When it comes to building to your monthly budget, almost every adult will have the same financial priorities. Mortgage or rent, utilities (including your cell phone plan), home / auto / medical insurance, credit cards, groceries, and loan payments are some of the most common items on any household budget, depending on how many people are relying on your income.
Of course, when it comes to any budget, there are quite a few items we don’t always think to add, even though they’re still semi-regular expenditures. They may not be things you pay for each month, but if they’re putting any kind of dent into your paycheck, it’s important to add them to your budget so you know where your money is going.
Here are a few “forgotten” budget items you might have:
- Medical expenses and bills. These expenditures are outside whatever you might be paying for monthly healthcare, if you pay out of pocket for it. This can include co-pays for doctor’s appointments, medications, treatment sessions, and anything that might fall under the medical umbrella.
- Car maintenance. If you own a car, you know that upkeep can add up and hit your wallet hard. In your budget, include the costs of oil changes, gas, tune-ups, new tires or other parts (such as brakes, wipers, or your battery), and more. This can also include driver’s license renewal fees and annual auto registration.
- Home maintenance. Homeowners should definitely add line items for the cost of maintaining their home and property. This can include landscaping and gardening costs, gutter cleaning, inspections, carpet cleaning, and any minor renovations. If you belong to a homeowner’s association, be sure to add those fees to your budget.
- Travel / vacations. If you’re planning ahead for a vacation, add those expenses to your budget. Vacation costs can include airfare or gas, hotel rooms or other lodging, souvenirs, meals, and cost of entry at various locations.
- Clothes and shoes. This is especially important if you have children, as you’ll need to buy clothes semi-regularly to keep up with them growing. Be sure to include back-to-school clothes shopping trips, as well as your own clothing budget.