If you think Halloween is scary, try living your life without a plan for your money. Take fear out of your future by following some of these October budgeting tips.

Halloween. If you have children who need costumes or live in a neighborhood where you’ll be giving out candy, or maybe you even want to throw a party, your spending plan must reflect that.

School pictures. This is usually the time of year when kids are showing their smiles for the camera. You may want to save up to capture those memories.

Car insurance/car tags. If you don’t have a sinking fund in your budget to save up for these expenses by the month, then you’ll need to come up with the cash whenever they come due. Hopefully, if that is in October, you’re ready.

Christmas saving. We’ve got two months and counting. Get some final dollars saved and get started on your shopping.

Higher utility bills. The snow may be falling, and the thermometer is dropping around this time of year. Your heater may be working overtime.

Thanksgiving holiday. This is the last full month to save for Turkey Day. Be sure you put some money away, especially if you are hosting a party or travelling to see some relatives.

Sporting Events. It’s football time. From college tailgating to watching your kid’s junior varsity game, you’ll be supporting your favorite players with some extra cash this month. So, make a game plan before you start cheering from the sidelines.

Candy for Trick-or-Treaters. This one’s a given in October. Kids will come knocking in the hopes of scoring some sugary goodness. Set aside a little money for treats!

Halloween Decorations. What Halloween is complete without some decorations? Whether you want to turn your front yard into a graveyard with mock headstones, a fog machine and spooky sounds from a concealed speaker or just put a few pumpkins on the front porch, mark some of your dollars for decorating.

Fall Travel. If your family has a fall break and you’ve got the money budgeted, then head out and have fun! A lot of resorts send out special offers since business is slow this time of year. Just remember the other costs that go with a getaway such as gasoline, boarding costs for your pets, and restaurants.

Grills and Patio Furniture. Grills are marked down as much as 50% after Labor Day. And that’s nothing compared to the 90% discount you may find on outdoor furniture! Selections for both items are more limited the longer you wait, but you can’t argue with the savings.

Out-of-Season Foods. By now, the farmers markets are closed, your garden is empty, and the grocery store has put a premium on tomatoes and cantaloupes again. Remember to budget more money for all of those now out-of-season ingredients you’ve been enjoying all summer.

Cold-Weather Wear. Long-sleeve shirts, jackets and coats may not be on sale this month, but you might still be in the market for them. After all, adults may need to replace the older-than-the-children hats and coats in their closets. And kids grow up fast—they need new clothes practically every year. If their duds don’t fit anymore, sell them on consignment and use that money for their next round of jackets, shirts and gloves. Budget some money and check the clearance section while shopping. You never know what sort of deals you can find there.

The opportunities to spend in October are nothing to be scared of. Why? Because you have a plan—which means you have control. Make your budget according to what you can afford and what needs to wait. That gives you great peace of mind.

Have budgeting or financial questions, call Center For Siouxland at 712-252-1861 ext. 47.  WE CAN HELP!