

Planning ahead for certain expenses prevents the majority of financial emergencies. It’s kind of like fire prevention: better to take precautions to avoid a fire than have to put one out, right?

Here are the three essentials to save for in July (grab my list of 40 most commonly forgotten budget items in the Resource Library).

1- Back to School Supplies and Clothes

I’m sorry, I know it’s not nice to talk about back-to-school before August, but your wallet and kids will thank you when the stress of spending money on lunch boxes doesn’t overshadow the excitement of a new school year!

The thing about school supplies and clothes is that you can get awesome deals and STILL not have room in your budget. There’s just a lot to get. It’s a mega shopping trip, and every year gets more expensive.

Still hunt for those incredible bargains, but save at least half of the estimated cost in July so that when August comes around, you can budget the other half and you won’t have to worry about overspending.

2- Winter Gear

Growing up in Southern California, it was a whole new experience to move to Colorado and learn of all the things you have to buy to keep from freezing to death.

Stuff like winter coats, boots, snow tires, washer fluid that doesn’t freeze on your windshield- I learned the hard way- these expenses add up.

A little winter “slush” fund – haha, get it?- that you start in July will keep winter merry and bright.

3- Christmas

Let’s end this list on a happy note, shall we? I’m going to challenge you to end the Christmas spending cycle right now.

You know, put Christmas on the credit card in December, get swept up in that “Christmas spirit,” and then experience the shopping hangover in January when the credit card bill arrives. Pay for it until October, rinse, repeat.

Establish a Christmas spending budget today. Break it down by gifts, parties, special clothing, food, decorations, and extra giving. Divide the overall budget by the number of months you have to save, and commit to spending only that amount of money.

Bonus challenge: label an envelope “Christmas.” Stash cash in it for the next six months, and only spend from that envelope.

July is the ultimate month for basking in the gloriousness of summer before the crazy of back-to-school and the changing of seasons takes over. When you use your July budget to plan ahead for upcoming essentials, the rest of your year can be relaxed, too.