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Unexpected September Budget Items From The Holidays

September is the last month to cover in our unexpected budget items series. This month we will be talking about spending money on good things, like the holidays! However, they are still beyond the budget. Our credit counseling advice is to try to anticipate extra expenses, then budget accordingly. Here are a few unexpected September budget items to consider to avoid consumer debt.

To avoid debt, prepare for the unexpected September budget items.

To avoid debt, prepare for the unexpected September budget items.

Unexpected September Budget Items to Consider

Not long after September, the holiday season rolls along. For this conversation, the holiday season includes Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and more. There is a HUGE backlash of personal credit card debt after the New Year. Even if you have been doing great the entire year with budgeting or saving, all the progress can all be lost. Our credit counseling advice is to prepare before the sentimental part of you takes over. Don’t let unexpected September budget items throw you off-balance with your finances!

Halloween Savings Tips

  • Swap Halloween costumes with another family to switch it up for zero dollars.
  • Check thrift stores, Facebook Marketplace, yard sales and other thrifty options for Halloween costumes.
  • Buy one or two important costume elements and DIY the rest.
  • Wait until a few days before Halloween to buy candy.
  • Don’t overbuy candy. Be a little conservative.
  • Buy candy you don’t mind eating for a while after so you don’t waste food and money.

Thanksgiving Savings Tips

  • Avoid hosting Thanksgiving if you can’t afford to feed everyone.
  • Co-host to lighten the financial load.
  • Scale back holiday meals and gatherings. Try for appetizers over whole meals.
  • Make more vegetarian or vegan friendly meals.
  • Create your own DIY decorations to make a festive Thanksgiving.

Christmas Savings Tips

  • Use a holiday budgeting worksheet. This will help you stay on point and NOT go crazy.
  • Make a literal list. We do a spreadsheet with gift ideas, the budget, what we spent from year-to-year. It’s a little extreme but has been super helpful.
  • Love is not shown in dollar signs. Well, sometimes it is. But no one wants you to spend more money than you actually have. No one.
  • Do a Secret Santa or gift exchange of some sort instead of buying gifts for each family member.
  • Ask your parents for a bigger expensive gift than lots of little ones. This will help your budget, and make it easier on them!

While these holidays don’t happen in September, some of the spending will probably take place. You might start buying presents, creating decorations or even working on a tricky Halloween costume. Unexpected September budget items that come from a place of love can still put you into debt. Make wise purchases that will be heartfelt and within your financial reach.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session today! 


Michelle is a regular contributor to Talking Cents. She has taken several financial courses on debt management and is ready to circulate what she has learned from them as well as lessons from her own life- family to DIY projects to student loan debt.

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