10 Items You are Missing in Your Budget
You have a budget but for some reason funds are still leaking through your accounts. But from where? When beginning to budget most start with the typical categories and amounts: rent, utilities, fuel, cable and etc.
However, there are surely other items you could be overlooking in your budget that is causing you to miss the mark each month.
Here are 10, often overlooked items, that could be missing from your budget:
Oil changes, new tires and brake pads. These things are needed to ensure your automobile continues to run smoothly, but are these items in your budget? Probably not. Oil changes are due for most people every 3 months and you may be wondering how to budget for an every 3 month expense in a monthly or weekly budget. All you need is simple math. If your oil changes costs $30 every 3 months. Divide $30 by 3 and that’s the amount you will need to add to your monthly budget for car maintenance. So for this example, the amount is $10. The key here is too make sure you have a mechanism in place that shelters those funds so you aren’t spending before the expense is due.
2. Property Taxes
This one used to blow my mind each and every year after I purchased a car. I purchased my car in South Carolina and property taxes are due every year. Mine were always due at the end of November, which came at the worst time of year. November and December is full of travel and spending, so being hit with a $350 bill ‘out of nowhere’ would rattle my budget like no other. That happened to me for 2 years, before I got myself together. As aforementioned in #1, divide the yearly amount by 12 and add the monthly figure to your monthly budget.
Property taxes are based on the value of your car and decreases each year, which is why it took me 2 years to actually start budgeting for it. Estimate the balance due and use that figure to calculate your monthly amount. The estimated amount may not be dead on, but budgeting for some amount is better than not budgeting for it at all.
3. Apple Music/ Netflix/ Hulu
Yep! Subscriptions are often times the most overlooked amount in the budget, ever, that I’ve noticed as a financial coach. I oftentimes hear “I always forget about Apple Music.” It’s easy to forget until the payment is processed for $11.99 and you only have $11 in your account and now you’re paying a $35 fee for $0.99. Will you remember now? Perspective. Add it all to your budget.
4. Pet Food/ Visits
I have a yorkie named Bentley.Bentley can eat. However, I never used to budget for his dog food. It’s only about $10 every 2 months so it didn’t seem like much. But when you’re trying to budget for every dollar and really paint a picture to see where your funds are going, it’s important to account for every expense; no matter how small the expense may be.
5. Seasonal Clothing
It gets cold in the Nasty Nati(Cincinnati) and no matter how much I organize, I somehow misplace my gloves, hats and earmuffs each year. So as soon as the temperature begins to drop, I head to the mall to buy new Winter gear. New tights for boots, scarfs, gloves and more. Budget for your seasonal clothing. Rather that’s flip flops for the spring, sunglasses for the summer or scarfs and hats for the winter. It’s an expense and needs to be in the budget. Use the tactic explained in #1 above after deciding on the amount you will spend for seasonal clothes each year.
I love celebrations, but I hate showing up empty handed. Rather it’s a quick card, gift card, picking up the dinner tab or whatever these expenses have to be accounted for in your budget. Gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, promotions and Christmas can all add up throughout the year and eat a major hole in your budget. Most clients I coach always say “1-2 gifts won’t wreck havoc on my budget.” Well that depends on the timing of the gifts. For instance, I have at least 6 birthdays in December, plus Christmas and holiday travel. If I do not budget for these expenses, I end up running out of cash each year and then have to depend on my credit cards, which causes more havoc in the future. I’ve learned to budget for gifts no matter how small.
If you own a home in a neighborhood and your HOA fees are not added into your mortgage; these fees can creep up as well. These are normally quarterly bills, so use the calculation in point #1 to calculate your monthly amount.
8. Prescriptions/ Vitamins/ Meal Replacements
In today’s culture, everyone is striving to be snatched or 6 packed out. We are drinking teas, taking vitamins and drinking smoothies. These are usually spur of moment buys and are probably not in your budget. Also, don’t forget medical prescriptions. Most pharmacies are filling 90 day supplies nowadays instead of monthly supplies. If that’s the case for you, use the monthly cost of your prescription in your monthly budget.
If I’m brunching, going out or heading to the airport, I am most likely catching a Lyft. Last month for instance, my Lyft bill was roughly $300! This is a car note, but I ride Lyft Lux Black because I travel too far out to certain locations and comfort is key for me. However, that was not a monthly bill I had planned for. So plan ahead and add a little cushion to your budget for Uber or Lyft to ensure your budget isn’t wrecked if you have to their service.
10. Annual Fees
Annual fees are always the hit-you-don’t-see-it-coming expense. It’s a once a year charge and you forget about it..These are fees from your credit card company, Amazon Prime or business essentials (such as Calendly, Zoom and/or Zapier). Furthermore, the fees never hit the same month. For instance, Prime is in June, Capital One annual fee is in September and so forth and so on... So tracking these takes great planning. Adding the monthly fee to your budget to then transfer into your savings account or some other account is the best way to brace for the hit that’s coming.
This is not a complete list of potential items that may be causing havoc on your budget, but it is a start. Budgeting is not a one and done type of task, but you should be updating and reviewing your budget on at least a monthly basis.
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