If you have a household budget, you’re doing better than most! No matter how thorough we attempt to be when constructing a budget, there are usually a few things that escape our minds. It’s the little surprises that can ruin well-laid plans. This is especially true with personal financial matters.
Remember to consider these areas when creating your budget:
1. Pet-related expenses. This category includes food, boarding, health care, toys, grooming fees, bedding, and any other supplies you feel your pet needs to be happy and comfortable.
2. Big ticket items. Is there a new car, vacation, or new washing machine in your near future? These items often slip our minds when making financial plans. Plan for and include these expenses in your budget projections.
3. Non-monthly bills. Since most bills are paid monthly, budgets are set up on the same schedule. However, some bills aren’t paid twelve times a year. Depending on where you live, the water and trash bills might be quarterly.
4. Clothing. Think about your clothing costs over the course of a year and include a line item in your budget. Do you have any special occasions this year? Perhaps a wedding or other formal event will require special financial consideration. Everyone needs to buy clothes on occasion.
5. Gifts. Christmas and birthdays have a way of sneaking up on us. It might be a good idea to start saving, and maybe even shopping, in January. Christmas can be a major expense, depending on your traditions and the size of your family.
6. School-related expenses. School supplies, field trip fees, school lunches, physicals for sports, and numerous other expenses can add up over the school year.
It’s important to account for everything in your budget. A household budget isn’t very effective if many of your expenses are excluded. There are many financial expenditures that are routinely forgotten when a budget is constructed. Go over your bills from last year and ensure you’re including everything relevant.
Increasing Financial Awareness and Building Financial Stability