By Dave Ramsey
Making a rock-solid budget is key to getting out of debt and saving money. But just like Independence Day—which comes at the same time each year—there are always expenses that pop up regularly to blow your budget like a big fireworks finale.
This year, be ready. Go ahead and work special expenses into your July budget now and don’t get stuck picking up the pieces in August.
Cookouts: The mother of all cookouts is your Fourth of July party. After all, it’s the day the country was built around! So if you’re planning on putting some boom in the sky, put some money in your budget.
Pest Control: In case you haven’t noticed, the bugs are out—from giant mosquitos to ants by the dozen. Now is the time to schedule your next visit from the exterminator. And heads up, he usually doesn’t work for free.
Vacation Extras: You’ve planned your vacation, but maybe you forgot about all those little extras like parking, tipping and rent-by-the-hour beach chairs. Factor in the fees now so they don’t take away from the fun stuff later.
Wedding Gifts: Before you RSVP to that next wedding celebration, make room in your budget for a special guest named George Foreman and his great line of kitchen appliances. Showing up without a gift is typically frowned upon.
Camps and Mission Trips: It’s great that your kids are getting away to serve and grow, but it’s not free. From bug spray to shower shoes, there’s plenty more to buy. And don’t forget their pocket money!
Pet Boarding: Hiring a pet sitter or boarding your animal isn’t a cheap endeavor. Make sure your four-legged family member has a safe and trustworthy caretaker while you’re away.
Houseguests: It’s fun to be with your family during the summer—until they eat you out of house and home. If your in-laws or cousins are planning a visit, be sure to beef up the grocery and entertainment budgets now.
Sweet Splurges: It’s way too easy to drop $20 at the gourmet yogurt or ice cream shop. Multiply that by two outings per week, and bye-bye food budget (and waistline)! Treats are fine, but not every night.
The point is this: Spending just a few minutes looking ahead to the next month can save you money and peace of mind. So take a moment to decide what else needs adding to your July budget. Then stick to it!
It’s time well spent, and the results might just, well, blow you away.
The Gina Koerner Team www.StLouisHomesByGina.com 636-229-8746 “Changing Lives… One Home at a Time”