20 Things You are Forgetting to Budget

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Making a budget is a great idea, but if you forget to plan three or four things, then your whole budget can get thrown off. In order to avoid having to replan your whole budget, here are 20 things that you’re probably forgetting that you should put in your budget right now.

Most people don’t add an emergency fund to their budget. We often have savings calculated in (for big purchases), but not a fund for emergencies that are unexpected. Funnel some money into an emergency account every month to take care of that issue.

Haircuts and personal care are often things that go forgotten until right when we need them. So, when you sit down at the beginning of the week or month to budget, don’t forget this category!

It’s sometimes hard to track the amount you spend on heating and cooling because it varies so much on what month and season it is. However, to the best of your ability, plan for the months where you’re going to probably be using them a lot so you have the money in your budget to cover it.

We should all be budgeting for a vacation. It doesn’t have to be a big European getaway, but a little vacation to a bed and breakfast a few hours away should always be worked into the budget.

I have a good friend who always says that if you don’t want to spend money on dates with your spouse,  you’ll just be spending that money on therapy! So, make sure you work date nights and entertainment into the budget so you can relax and enjoy yourself after a hard week of working.

Along with that, you should also have some money set aside for eating out. Buying fast food usually comes up in the moment (because it’s convenient), so work that into your budget ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about balancing the books later.

Annual payments are super easy to forget about because we only pay for them once a year. Things like credit card fees or some memberships can be hefty but sneaky, so make sure they’re in your budget.

While having to buy school supplies only happens once or twice a year (depending on how fast your kids go through them), it can be a pretty large chunk of money. So, if you don’t budget for it, then it might throw a wrench in your budget. Sit down now, and make sure you have it worked into your finances.

Every now and then, you’re going to have to buy new work clothes. Things like shoes, suits, etc. can all be a pretty large charge if you have to buy them all at once. Figure out if you’re going to need new clothes this month or year, and then budget it.

Gifts are something that always seem to pop up as extra expenses for me. Holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day don’t do this; but friends birthdays are usually the guiltiest! So make sure you know everyone’s birthday who you buy presents for, or just plan in some extra money each month for surprise presents.

Pets can be just as expensive as children sometimes! Shots, food, leashes, emergencies, and other things can all add up pretty quickly if you haven’t budgeted them.

If you own a home, then you know how home and yard maintenance’s can get pretty expensive. Blowing out the sprinklers, fixing the mower, painting the front porch, and other projects can cause some financial issues if you don’t budget them.

Don’t let car expenses sneak up on you! Things like registration, tabs, repairs, or other problems should be worked into your budget so you’re not stressed when they come up.

For those of you who contribute frequent donations, then make sure they’re in your budget! While it’s always good to give to charity, you want to go about it smartly.

If you have monthly subscriptions like magazines or weekly delivery systems, then they need to be in your budget! If not, you’ll be wondering where all that money is going every month!

20 Things You are Forgetting to Budget2

While it’s great to get some extra income (especially when it’s not expected), if it’s not calculated into your taxes, then you can see a big chunk of your monthly budget get taken by those taxes! And you can even get fees tacked on if you don’t pay the taxes, which is even worse!

If your kids are into sports or art groups, then the enrollment fees and cost of equipment can be a burden if not planned for. For the months when those activities start, make sure you budget for these expenses.

Clothing is another thing you’ll have to buy frequently when you have growing kids in the home. You may find yourself buying new pants every few months and, if you don’t plan for it, the costs can build up.

Unfortunately, even if you have insurance, medical bills can be pretty large. If you have regular doctor visits, set money aside for them, but also add a bit of money for emergency visits or other situations.

You’ll also want money for non-prescription medication; things like aspirin, Nyquil, allergy medicine, and others are expensive, and if you don’t plan on buying them, then their price seems even bigger!

12 Surprising Things You Can do To Become Debt-Free

 

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I am passionate about getting out of debt because it changed my life.  It isn’t easy.  It isn’t even fun sometimes, but the freedom you feel from living within your means will completely change you and you will never go back.  When I talk to people about their financial situations, it is clear that in some cases, a change in income needs to be made.  Aside from the obvious budget re-alignments, and more self-control, sometimes, we simply need to figure out a way to make more money or we won’t get ahead.  Here are a few things that can help you get out of debt.

Cut back on groceries

Grocery budget is one of the first to modify, because it isn’t a “fixed” cost.  Find meals that can go a long way on a small amount of money.  Take advantage of deals, coupons, discounts.  Depending on the size of your family, it may even be cheaper to eat out a couple of meals a week.  I know that I can’t grocery shop and make a meal and feed my family for less than a 5$ pizza from Little Caesars.  So, once in a while, we do that.  Especially at the end of the month, or right before payday.  Be savvy and discover what works for your family.

Work from Home

There are so many side jobs or even full time jobs that are home-based.  This can give you more flexibility, and save on gas (no commuting!)

Use the Debt Snowball method

This is an incredible method that can work for anyone! It also works quickly, and keeps up the momentum of getting out of debt. This works by organizing your debts from the lowest balance you have to the highest balance (regardless of the interest rate they have) and you work hard to pay off the debt for the first item on your list. To understand the full process and how it works read  Pay off Your Debt With a Debt Snowball.

Transfer Balances

Most of you have had a credit card offer mailed to you offering to “transfer balances” for a low interest rate.  Thisis the good kind of junk mail and can really help you get your debt under control.  The problem with debt is that you accrue interest.  This can keep you in debt forever, unless you make bigger payments, or stop the interest from accruing.  Some cards have offers to transfer balances from other cards to their card for a 0% interest rate (or low, like 3%) for a certain amount of time.  When we were trying to pay off credit cards, we transferred balances from one card to the next, keeping 0% interest rates.  This made our payments go to the entire principle amount and we paid them off MUCH faster than we would have at a standard 12% interest rate.  Be careful to read the terms and conditions of these offers.  Often, there are transfer fees (which can still be worth it, depending on your account balance and what would be saved from the interest) and other terms you will want to be aware of.  Something many people don’t know, is that if you are also using your card, and accruing interest on purchases, you actually only pay off the 0% first, which means you accrue interest on the purchases the whole time.  In a nutshell, to save the most money, transfer balances to a card that you don’t plan to use for purchases, and pay the most you can while the rate lasts.  Don’t be late making a payment or you forfeit your low rate.

Budget

To make sure you are organized and get control of your finances, it is important to budget. Knowing where your money is going every month is half the battle.  Most people that have money trouble truly don’t have a great grasp on what it takes for them to live and where their extra money is going each month.  Years ago, we had the same problem and didn’t feel that we were spending much extra.  After going through our monthly expenses, we realized that we were each eating out for lunch 4+ times each week.  Even if we only spent 5$ (which we didn’t always) times that by 2 of us, that is 40$ each week (almost $200+) just on lunches.  That was more than half of our food budget each month, at the time.  If you know your budget and stick to it, this will help you to get out of debt, and stay out of debt! For great ideas on budgeting ideas, click How to Budget When You Don’t Make Enough Money.

Make homemade products

Save money by making things at home out of household products.  You can make your own household cleaners, lotions, laundry detergents, hair products, and more. You will be amazed at how much money you can save every month, simply by making your own stuff that calls for supplies you most likely have around the house anyway (many products require common items like baking soda, vinegar, oil, soap, etc.)

12 Surprising Things You Can do To Become Debt-Free

Simplify 

When something in your house breaks or starts to wear down, try to get creative with how you can replace that item. If your bathroom rug unravels ask yourself, “Do I really need another one?” You can always put a towel down instead or find some other item that would work. When you start to do this with scrub brushes, paper towels, tin foil, and other common household items you will be able to cut back a lot, save money, and live a more simplistic lifestyle.

Financial Fast

Have you ever heard of a financial fast?  This might sound hard at first, but if you can master this you will feel so rewarded you will want to go… shopping!  Just kidding, don’t do that!  But really, it is very rewarding to exercise your self-control.  If you normally buy extra things you want through the month, or take full advantage of Amazon Prime like we do at our house, just don’t spend any money for a month.  Obviously you need to buy food and pay rent, etc., but cut out restaurants, extras, clothes you think you need and more.  The trick is just to only take care of your essential needs and don’t buy anything else. It takes some diligence and resistance to fight the urge to buy things, but the more you turn down the items you really don’t need, the easier it gets!  You will be amazed that it is possible for your bank account to almost stay the same.  It is a great feeling and after you do it once, you will want to do it again.

 

Sell Your Stuff

To make money, try to sell items that you can find for free. Online there are advertisements where people are getting rid of things, as long as you come pick up the item yourself. You can find these on local classifieds, Craigslist, social media groups, the newspaper, or even just driving by peoples’ houses where they have items on their lawn with a “free” sign. You can also contact people you know that are moving and see if they have items they are getting rid of. Collect those items, and then turn around and sell them! You will make 100% profit.

12 Surprising Things You Can do To Become Debt-Free

 

Be Savvy

How many times have you purchased something, and then you see it go on sale for even less money the next time you are there? To get the most bang for your buck, pay attention to sales, discounts and store promotions.

Make More Money that You Spend

There is a pretty hilarious segment on Saturday Night Live spoofing this idea, but it is true.  And unfortunately, it has to be said.  Figure out how much money you have to live on, and live on less than that.  There are many circumstances that don’t make this always possible.  Medical emergencies, unexpected car repairs and so many more.  The key is to make the “unexpected” expenses “expected.”  Be sure to budget for birthdays, holidays and even car repairs.  Unfortunately, you may realize as you go over your income and your expenses that you simply do not make enough money to meet your monthly needs.  This is the time to make fundamental life changes.  Maybe a job or career change, living in a different place, or taking on side jobs to make extra money.  This can be a sobering reality, but a reality nonetheless.  Take the challenge and change your circumstances.

Take Advantage of Free Activies

Research the museums, festivals, and activities in your community that are free to attend. This will make the burden of saving or a financial fast much more bearable.  There are so many activities in the community that are usually free, that you should have no problem still living as you save.  There is no question that it is hard and that it takes self-control and discipline that may not be fun.  But if you put your best foot forward and make the necessary changes, you will live in financial freedom instead of bondage.