Creating a household budget is a great way to avoid living paycheck to paycheck. Even if you have budgeting down to a science, there are still a handful of expenses that are liable to slip through the cracks. Typically, the household budget items that get overlooked relate to unexpected repairs, upgrades, or emergencies. Payments that happen infrequently (like annual fees or holiday expenses) are also easy to forget about. We’ve laid out a list of some of the most commonly forgotten household budget items to help you create the most accurate plan possible, so you can better manage your money throughout the year.
1. Replacing Electronics
Nowadays, having a cell phone and personal computer is pretty much a necessity. These devices also provide important access to information and services needed for everyday activities. While replacing your electronics ideally would only occur every few years, there’s always a chance that your device could be broken, lost, or stolen.
Setting aside a contingency fund or buying insurance to replace a broken phone or laptop could save you a lot of stress and money if you wind up in a situation where your electronics go haywire.
2. Home and Car Repair/ Maintenance
Houses and cars are two of the most important and valuable assets that most people have. They also tend to be the most expensive to purchase and maintain. To keep both in good order, annual maintenance is needed. Maintenance that, unfortunately, is often overlooked.
By calling an auto dealer or home contractor for an estimate, you can find out how much various repairs and maintenance should cost. That way, you can factor those figures into your annual budget and keep your home and car in great shape.
Some typical car expenses include:
- Flat tires
- Oil changes
- Registration/ insurance
- Driver’s License renewal
Common home expenses are:
- Pest control
- Appliance repair/ replacement
- Heating and A/C maintenance and repair
- Lawn and garden maintenance
- Roof and window replacement
In the event that you need a new car or significant home repair, don’t fret. Apply for an auto loan or personal loan to fit your needs and circumstances.
3. Holiday Parties and Gifts
Holiday budgeting includes more than just Christmas. Birthdays, baby showers, and other celebrations all require some monetary commitment. Any time you’re purchasing gifts, cooking for a crowd, or decorating for an event, your hosting holds the potential to rack up costs quickly. By building these expenses into your annual plan, you can avoid the shock that might come with your credit card bill.
4. Vet Bills/ Pet Care Expenses
Typically, when we sit down to make a household budget, our primary focus is making sure that we have enough money to pay for all the things we need. We cover our own needs and the needs of our family, but sometimes our furry family members are overlooked! Being a good pet owner is a big responsibility and there are a lot of expenses that come with it, including:
- Yearly checkups
- Emergency vet visits
- Pet food
5. Annual Subscriptions/ Memberships
There are a number of services that are set up as annual payments, including movie and music streaming subscriptions, fitness memberships, and wholesale warehouse memberships. While signing up for some of these services can help you save money in the long run, payments that only require payment once a year can be easy to forget, especially if you’re setting up your budget by month. Review your subscriptions regularly and be sure you’re not paying for things you’re not using regularly.
6. Unexpected Fines and Fees
No matter how responsible you are, there are small fines/ fees that are likely to creep up on anyone. Parking tickets, over-due rental items, and overdraft fees are some common examples. While most of these fines are typically inexpensive, it’s important to factor them into your annual budget because failing to pay fines in a timely manner leads to costly accumulation. Get ahead of life’s curveballs by establishing an emergency fund.
Be better prepared for your year by capturing all the most commonly overlooked household expenses as you plan your annual budget. From annual memberships to flat tires, it’s important to account for all the parts of life that cost money. By being as accurate as possible with your yearly budget, you can always have funds available when you need them. Smart budgeting habits can save you a lot of money and stress in the long run.