As we approach the new year and January, our credit counseling advice is to account for your spending in 2018. January may also throw a few other costs your way. Here are a few unexpected January budget items to keep in mind as you set your next monthly budget.
4 Unexpected January Budget Items
The first unexpected January budget item may or may not be unexpected. Yes, we are talking about credit card debt. Overspending on holiday shopping is fairly common. You may have set a budget. Maybe you didn’t. Either way, you are heading into January with too much debt. Make debt management a priority in your January household budget. This may mean sacrificing in some of the fun categories. That’s okay though- you have lots of new presents and toys and things to enjoy.
Secondly, you should think through any school or college expenses that may come up in the new year. As the semester starts, you may need new school supplies, textbooks, notebooks or even clothes. If you are in college, some of your spring semester classes may be more costly than you are used to. Include any art supplies or heavy textbooks into your semester budget.
I know it may seem impossible, but planning for summer travel now can make a huge difference. Thinking ahead to those travel plans is a great way to avoid stress and debt later in the year. If you have already been saving for a vacation, you may need to increase the amount per month. Having enough money will allow you to have the kind of vacation you want instead of sacrificing some details or excursions.
Finally, take some time to think through any other financial goals you may want to achieve in 2019. Do you want to eliminate student education loans? Pay more on your mortgage each month? Save for a newer car? All these goals must be incorporated into your monthly budget. January is the perfect place to start. This is especially true if you need to start using a monthly budget!
If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC an help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.