Can’t figure out why your budget is so off at the end of each month? Little things can throw it off and you aren’t catching them. They may not be monthly expenses and that’s what makes them so hard to catch. Here are the top 5 Things You Are Forgetting to Include in Your Budget and reasons why they are throwing your budget off.
5 Things You Are Forgetting to Include in Your Budget
1. Children's activities- Even school activities have unexpected costs from trips to fundraisers and outings. These pop up randomly and rarely have any notice the month before to plan for them. The amount can also change every time so the best thing to do is put some money aside each month so you build up a ‘savings’ in this category.
2. Gifts- Not just Christmas gifts. This should include birthday gifts, hostess gifts, baby showers, bridal showers etc. This category can also include any office gifts where everyone gives $5 for a retirement gift or going away gift for a co-worker etc.
3. Eating out- How many times do you eat out that are not planned? This money comes from somewhere and throws off one of your other budgets, how are you accounting for this?
4. The difference in heating and cooling costs- This happens no matter where you live. In the North, you will spend less on heating and electric in the summer. During the winter it can double or triple. Whereas in the South you spend more on cooling in the summer then you do heating in the summer. You need to be adding more to this budget in the cheaper months to cover overage in the higher months.
5. Guests visiting- We all love having guests. Having family and friends over just for dinner will increase your grocery budget and is easily accounted for but what about guests that come to stay overnight for a few nights. Are you accounting for everything that comes with it? The electric spike, the water spike, the extra cost of food and even gas if they want to go out while they are here. All this is in addition to your normal monthly budgets.
So how do you fix it? If you find a small expense that throws your budget off, you can add a category for it and put even a small amount in there every month such as $5 or $10. As it goes unused it can roll over to the following month. Then, when you need it there will be some money in that budget. You could also create an ‘overage’ category. Each month put some money in this category and when you have an overage in one category you can pull from your overage category so you don’t mess up your other categories.
What are some items you have found that you forgot to add in your budget?
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Danielle is a mom of 4, Former Navy Wife, Homeschooling mom, frugalista and blogger at The Frugal Navy Wife. She and her family of 6 are currently setting out on their lifelong dream to travel via RV around the United States. They are documenting their journey on Roadschooling with The Frugal Navy Wife.