Do you have a budget?
Okay, so you’ve taken the time to write out your budget. You’re keeping to your spending limits for groceries & variable expenses. So why do you keep getting blindsided with unexpected costs that throw you out completely?
I’m not talking about spending too much on your phone bill. Its the quarterly interest charges on your Credit Card or loan payment. Or forgetting that school trip or birthday party.
If you don’t have a budget yet, I’ve written a few blog posts on how to get started. You can read these here : Link to blog posts on Budgeting.
Remember, its a work in progress & will more than likely need to be tweaked often until you get the hang of it.
“Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a big ship”
Why does this happen?
Big Spend Items
Often these are the easier to remember. For example, a car service … maybe the light’s flashing on the car or you know once you reach a certain mileage it needs to go in. These expenses might be easier to put off for a few weeks & into another month so you can budget them in.
Seasonal items like Back to School costs or Christmas can be planned ahead. But if you’re like me its still a tough few weeks before trying to save enough.
These are the dangerous ones that add up quickly.
Interest on credit cards it paid quarterly, so depending on your balance this would be variable & only appear 4 times a year. In Ireland, we have an Annual Government Fee for each card issued on an account – I always get caught out by this.
Grounds maintenance for our Estate is an annual expense & if not written in my diary, I’d completely forget about it.
Then theres the last minute Birthday Party Invitation that requires a new outfit & a gift. Or maybe the school trip you forgot about.
Heres the list so you’ll never be caught off guard again!
- Work / School Lunches
- Transport to work/school
- Loan Repayments (eg. Car, student loan, furniture loan)
- Interest on loans (sometimes these are annual)
- Subscriptions – Annual / Monthly (eg. Netflix, Amazon, Cable)
- Savings – Emergency, Sinking/Envelopes, Rainy Day
- Clothing / Shoes
- Selfcare / Makeup
- Childrens extra curricular activities
- Medical – Prescriptions/Medicines
- Medical – Out of pocket expenses (eg. Doctor/Dentist appointment)
- Medical – Dentist / Optometrist
- Property tax
- Car tax
- Car nct/mot
- Car service/maintenance/tyres
- Grounds maintenance
- Property Management Fee
- School Books
- School uniform
- School fees/annual charge
- School – Miscellaneous (trips, fairs, sponsored walks)
- Extra School support / tuition
- Bank car annual fee
- Pet vaccinations/boosters
- Dog licence
- Garden maintenance
- House maintenance
- Annual service on house (eg air con/water system)
- Childrens pocket money
- Childrens birthday parties
- Gifts for Teachers
- Hairdresser / Barber
- Cigarettes / Alcohol
- Giving – Tithes / charity
- Technology – new phone, laptop
- Technology – Software or Software Subscriptions
- Cleaner / Cleaning Company
- Continued Education / Courses
I suggest you get out your diary or year planner & write in any expenses that happen annually, quarterly or half-yearly. That way you won’t forget them.
As per my other blog posts, get a notepad & pen & write down all your Fixed & Variable Expenses each month. At the start of each month you’ll need to refer back to your diary & add in any of the expected annual, quarterly or half-yearly expenses you have written down.
The Budget Planner in my Shop, has a quick referral page [called Additional Expenses/Renewals] which can be used for these expenses by month as well as keeping notes of any Insurance policy renewal dates.