Adjust your budget plan to account for the seasonal changes that affect your income and expenses.

A budget plan is often thought of as an annual activity; people look at their income and average expenses and come up with a budget for the year. However, for many households, that plan should be updated every few months to reflect seasonal changes in income and spending. Take these items into consideration as you redo your budget and make some necessary changes.

Income

Take into account any seasonal changes in your income, as Forbes explains. For example, if you work a seasonal job, you may have to adjust your budget at certain times of the year to reflect a lesser income. On the other hand, if you work a temporary retail or delivery job during the holiday season, you may want to set aside some of that money, either to spend at a time of year when your income is lower or to add to your long-term savings.

Utilities

Your highest utility bill depends on the climate where you live. If you live in a cold climate, your heating bill in the winter will be on the rise, as The Week reports. In a hot climate, you may be paying for air conditioning in the summer. You also might have a higher water bill during the warm weather if you have a lawn or garden to water. When you enter a season that’s less expensive for you, adjust your budget to reflect what you are really spending on utilities. You may be able to direct some extra money to savings that you weren’t noticing before.

Holidays

You may celebrate a holiday or two in each season, in which case you want to budget for special treats and entertainment specific to these events. You may spend a large amount on decorations and gifts during the winter holiday season, so it’s a good idea to start saving for those purchases early in the fall, as US News & World Report explains.

School

If you have kids in school or if you’re pursuing a degree yourself, you’ll have extra expenses at the beginning of the fall semester and possibly at the beginning of the spring semester too. Some items to include in your budget plan are things like textbooks, writing supplies, calculators, and even new clothes, as USA Today reports.

Yard Work

If you have a yard, you may buy plants, flowers, and other supplies like plant food, garden stakes, and trellises in the spring, according to Porch. If you hire a lawn car company you also need to consider those costs throughout the summer. Additionally, either paying someone to shovel snow or buying new snow removal equipment are expenses to budget for in the winter.

Travel

If you plan to take a vacation, that is something you need to budget for well in advance, US News & World Report says. Save some money each month leading up to a trip so you don’t have to come up with the money all at once. You’ll also want to adjust your budget as other types of travel plans come up.

Don’t forget to make things easier for yourself by making these seasonal adjustments to your budget.

Sarah Brodsky

About the AuthorSarah Brodsky

Sarah Brodsky writes about economics, personal finance, religion, and culture. She covers credit counseling, debt, and personal finance for Investopedia and the CESI Financial blog and has contributed work on Judaism and culture to the Jewish Daily Forward's Sisterhood blog. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Free Beacon, the St. Louis Business Journal, Info Tech & Telecom News, the Springfield News-Leader, Edspresso.com, School Reform News, and other publications. She earned a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Chicago.