Budgeting is all about making a plan for your money. Forgetting to budget 1 thing could destroy your entire budget and set you back for months. Here is a list of 10 things you are probably forgetting to include in your budget:
Clothes/shoes are a necessary expense. However, when paying off debt, reducing our expenses, or saving aggressively, we often maximize opportunities for our current wardrobe. Since we become accustom to not buying clothes frequently, we forget to budget when we need new clothes. To remedy this, you can create a sinking fund for clothes by putting a little aside just for clothes each month. When you need clothes, you can dip into this fund. You can also utilize your spending allowance that month toward clothes.
2. Annual expenses: HOA dues, taxes, driver’s license renewal, etc.
Because theses are not frequent expenses, annual expenses can easily be forgotten. We often remember to budget the things that occur every month. Forgetting to budget for your annual expenses can completely throw off your budget because annual expenses tend to be more expensive than monthly expenses. My suggestion is that you calculate the monthly average of your annual expenses and save that amount in your bills account monthly.
3. Membership/subscription fees: Netflix, Hulu, gym memberships, music streaming services, Amazon Prime, credit card fees, video games, etc.
Membership/subscription fees are usually automatic deductions. These fees are also usually non-necessities. Expenses that are needed for survival and paid manually every month, are the fees that are often remembered. If you decide to keep these subscriptions you have to remember to budget for them.
4. Gifts: holiday, birthdays, baby showers, wedding, etc.
Purchasing gifts for others, regardless if it is for a wedding, birthday, or holiday is comparable to the idea behind the annual expenses. It just doesn’t happen frequently enough to remember. I suggest saving for gifts throughout the year by having a sinking fund for gifts. If you receive a guaranteed holiday bonus, you can also take advantage of it and designate it for holiday gift purchases.
5. Vehicle expenses: registration, maintenance, repairs, inspections, etc.
Because vehicle expenses are unexpected, you often don’t remember to budget for them until it is too late. Setting up a sinking fund, or ensuring your savings account is funded enough to cover unexpected vehicle expenses is key.
Children are so expensive at every stage in their lives. As babies, you have to budget for diapers and milk, as toddlers you have to budget for daycare and toys, as adolescents you have to budget for sports and school expenses (supplies, clothes, lunch, entertainment, etc.), as teenagers you have to budget for all the same things as adolescents but you also have cell phones, cars, more entertainment, and college. It is best to create a fund just for the expenses associated to having children, and contribute to it monthly.
7. Household maintenance:
Just like vehicle expenses, you never expect to have to repair something in your home. You know there are certain things you have to maintain, but it just doesn’t happen frequent enough to remember to budget for. Having renters/home owner’s insurance, a household maintenance sinking fund, or a home warranty can help you in this area.
8. Medical cost: co pays, prescriptions, over the counter meds, etc.
Medical issues can hit you at any time, and I do not know many people that budget for cough syrup or Tylenol. Having an HSA (health savings plan), a personal savings for medical expenses, or a reasonable insurance plan can help you avoid having your budget thrown off by medical expenses.
This one gets me every time! When entertaining guest or going out for a night on the town, I always remember to budget for eating out, but I always forget to budget for drinks. Alcohol can be expensive. You have to remember to increase your entertainment budget to include the adult beverage.
10. Special occasions: hosting company, entertainment, etc.
When hosting, you often forget that the number of people you have to consider increases. You have to make decisions like, will you purchase and prepare food for everyone (which will be an increase in your grocery budget), or will you go out to eat (which will be an increase of your entertainment budget). Entertaining guest could easily cost you more money on gas, food, and entertainment than you are use to.
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