Maintaining a household budget is the first step to managing your money successfully. Without a budget, you are likely to spend too much money in one area, while not leaving enough for another. If you are like most people with budgets, you have yours narrowed down to a few main categories with subsets and have a plan for how to spend every dime you make.
While this is great, there are still many common expenses that pop up that often catch people off guard, even those with excellent budgeting skills. Below is a list of some of the most common items that may pop up and cost you money.
You may have planned of your car’s yearly costs and insurance fees, but what about those unexpected breakdowns. Unfortunately, there is no way to know when, or if, your car will breakdown, but you need to always be prepared just in case by adding a little extra to your budget.
Maybe you have already planned for Christmas and a handful of birthdays throughout the year, but what about that unexpected baby shower, or retirement party at the office. It is best to add a few extra dollars to your monthly budget, just in case.
Just like your car, your home appliances also can breakdown unexpectedly. The problem is that you need your refrigerator, stove, and washing machine to complete everyday tasks. Having money sets aside for this can avoid the need to go into debt by charging the cost of an appliance repair or replacement to your credit card.
Not planning to travel this year, but are you sure? You never know if you will have to head out of town on an emergency, or get invited to your cousin’s wedding in another state. This can add an extra burden to your budget, or worse prevent your from going at all.
In addition, to your appliances, other repairs may be needed on your home, such as a furnace repair, window replacement, or clogged up sink. Any of these issues could be quite costly and may require you to have the money upfront.
If you own a pet, you are likely to at some point have some emergency veterinarian services you need. Putting more money aside for your pet expenses than just its annual check-up will ensure you have the money you need if your pet becomes ill or injured.
Many people greatly underestimate how much they need to set aside for entertainment. They may think of things like going to the movies or out to eat once a month. However, you also need to think about those unexpected dinner parties, a night out with friends from work, your best friend’s engagement party, or any other special event you may need to attend throughout the year that will take money out of your entertainment fund.
Annual Membership Fees
Unfortunately, a lot of people also forget about those annual fees for memberships, subscriptions, or a safe deposit box at the bank. These fees may only be paid one time a year, but should be budgeted for a little bit each month.
Even if you are healthy and have not been sick for years, you still must always expect the unexpected. You must always be prepared for any additional medical treatments, prescriptions, and tests you may need to have completed during the year.
Guests to Your Home
What happens when that unexpected family member from out of town shows up at your door, planning to stay for a day or so. You can hardly say that you just do not have it in your budget for overnight guests. That means that you will be your responsibility to feed and entertain them. If you do not have special funds set aside for this, you may have some budget problems at the end of the month.
Adding these items to your monthly budget will ensure that you have the money you need, when you need it. Some of these expenses, such as car repairs, home repairs, and appliance breakdowns could be put together into an emergency fund to be used only if needed. The benefit of this would be that if you had no emergency this year, you could hold that money over into next year. It would also ensure that you always have the needed funds available.
What other items would you say could easily be added to this list?
Image by Stuart Miles