Not just a very good song by Green Day, but also an anthem in my personal financial life. September seems to create a “perfect storm” of debt load that appears every year and I think I can give you the list of the things that are the causes:
- Back to school. This in itself has many parts to it:
- Clothing, the kids inevitably need new clothes, and that is a big ticket item.
- Changes in eating habits, having to purchase lunch foods
- FEES, which in turn breaks down to:
- Lunch fees, the school typically runs a pizza day once a week but you have to pay for 4 months at a time, so you fork that money out right away.
- School fees, which are not insignificant, even though my kids go to a public school? That always amazes me.
- Bus Passes, I have to start buying them every month (adding up to $170 a month)
- Sports begin again, and they are typically very “front end loaded” because you have to pay:
- Registration fees (although those are getting a tax break, which is great)
- Uniform fees and or equipment replacement:
- New running shoes for two daughters (at about $140 per pair)
- New ankle and knee braces (might be covered by my medical, might not)
- Mouth guards (no these are not cheap either).
- Traveling with the team(s)
- Hotel rooms and meals when at away tournaments
- Meals for long tournaments in town and you just don’t feel like cooking
- New city programs for pre–schoolers start, and these are not cheap, and I don’t get to write them off on my taxes, because my wife does not work.
- Planning and shopping for Christmas starts (I am not kidding, if you don’t start this in September you are really going to dig yourself a hole in December).
The fact that I can list all these expenses is a good thing, so I can try to make some kind of plan to deal with all of these added expenses, or I can include them in my big plan, and just deal with them when they come at me.
Is your September going to have new expenses? If so, better make a plan on how this is not going to tip over the apple cart and cause you to “financially panic”.