If you are serious about money management and managing debt, then the concept of a budget is a no-brainer. However, you also may have noticed that sticking to a budget is easier said than done. Do you always have some additional expenses come up? This can leave you short and often with no alternative but to pull out your credit card and charge it. Therefore, it is important you include every expense item possible in your budget.
Does Your Budget Include These Items?
People often forget to include some irregular expenses in their budget. These may occur more commonly than you think.
1. Summer Camp
If you are a parent with school-going kids, summer can get more expensive than you anticipate. With parents having to juggle between kids and work, summer camps have become a popular choice. However, they do not come cheap. Did you remember to include the cost of summer camp in your budget this year?
Dental costs of any stature can get quite expensive. Most likely, your kids will end up having some dental work done in the future. We are not asking you to set aside money from your budget for an unknown orthodontic emergency. However, it is smart to contribute a little extra to your health savings accounts in anticipation of such expenses. This way you wouldn’t be surprised by the unexpected consumer debt.
3. Veterinary Costs
As much as your pets are a joy to have, they are also very costly. A broken limb or an unexpected illness can cost you a considerable amount of money. These additional expenses can throw your budget off the rails. If you go the adoption route and rescue an animal, your costs may be even higher. You may want to consider getting pet insurance. And before bringing home a new furry friend, really ask yourself, can you afford a new pet?
5. Car Repairs
Car repairs are real budget busters! Transportation is a basic need, and a family’s second largest spending category. Therefore, automobile expenses must be added on to your budgeting worksheets. You can do a simple estimation based on the condition of your car to get a ballpark automobile expense figure. Add up your oil change expenses, cost of regular services, etc., and include these costs in the budget. Add a bit extra for those unexpected repairs as well. Spread the amount you spend yearly over the course of 12 months. This way, you will have a car maintenance nest egg to cover the costs when they arise.
There is always a birthday or anniversary, right? Then come the holidays. All this means an additional cost to buy gifts. Again, these are nothing fixed. Therefore, make sure you keep some leeway to accommodate these costs.
Speak with a certified counselor at ACCC to discuss your budget. Call 800-769-3571.