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”

Benjamin Franklin

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.

Smaller Items

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!

  1. Childcare
  2. Work / School Lunches
  3. Transport to work/school
  4. Loan Repayments (eg. Car, student loan, furniture loan)
  5. Interest on loans (sometimes these are annual)
  6. Subscriptions – Annual / Monthly (eg. Netflix, Amazon, Cable)
  7. Savings – Emergency, Sinking/Envelopes, Rainy Day
  8. Hobbies
  9. Entertainment
  10. Clothing / Shoes
  11. Selfcare / Makeup
  12. Childrens extra curricular activities
  13. Medical – Prescriptions/Medicines
  14. Medical – Out of pocket expenses (eg. Doctor/Dentist appointment)
  15. Medical – Dentist / Optometrist
  16. Property tax
  17. Car tax
  18. Car nct/mot
  19. Car service/maintenance/tyres
  20. Grounds maintenance 
  21. Property Management Fee
  22. School Books
  23. School uniform
  24. School fees/annual charge
  25. School – Miscellaneous (trips, fairs, sponsored walks)
  26. Extra School support / tuition
  27. Bank car annual fee
  28. Pet vaccinations/boosters
  29. Dog licence
  30. Garden maintenance 
  31. House maintenance 
  32. Annual service on house (eg air con/water system)
  33. Childrens pocket money
  34. Childrens birthday parties
  35. Gifts for Teachers
  36. Hairdresser / Barber
  37. Cigarettes / Alcohol
  38. Giving – Tithes / charity
  39. Technology – new phone, laptop
  40. Technology – Software or Software Subscriptions
  41. Cleaner / Cleaning Company
  42. Continued Education / Courses

Next Steps

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.

Budget planner workbook printable