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You guys!!! How in the HECK is it already February!? I’m in shock because wasn’t it just October? Whether the year is already flying by (me) or you feel like it is currently January 754th (also me), we are here to heat up your February budget with some things you might forget to add.
This post was originally published January 25, 2020. It has been updated for Covid considerations.
Budgets shift and change to meet the needs of each month. You can’t set your budget in June and expect it to meet the needs of December. Plus, as your income increases and decreases or your financial goals change, it’s important to update your money plan to match. That doesn’t mean you have to add everything on this list — just the opposite. Read through and think about what is important to you – this is your budget, after all!
February Budget Reminders
If you maxed out your CPP/EI deductions last year, they will kick back in on your first cheque in January, and you’ll see your pay go down. Because I get paid monthly, I will feel this heading into February. When you set up your budget, it is clever to set your income to the lowest possible amount so that you are always planning to live on less, and then you get a pleasant surprise when it’s more!
For my people in colder climates, don’t forget to budget for the increased cost of heating the house. Spring is coming, but not quite yet. And after the -40 degree week we just had, I’m not looking forward to getting my gas and power bill!
Whether you work with an accountant or do your taxes on your own, it’s time to start thinking about, and getting organized for, tax time. Have you made RRSP contributions this year? Do you run your own business and generally have to PAY at tax time? Whatever your situation, make sure you are ready.
Showing love doesn’t have to mean draining your bank account. Check out Sweet Ideas for a Budget-Friendly Valentine’s Day for more tips and make sure you add it to your budget before you start spending!!
Apparently, in February, there is some big sportsing event?! If you have your head in the sand for all things football, then you don’t need to add this one to your budget. But, if the Superbowl becomes a national holiday in your home, make sure you bump up your grocery budget to fund the extra snacks and bevvies!
Probably not a big budget item this year, what with COVID restrictions in place. But, still a good check-in to see if there are things that might cost extra this month that need to be built into your budget ahead of time!
2020: This one’s for my Alberta Teaching crew – it is nearly convention time, friends. Don’t forget to fund our lunch dates and the downtown parking costs!
2021: No, we are not going to come together en-mass to learn, and laugh, and dance the night away. This year we’ll be doing PD much like we do much of life – in sweat pants, on our couches, via our laptops.
But for everyone who finds themselves with some missing annual events this year, consider the SAVINGS you will be doing. Tuck that hundred dollars into a sinking fund for something fun in the future, or throw it at your smallest debt. You can still make progress on your goals!
Also unique to some of the Canadian provinces, February also brings Family Day. A day off, to spend together. A beautiful gift! Be mindful of what you plan to do together that day – and budget for any family adventures that may happen.
See my above note about saving what you might have spent in previous years!
Do you have a trip planned during Spring Break? Or even summer? Better start saving now so that you are properly funded when the plane takes off. Get intentional with your life, so you aren’t tempted to turn to your credit cards to fill the gaps!
Some day travel will be a thing again. Keep saving, so when that day comes, you are ready. OR, use the money that you usually use to indulge on spring break (woohoo!) and put it towards one of your big goals. Pay down your debt. Invest it. Tuck it into savings for your upcoming renovations/new car/baby/pet/whatever you spend money on!
Christmas (Yes – still!)
Every. Single. Month. By setting aside a little bit each month, you can head into the holiday season calm and organized. And that means that come January you won’t be suffering from buyers’ remorse for all the debt you built up to pay for Christmas bliss.
And if you are struggling with the aftermath of last Christmas, check out our post about Winter Blues to help work through it.
Did we miss anything? There might be things that are specific to your household in February. For me, it’s car registration. Maybe your car registration is due in November – make a note of that on your Calendar (in October) so that you can prep for it when the time comes!
These February budget reminders might not be relevant to you, but the point is to be mindful of your month and get prepped ahead of time.
This year has been hard, to say the absolute very least. Please keep working on your goals – your future self will certainly thank you for sticking with them!
Jump over to our Facebook group to share what you have added this month – your reminder might help someone else’s budget too!