Planning Ahead with Seasonal Budgeting

Written by Gigi Guyton, Regional Manager and Microenterprise Specialist for New Ventures Maine’s Southern Region covering Cumberland and York Counties. She also teaches money classes like My Money Works.
Trees in spring, summer, autumn, and winter
How many times has your checkbook taken a hit when it’s time to renew your car registration? The car registration is due at the same time every year, and yet we often feel surprised and frustrated if our budget is tight. The best way to remedy this situation is to have a Seasonal Income and Expenses budget.
 
Seasonal Income and Expense written at the top.

How does it Work?

 
Expenses in this type of budget are items that happen once, maybe twice a year that can be accounted for in your overall budget.
 
To create this budget, just get a piece of paper and write out the months of the year from January to December. Under each month, write income and expense. Now think about any seasonal money that might come in such as snow removal in the winter months, or income from craft fairs and festivals in the summer months. For expenses, think about what comes up each year.
 
Your list might include:

  • Car registration
  • Car inspection
  • Insurance renewals
  • Birthdays
  • Holidays
  • Tuition
  • Back to school supplies
  • Vacation and/or day trips
  • Chimney sweep
  • Summer camp
  • Charities
  • Sporting events
  • Firewood or heating oil
  • Snow removal
  • Last, but not least, ice cream in the summer

Once you have totaled up your seasonal expenses, divide it by 12 months so that you have a monthly amount to set aside in a savings account for when these items occur. For the seasonal income, total it up and divide by 12 also to see what additional income can be spread throughout the year to help offset the occasional expenses. This way you’ll never be caught off guard again by the annual expenses!
 
Looking for help learning how to budget, reduce your debt, or build your savings? Check out our upcoming tuition-free workshops and trainings near you!