Important Items You’re Leaving Out of Your Budget
You may already be using a budget plan, but if you are leaving off some key items, you may find that it’s not balancing. If you have too many unplanned expenses, you could find your budget getting easily derailed.
Most likely, you didn’t leave these items off intentionally. You probably just overlooked them, which is easy to do. Here are a few items that you might need to add to your budget:
- PET EXPENSES. Your four-legged family members have expenses too. Your furry friends need food, grooming, toys, treats, and other supplies. And don’t forget that annual visit to the vet for a check-up and vaccinations. If you are planning to go on vacation, you may need to board your pet or hire a sitter. Simply add a “Pet” line to your budget and estimate your monthly and annual costs so you aren’t caught off guard. Be sure to keep track of your actual expenses so you can use them to determine your budget for next year.
- SUBSCRIPTIONS/MEMBERSHIPS. If you love Amazon Prime, you pay an annual membership fee of $99. Since this is a once a year expense, it’s probably not in your budget. You need to include it along with any other memberships and subscriptions you have like magazines, gym memberships, and monthly subscription boxes. If it’s a yearly expense, determine the monthly cost by dividing the total by 12 then make sure you put that amount aside each month.
- FUN MONEY. You work hard and you deserve to treat yourself to something special once in a while. Maybe it’s your favorite latte or a new book you’ve been wanting to read. Add a “Fun Money” line to your budget and use the funds to treat yourself to something you enjoy.
- AUTOS. While you probably remembered to add in your monthly car payment, you may have forgotten about fuel costs and tolls. Did you budget for oil changes and new tires? It’s simple to forget these items, but you need to add in a budget line for routine maintenance so you can keep your car running at its best.
- SPECIAL OCCASIONS. Birthdays and anniversaries come around every year; you need to make sure you include them in your budget. To determine how much you need to save, take a look at what you spent last year. Then, divide the total by 12 to get a monthly budget amount.
- CLOTHING. If you are a parent, you know that you need to take your kids shopping for back to school clothes every year. But what about new clothes for you? In addition to new jeans, tops and shoes don’t forget that every once in a while, you’ll need to buy necessities like undergarments and socks. Be sure to add these items to your budget. And try to budget for a few unexpected items as well. You never know when your child will hit a growth spurt and outgrow their new shoes.