If you don’t want to blow your entire salary on pizza and cocktails every month, then you need to have a budget in place. It might sound quite grown up or even boring, but creating a budget that you can stick to will ensure you never end up with more month than money. When putting together your budget, you’ll probably include all of the usual things – rent, bills, that all-important weekly pizza – but there are some things you might not account for. If you want to create a budget that actually works for you, don’t forget to include these unexpected things.
Birthdays and big events
How many times have you created a strict budget, only to remember that you have four friends’ birthdays and your Aunt Glenda’s wedding coming up in the same month?! It happens to the best of us. If you want to make a budget that you’re not going to stray from, then you will need to account for those special events throughout the year. Sure, you might have already budgeted for the big holidays, like Christmas, but what about all of those other events? Go through your calendar and make a note of birthdays, weddings, and any other special occasions. Now, make sure you factor in the cost of these in your budget. Gifts, cards, expenses on the day – make sure you have it covered.
As well as special occasions, you have to think about the different seasons in the year and what this means for your budget. Do you spend more money on spiced pumpkin lattes in the winter? Factor it in. Do you go wild on suncream and new swimwear as soon as summer comes around? Add that to your budget. It can be difficult to know what your spending habits are like throughout the seasons unless you’ve kept an eye on expenses in the past, so you might want your first year to be a practice round. Make a note of when you spend more (and what on) so that you can put this into play with your next year’s budget.
There is nothing worse than sticking to a budget, feeling like everything is going well, and then your car breaks down. You have already allocated the rest of your disposable income on the gym membership you so desperately need after all that pizza. So, how do you pay for your vehicle repairs? Well, you need to have factored them into your budget! Make sure you account for things like new tires, vehicle registration, and emergency repairs. The last thing you want is to be stuck without a car and having to get the bus to work.
It totally makes sense to budget for vacations, and most people do include some savings for this in their budget. However, what about any unplanned travel you may need to take? Your best friend decides she’s getting married in Vegas next month – have something saved. You have a family emergency that you need to fly back home for – have something saved. You don’t want to be dealing with financial worries on top of what could potentially be a difficult situation, so make sure you have an ‘unplanned travel’ pot.
None of us want to consider what would happen if we fell ill, which is why so many people leave healthcare off of their budget. However, sometimes you or a loved one can become unwell, which means having to pay out for medical bills. All of the little things can add up to one big bill, that you certainly don’t want to be putting on the credit card. Make sure you set aside a little each month to cover any healthcare expenses which may crop up – even if you’re the picture of health!
If you already have a budget, it may be time to go back through and make sure you have factored in these unexpected costs. If you don’t have a budget, then get that spreadsheet open right now! Trust us; life is so much easier when you keep an eye on your money.