Making a budget is a great idea to regain control your finances. Everybody knows a budget should include items like your rent, utilities and your food expenses.
But there are countless other items people can leave off their budget. This can wreak havoc on your budget and your mind. You think you have a budget all figured out and then inevitably you run out of money each month, time and time again.
Here are 14 of the most overlooked items every budget must have.
Include monthly subscriptions to magazines, Netflix or other online services like Evernote or Dropbox.
Don’t forget to include your gym membership or your subscription to Amazon Prime in your budget too.
Your budget needs to include a deposit into your emergency fund. It’s important to begin to save, even if you’re in debt. Any little bit helps.
By not having an emergency fund, you’re setting yourself up for trouble the next time something unexpected comes up.
Every house needs some upkeep every now and then. This could be something like a yearly cleaning of the carpet for example.
For yearly fees like these, divide the total cost by 12 to figure out the amount you need to allot for this expense each month.
Fees Paid Yearly
Sometimes when you’re creating your budget you forget about those expenses you only pay once a year. This could be your car insurance, vehicle registration fees, homeowners insurance or your real estate taxes. Divide by 12 and add these to your budget.
Some months you may not buy a single item of clothing, but another month you end up buying some shoes. Next month nothing, but the next month you need a suit or a dress for a special occasion. Estimate how much you spend per year and divide by 12.
You never know when you or a family member is going to get sick and need to take some prescription medicine. But it’s best to be prepared just in case.
Add a certain dollar amount each month for your medical expenses. If you don’t use them, then great, it just means more money will go to your savings account.
Even though you may have a free checking account, your bank will still charge you throughout the year for a variety of things. This could be ATM fees, overdraft charges, wire transfer fees or the cost to reorder checks.
Pet Care Costs
Your dog(s) need some maintenance too. Take into account pet care costs like the vet, vaccinations and grooming fees in your budget.
Your car needs attention throughout the year. It’s not just the gas, but it’s the oil changes, tune ups, new tires and car washes. All of this adds up to a pretty penny.
Each year you end up buying tons of gifts. There’s baby showers, birthdays, anniversaries and of course the holidays. Add it all up and see how much you spend on gift giving each year.
If you host Thanksgiving at your house or other major holidays, factor in the cost of food, drinks and having guests over. Don’t forget birthday parties either.
You gotta have a little fun every now and then. You can go to the movies one month, an amusement park the next. Add a few dinners here and there and your entertainment costs could run up to over a hundred dollars per month.
Replacing Your Gadgets
If you upgrade your iPhone or iPad each year, that’s an added expense of $50 per month. But you need to replace more than just your phone every now and then. Computers need upgrading too. Then there’s digital cameras, gaming consoles and TV’s.
It’s difficult to budget for unexpected expenses. But they always seem to come up, don’t they? So set aside a certain amount each month that will go for all those things you never expected were going to happen, but most certainly will.
To create a thorough budget, use a debit card for all of your expenses one month. Then afterward go back and see how much you spent and for what. This way you’ll ensure your budget includes all of your monthly expenses.