Expenses People Commonly Forget to Budget For

by on July 17, 2018

You’ve finally realized the significance of getting your finances in order and have taken great strides to develop a budget that works for you and your family. Things seem to be going well, but at the end of the month, you’ve spent several hundred dollars that you can’t account for? Something’s not adding up and it’s ruining your budget, but what could it be?

Lots of people go through this. They set out to manage their finances better and create a budget. They include things like the mortgage or rent, utilities, television, phone, internet, groceries, car payments, car insurance, and gas – which is a great place to start, but often not all the expenses that need to be counted in a month. Below, are some common expenses that could be missing from your budget:

Car Maintenance

If you have a car then the maintenance needs to be included in your budget. Although you don’t need maintenance every month, depending on how frequently you drive, the age of your car and your owner’s manual, service could be required every few months. An oil change, filter change, tire rotation, tuneup, and more could cost you several hundred dollars, so break the average cost of these services up into monthly amounts and add it to your budget.

Vehicle Registration

Though it will vary by state, most licensed drivers are required to register their vehicles every year. This means going through a state inspection as well as paying an annual fee to renew their tags. Although only a few bucks, it can set your budget off if you haven’t set aside cash for it.

Pest Control

Ants, termites, cockroaches, bed bugs, mosquitoes, mice, and other insects tend to find their way into homes throughout the year. As many of them can cause property damage and health problems for you and your family, you’ll need the services of companies like Moxie Pest Control to help keep those pests far away from your home. This can be done on an annual, quarterly, or bi-monthly basis, but definitely needs to be added to the budget.

HVAC Maintenance

You enjoy having heat in the winter and cool air in the summer which is why you’ll want to budget for HVAC maintenance. Though some things can be completed without an expert’s help like changing filters, others require a pro. They offer annual or bi-annual contracts for residents to thoroughly inspect and repair any minor damage they find. This keeps your system working efficiently saving you a ton of money on your energy bills.

Medical Appointments

Even a family with a clean bill of health will need to visit the doctor and other medical experts at least once a year. From annual physicals to cleanings and checkups, you’ll need to keep an eye on your health. Most forget to budget for the copays and any lab fees they’ll be required to pay out of pocket.

Gifts

Gift giving is a common expense that isn’t budgeted for. Birthdays, holidays, and other life events will require a kind gesture which could range from a card and a box of chocolates to a gaming console or a new smartphone. This expense could throw your budget off if you haven’t already planned for it.

Subscriptions

Do you have a subscription to an online streaming service? Do you still read print magazines and have them mailed to you? Subscriptions may be small individually, however, when you add up the number of subscription costs in a month, paying for them without including them into the budget could cause some real balancing issues at the end of the month.

The key to budgeting is having a clear picture of where your money goes each month. If after trying your budget for a month, you’re still unable to account for certain amounts, you may need to go back to the drawing board. It is quite possible that you forgot to include some of the above-mentioned items or other expenses you pay for monthly or periodically. Review credit card receipts and bank statements to see if you can determine what you’re spending the excess cash on and then create a line item within your budget so you’re prepared in the future.

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