You might be surprised to hear that 82 percent of Americans say they keep a monthly budget. But, the problem is how people are keeping track of their expenses.
When asked other questions, we discover that over one-third of Americans just scrawl out a budget on a scrap of paper. While over 20 percent of us budget in our heads alone.
That’s why so many of us are probably forgetting a long list of monthly expenses off our budget. Of course, it’s easy to remember your monthly rent and your grocery shopping. But what about the less obvious stuff?
That’s why we’ve put together our list of monthly expenses you’ll probably forget. Don’t forget to grab our online fraction calculators to work out your monthly expenses. Let’s go!
1. Insurance for Your Vehicle
Do you pay your premium car insurance policy up front?
That might result in a really great deal for you. But you won’t be receiving a monthly bill. That means that it’s easy to forget about at the end of each month when you’re calculating your expenses.
Try calculating how much your car insurance policy costs over the entire year broken down into monthly chunks. This way at the end of the year when your insurance bill comes through, you won’t be checking underneath the bed for extra dollars.
2. Gardening Stuff
For many homeowners, the garden is their pride and joy.
That’s why they spend hours and hours in the garden planting flowers and mowing the lawn. However, the pleasure derived from a beautiful garden comes at a cost to your budget.
It’s easy to forget to budget for a plant you bought at the market the previous month, or that sack of manure to keep your soil healthy you bought last week.
3. Child Care Costs
Did you know that the average American household spends around 10 percent of the family income on childcare costs?
That’s potentially a lot of your expenses not accounted for in your monthly budget. If your child is enrolled in a child daycare center, the costs are probably annual. Therefore, it’s easy to miss off your monthly budget.
Make sure you’re putting aside the monthly costs of childcare too. Plus, don’t forget about the numerous workshops and summer camps, as well as uniforms and snacks that you have to pay for each year.
Also, if you and your partner want to be able to go for date nights occasionally, it’s always good to budget for babysitting costs. You might not go out every single month (although you really should treat yourself more often). But make sure you have the money for it so you can afford it when you want to go.
How often do you get your haircut? Once every few months? Or, perhaps only every 6 weeks or so?
It’s difficult to budget over a month for your hairdressing expenses. Women often go to the hairdressers much less frequently than men, for example.
By making sure you put aside the cash you need to pay for your haircuts over the year, you won’t accidentally go over your budget.
5. Pet Expenses
In 2016, pet owners in the United States spent a combined $16 billion on vet care. That’s a lot of money on your pet.
While you probably only want the best care for your furry friend, you never know when you might need to cough up big bucks. Your pet can suddenly stop eating, drinking and playing, and you’ll need to visit the vet. This makes it a really difficult expense to budget.
That’s why it’s really important to put the money in your monthly budget. Hopefully, you won’t ever need to pay for a vet. But at least you’re prepared if you do.
You should also make sure you have the savings for other pet expenses, such as toys and food.
6. Annual Dental Checkups
If you have healthy teeth, you don’t need to visit your dentist for monthly check-ups.
How often should you visit the dentist? Most dental experts advise visiting the dentist every six months to a year.
But an unbudgeted trip to the dentist has the potential to be painful in more than one way. You should schedule a single month in the year when the whole family visits the dentist. This makes it much easier to account for when you’re budgeting.
7. Birthday Presents and Other Gifts
You have Uncle Bob’s birthday in March, Grandma Anne in November and Cousin Michael in December. How can you possibly budget for all of your family and friend’s birthday?
That’s not to mention baby showers, weddings, special occasions, holidays, housewarming presents and Christmas presents. You need to include a monthly gift budget that you can spend on other people throughout the year.
This way Bob doesn’t get a really expensive gift in early in the year, while Cousin Michael is left with only a birthday card.
8. Winter and Summer Clothes
Sometimes, you suddenly realize that you need to a buy a new sweater for the approaching cold winter. Or maybe, you discover that you don’t have enough shorts for your summer vacation.
You need to make sure you include your seasonal clothes shopping in your monthly budget. Otherwise, you’ll be left without the appropriate gear for the weather. Nobody wants to be wearing last years ruined winter cardigan.
9. Your Tax Bill
Nobody likes the taxman! While plenty of people don’t have to worry about managing taxes because it’s really simple. But if you’re a freelancer or a business owner, you have to make sure you don’t forget to budget for your annual tax bills.
Always put the money you need to pay your taxes away safely. Then, when it comes to paying your taxes, you won’t be stressing about paying it off.
10. Subscriptions Fees
Nowadays, we’re all committed to our subscriptions. Whether it’s the internet provider, you’re cell phone bills or your Netflix subscription. We all have subscriptions and memberships that can be easily forgotten.
Always remember to include your subscriptions on your monthly budget. Otherwise, you might find that you don’t have enough to watch your favorite TV show.
Monthly Expenses Not to Forget
Now you know the most commonly forgotten monthly expenses, you can make sure you always have these things on your list of things to put cash aside.
It’s not always easy to calculate how much you need to set aside for each expense. That’s why you need to use our online fraction calculator to make sure you get the right sums. Check it out today!