You’re halfway through the year and your new years resolutions for your bank account are seemingly shrinking into the distant past. Are you keeping up? While most people look at their finances on a check to check or monthly basis, sometimes it’s helpful to take a closer look at how your spending could fluctuate through the seasons of the year.
Typical Spending Patterns
As a whole, the financial industry can easily identify seasonal spending patterns across the nation. The obvious answer for when you are spending the most is during the holiday season. In 2016, Gallup reported that average daily spending in December was around $99 and dropped to $81 in January. This surge and fall is directly related to holiday spending and New Years resolutions. The other lesser known spike in spending occurs around spring and summer, with the highest spending reported in April and July for the year of 2017. This could be due to reviving your home in the spring or taking vacation.
Budget Creep During Every Season
Whatever your financial vice is, it’s important to be conscious about your budget year-round. Because we often look at our budget on a paycheck-to-paycheck or month-to-month basis, we often forget to account for expenses like vacation and holiday gifting. The most successful budgets work in these considerations so that you can save year round and your extra spending doesn’t leave you in a hole. Here are a few expenses to keep in mind during every season of the year.
Cold weather can cause electricity and heating bills to spike. Aside from the holiday spending frenzy that we recover from in January, extra cash needed for utilities is almost unavoidable.
Spring fever could have you spending extra dollars to revive your landscaping or improve your outdoor space. If you love making your home look just right for a new season of outdoor enjoyment, just make sure you’re working it into your budget.
If you’re lucky enough to have your finances in order to save up for summer vacations, you could still find yourself overspending your budget. It’s easy to get carried away with your travel credit card for that extra night out to dinner at the beach or taking a detour to the mountains on the way home.
Winterizing your home can get costly. And we get it, you can’t afford to miss all of those Hokie games! But can you afford to go to all of them either? Don’t let those extra sports tickets sneak up on your bank account!
How to Stay on Track
It’s important to re-examine your budget at different times of the year. Have your utilities fluctuated? Have you received a raise and aren’t sure where those extra dollars have been going? It’s a good practice to try to check in on your budget each quarter to make sure you’re staying on the right financial path. You can also keep an eye on how prices fluctuate throughout the year with our handy Best Month to Buy Guide!
If you haven’t quite nailed down your budget yet, we have plenty of advice. There are different budgeting techniques out there and one of them is sure to work for your financial information. Utilizing technology is always a bonus! There are an endless array of finance and budgeting apps out there, but here are a few of our favorites.
If you’re still feeling like you’re on rough waters when it comes to staying on track, we have knowledgeable bankers waiting to help you sort out your accounts.