While it’s easy to remember that at the heart of frugal living lies your budget, which you should be following to a tee, sometimes it might seem like your efforts are still falling short. If you’ve tried stretching your budget, and cutting it again, and you’ve maybe even tried a few different budgeting methods, but you still find that you don’t have as much money left at the end of the month as you should… Maybe its time to revisit your budget and see if there’s anything you’re leaving out. It’s important to include even the smallest expenses, because over time they’ll add up!
With that spirit in mind, here are 5 things that people commonly leave out of their budgets:
1) Pet Fees
While it might not seem like you spend very much on cat food, litter, and flea medicine over the course of an entire month, those things can add up quickly! If you need to, track how much you spend on your furry friends over the course of the month to give yourself an idea and then add it to your budget every month.
A lot of side jobs, or ways you earn money from home, have higher taxes that you’d need to pay at the end of the year. You should consider budgeting these things like you budget for your other yearly expenses, and set a little aside each month so it doesn’t sneak up on you.
Additionally, if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, don’t forget to account for taxes when you’re estimating your earnings.
3) Holiday & Travel Expenses
It’s important to think about Christmas expenses way before December rolls around, or important birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Even then, there is more to think about than gifts: decorations, parties, special meals, and of course travel expenses can add up quick and really hurt your savings or budget!
4) Medical Bills
Most insurance policies have a yearly deductible, so if nothing else, you should try to be prepared to cover that. But, don’t forget to set aside some money for things like sinus medicine if the situation presents itself!
If you know that over the summer you tend to go out and spend some more money on fun activities with your family, it’s easy to prepare for that. You’d just need to cut back your spending money in the colder months, and stash it somewhere to keep for the warmer months!
Smart budgeting is all about anticipating your expenses as accurately as possible and distributing your money accordingly. By leaving out expenses, no matter how small, you hurt the accuracy of your budget and it can lead to you being strapped for funds or having to dip into your savings. What other things have you forgotten to add to your budget in the past? Share with me in the comments!