We keep many of our budget categories level throughout the year. All of our utilities receive a contribution every month, regardless of the bill. This keeps many of the ups and downs of our budget in check. So, for example, we contribute $85 per month toward the water bill. In winter months, we use half that, but in summer months (when the sprinklers are on), it is way higher. In the winter, the fund balance builds, where in the summer it falls off.
After having estimated these categories, it turns out that I’d been overestimating a couple by a little bit. This allowed us to reduce a few of the categories by a couple of dollars each, which we’ll now use towards a ‘May fund’.
Similar to a ‘December gift’ fund we have, we need a little extra for the month of May. Mother’s Day, my wife’s birthday, and Little Boy Beagle’s birthday all happen in May. We don’t go overboard on presents or celebrating for any of those things, but the gifts and celebrating does add up quickly.
Plus, we’ve found that May often happens to be the month where supplementing our summer wardrobes takes place.
In short, the outlays for May spike. So, an extra few bucks per month over the course of the year will be dedicated toward the month of May.
We just started the contributions this month, so we won’t feel the benefit, but I know next year at this time, we’ll definitely be happy for the decision!
Do you keep a December gift fund or fund for any other month where expenses are high?