Do you change your budget depending on the time of the year? It might come as a surprise, but you need to make adjustments to your budget, especially during the Winter. In particular, for those of us who have colder Winters, the things you spend your money on changes from the Summer, so you need to make sure your budget reflects these changes too.
The biggie – Festivities
This is the biggest difference to your budget this winter – buying gifts and enjoying all the festive days/nights out certainly add up over the season. You’ll not only have to factor in these costs but also things like travel, food and outfits too. Do yourself a favour and plan your calendar early and book your travel and accommodation well in advance. This way you get to secure the cheapest prices and you’ll have time to pay for them slowly.
If you are not sure how much you need to set aside look back at your spending from last year, then save at least that much for this year’s festive fun!
Review your activities
It’s highly likely that you’ll be spending more time indoors during the coming months and this will cause an increase in things like your heating and electricity bills, so you need to make sure your budget includes this change. Also look at your activities – instead of going to the park for a jog, will you move indoors into a gym or take a few extra classes? This may increase your spending significantly. You should also consider the cost of subscriptions too – you might find yourself adding on a few extra’s to keep you entertained at home.
Will you be able to cope if you had to take some unscheduled time off work? Many of us are covered by sick pay but what if you are freelance? Make sure you have a buffer that includes taking any time off work for illness – this makes sense as the colder months are flu season! Also consider this might affect you even if it’s not you who gets ill directly, would you be able to manage work if you need to be away to look after your children?
It’s not just illness that can affect how much you earn in the coming months. If you are a freelancer you might find that, in some industries, the work slows down or contracts come to an end near Christmas. If this is something that could happen to you make sure you take the time now to earn some more cash and start cutting back on any frivolous items that you don’t need. Saving a few pounds extra a month can really help if you find yourself in a post-Christmas work slump.