This post was first published January 27, 2014 when we were 4 months into the madness that was our lightening fast journey to debt free! Once we really got serious about making a budget and sticking to it, I was frustrated again and again by unexpected expenses that always seemed to arise.
I started keeping a list of all our forgotten budget items, so that perhaps you, dear readers, might be spared the same fate. As the months passed and we achieved our goal of becoming debt free, and then building our emergency fund, I have come to believe this truth even more strongly: planning for these commonly forgotten budget items is absolutely crucial to sticking to a budget and achieving your financial goals! Now onto the original post…
Did you make a budget this month? I hope so! Here are 18 commonly forgotten budget items you might have forgotten to put in your budget.
I think I’ve forgotten every one of these at some point during our journey to get our budget under control. Each time one of them has popped up, it drives me crazy that we’re over budget yet again!
I hope this list will save you some of that angst. Many of these are things that you pay only once a year or every few years or things that are somewhat unpredictable. You might simply forget about them, or it may be hard to accurately predict the cost. But that’s still no excuse not to include them in your budget!
18 Commonly Forgotten Budget Items
1. Car License, Registration, and Taxes
2. Drivers License and ID card renewal
3. Professional Licenses and Memberships not reimbursed by work
4. Replacement of electronics like computers and cameras
5. Gifts, think weddings, birthdays, baby showers and Christmas
6. Roadside assistance membership
7. House and car maintenance
8. Furniture and appliance replacement
9. Seasonal yard maintenance or snow removal
10. Travel, not just for vacation but also for holidays, weddings, births, and funerals
11. Annual medical, dental, and vision expenses
13. Household supplies
14. Pet food, flea treatment, shots, veterinary care
15. Taxes on extra income from freelance work or interest earned
16. Back to School shopping
17. Costco and Amazon Prime Membership (affiliate)
18. Tax Preparation (software or accountant)
You don’t want to just rely on your emergency fund as a catch-all for these forgotten categories because most aren’t emergencies. If you do you’ll soon find yourself without an emergency fund.
Instead, setting aside a monthly amount for each of these expenses will leave you with no added stress when any of them come up. Here’s how I organize these non-monthly budget expenses.