One of the biggest parts of living a frugal life is creating a budget and then sticking to it. We have already gone through a step-by-step process of how to create your budget and even how to stretch your budget, so as a continuation today I would like to talk about how to budget for irregular expenses.
When I say “irregular expenses” I’m talking about expenses that do not occur monthly (like car insurance— mine is every 6 months), birthdays and Christmas, car maintenance (oil changes, new tires), and anything else you can think of. Sometimes these expenses sneak up on us, but it’s really pretty simple to plan ahead for them— just follow these steps.
1) Put a price on it
You’re going to have to estimate the total cost for each of your irregular expenses to be able to budget for them accurately. Keep in mind that you’ll want to over budget rather than under budget!
2) Put an expiration on it
The next step is to put a deadline on when you need to have the money by. You’ll probably want Christmas money available by November rather than December to give yourself ample time to shop, so just be considerate when setting the date.
3) Divide it out
Once you have the total cost of your irregular expense and the date you need to have the money by, just divide it out by weeks or months depending on how you budget. For example, if 6 months of my car insurance is $600, I need to save $100 for 6 months. Simple enough, right?
It definitely is not a bad idea to try and keep a small journal to record your progress with irregular expenses, if only for peace of mind. If you struggled to come up with money for Christmas presents this year (I know I did) this is the perfect solution!
Do you have any tips to help out with irregular expenses? Share with me in the comments!