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Wake Me Up When September Ends…

in School Expenses

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:

Wake Me Up When September Ends
American Idiot, one of my Favourite Green Day Albums
  1. Back to school. This in itself has many parts to it:
    1. Clothing, the kids inevitably need new clothes, and that is a big ticket item.
    2. Changes in eating habits, having to purchase lunch foods
    3. 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.
    4. Bus Passes, I have to start buying them every month (adding up to $170 a month)
  2. Sports begin again, and they are typically very “front end loaded” because you have to pay:
    1. Registration fees (although those are getting a tax break, which is great)
    2. 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).
    3. 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
  3. New city programs for preschoolers start, and these are not cheap, and I don’t get to write them off on my taxes, because my wife does not work.
  4. 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”.

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