Creating a budget is a great step toward a better financial future. While you’re creating it, it’s important to take the time to get every expense mapped out and not just the major bills you’re dealing with.
When I created my first budget, I was confused why I wasn’t saving as much as I anticipated and why so much of my money fell in the “other” category. It didn’t take long to see that I just missed many frequent expenses that should have been on the list.
Top 7 Missed Items when Creating Budgets
While your pet’s food may get lumped into your grocery budget, there are often more expenses that come with being a pet owner. Flea and tick medication, vaccinations, licenses and toys are easily forgotten when it comes to budgeting.
To make it easier, create a “Pets” category in your spreadsheet and break everything down in there.
2. Driving expenses (other than fuel)
With gas being so expensive, it can be easy to remember that in your budget. It’s the other expenses that tend to get left behind. For example, your car’s registration is an annual bill you know you’ll have to deal with.
There are also toll and parking fees, depending on where you travel to. Keep your receipts for a few months and see what you’re averaging.
If you don’t have your own washer/dryer unit, you’ll need to factor in the cost of coin operated machines. For me, that’s about $14/month.
There’s also dry cleaning for the fancy clothes. If you frequent the dry cleaner, remember those bills add up and need a spot in your budget.
Make sure you’re covering both postal and digital subscriptions in your monthly budget.
Postal: Magazines and newspapers, and any “X of the month” club you might belong to
Digital: Streaming services (hulu, Netflix, etc.) and other online memberships (Amazon)
Your big heart may be making a big dent on your wallet.
Don’t forget to factor in any organizations you regularly donate to. This includes your church – if you are putting money in the offering every week, it should count on your budget.
6. Storage fees
Storage fees are easy to forget thanks to how automated they are – out of sight, out of mind.
If you have a safe deposit box or any other storage unit, you’re probably paying a monthly fee for it.
Not all gifts can be anticipated, but lots of them can be. Gifts for your immediate family members can be estimated and factored into your annual budget.
Take the time out now to review your budget and make sure it covers everything. If a large portion of your budget gets dumped into the “Other” category, it’s time to start creating more categories!