Plan Your Fall Budget in 4 Easy Steps

Fall is absolutely my favorite season. The weather gets a little crisp, the autumn baking (and pumpkin spice latte season) begins, holidays start rolling up, and everything feels homey. My summers are usually jam-packed with activities and adventures, while fall becomes my time of steady routine. It’s also a time when I like to reevaluate my budget, and make sure my spending and saving is in line with all of the season’s needs.

Now that you’re likely done spending all your extra cash on summer weddings and beach getaways, you might find you have a little more wiggle room in your budget. Here are some great ways to allocate that money, so you don’t spend it frivolously throughout the fall.

1. Jumpstart your Christmas savings

Are we really talking about Christmas when we’re barely hitting back-to-school season? Absolutely. While you may not be ready to see Santas in the mall or hear Christmas music in the grocery store, the beginning of fall is the perfect time to start thinking about stockpiling some extra cash for Christmas. Not only will you be less financially stressed by the time December rolls around, but you’ll also have cash on hand to snag the perfect gift for a loved one if something catches your eye before the holiday bustle.

2. Freshen up your fall fashion

Now that the weather is starting to cool down, it’s high time to give your closet a good purging. Toss out anything you wore down this summer (or didn’t wear at all!), then do some serious closet inventory and see if any of your fall staples need replacing – like those favorite (but well worn) pair of knee-high boots or that cute sweater that has a hole in the armpit. Make a list of items you want and need in your fall wardrobe and budget them in! You might even be able to sell some of your more gently used clothing through places like ThredUp or Poshmark to upgrade your wardrobe.

3. Fall festivities

While summer may be the big season of adventure, there are plenty of fall activities to be enjoyed as well. Whether you want to hit up the best pumpkin patch, go apple picking, or have a Thanksgiving feast with friends, set aside some room in your budget to enjoy your favorite autumn traditions. I love hosting a pumpkin carving party at my place each year, and it’s always well worth buying a few cheap carving kits and some tarps for everyone to have fun with. Don’t forget to add in a little extra traveling money if you’ll be heading out of town for Thanksgiving too!

4. Giving back

Fall is the time of year that many nonprofit organizations are looking for donations to buoy them until holiday generosity kicks into high gear. Budget in some extra money for charity this fall – you know it will be money well spent. Many organizations will even have incentives (like matching gifts) that help your money go further and do more good, especially on Giving Tuesday on November 28. If you plan on itemizing your tax returns, make sure to keep a record of any tax-deductible gifts and donations.

Autumn is such a fun time of year, and having peace of mind that your budget is all set will make it an even more joyful time of year. Happy fall, ya’ll!

Originally published on September 5, 2017.

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