Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Budget Review

With the new year comes a new month and it is time to review those budgets. Time to look a head to see what expenses lay ahead for the upcoming year.

Here are are a few suggestions I have.

Planning a family vacation for this Summer? You might as well start saving now. I have estimated that I will need $1500 for our vacation in July. If I start saving $250 each month from now until June I will reach my goal without a problem. This way I won't be panicking at the last minute.

Medical Expenses
With the start of the new year means all those deductables start over. Keep this in mind when you go to the doctor. Some insurance companys won't foot any of the bill until your deductible is met. You may want to bump up the amount you allow for your medical expenses in your budget. Also, if your like us your co-pays have gone up so you want to budget extra money for that.

Reveiw your Income
Review your income. Increase in medical benefits or other benefits you signed up for may have changed your take home pay.

Evaluate Utility Costs
I keep track of all our utilities. At the end of the year I write down each months bill and average it out. I do this for each utility that isn't a set rate. For example, our water. It gives me a good guideline on how to budget. It also tells me if I have increased my consumption of these services.

Unexpected costs are bound to happen. But having a budget will give you a good sense of where your money is going and can help you plan for some of those expenses that you know are coming.

Linked to Works for Me Wednesday at We are That Family and Frugal Friday at Life as Mom.


  1. Another nice post! I'd like to add though, that people should really have an emergency/contingency fund and it should be in place before one considers extras like vacation, new car, new furniture, etc. Things are going to come up - they always do so we might as well plan for it and be at least somewhat prepared! The security of an emergency fund is great. :)

  2. great post girl! good thinking. I will do so this week. get ready for taxes.

  3. Great post! What we do is make sure we have our emergency account funded (enough for 3 months of bills) and then see what we have extra for vacation around the summer and plan our vacation style around that amount instead of the other way around.

  4. Thanks ladies! I agree. Having an emergency fund established should come first. It is very reassuring to know that you have the money set aside in case something unexpected comes up.

  5. Very good tips! On the flip side of the medical, at the end of the year you should think about any procedures that might need to be done. If you have met your deductible, that is the time to get them done. When we realized Michael needed another endoscopy and Upper GI, we were able to squeeze the Upper GI in over Christmas break so it will be fully covered by insurance. Now I will only have to pay 10% of the endoscopy. No fun, but better than both.

  6. Very good point Jennifer. I wish I would have had my foot surgery before the end of the year. Our deductibles were met and now we are starting over. It just wasn't good timing.