In order to have financial independence and stability every household needs to have a budget. All budgets that I see have all the basic essentials built in like; mortgage or rent payment, groceries for the month, gasoline for transportation, utilities bills, but we all miss many other bills that need to be added so you do not forget about them.
At the beginning of the month you have all good intentions to have money left over at the end of the month. You have ear-marked every dollar and assigned it to a specific category in your budget, but then the end of the month comes and you’re wondering where did all my money go? Maybe you need to go back and take a look at your budget and see what you are missing. Many times budgets need to be updated and scrutinized to see where the money is going.
Here is a list of a few categories you need to check to see if you are missing them from your budget.
- Gift giving – As we are coming up to the holidays we need to make sure that we don’t forget to include the cost of gifts on our budget. Budgeting for gifts is a necessity. If we run into months that we don’t have any birthdays or special occasions then we can take that money are roll it over into the next month. This way this category in our budget will always continue to grow and we will never be short of money for special times of the year.
- Memberships and subscriptions – . We all have some sort of subscriptions and membership dues that we pay monthly. Most of these are small fee’s and many people do not include them in their budget. Add up your Netflix, Amazon, magazine subscriptions, fees that we tend to overlook you may be surprised how much money that we do not earmark in our budget for these fees.
- Vehicle maintenance – The price of car repairs and routine maintenance is going through the roof. I remember the day a simple oil change cost about $20.00, today I just had my oil changed and it was over $100.00. We must put in our budget the cost of vehicle maintenance.
- Home maintenance – Every time I turn around I am spending money on home repairs or remodeling projects. It does not matter if your home is old or new there are always things that need to be done. Make sure that you do budget for this category so you will have money in the account for these repairs when they pop up.
- Emergency fund – Living here in Florida we get hit by the occasional hurricane or hurricane threat. This is where this fund comes in handy for us. When hurricane season comes around we start preparing for the storm even if none is predicted. Just a couple months back we had three storms that threatened our state and everyone was in a panic. Food and fuel was in high demand and the shelves were empty and the gas stations ran out of fuel. This is why we prepare early, we had plenty of food and fuel while everyone else was in a frenzy. An emergency fund in a budget can be a flexible fund once you have about six months of salary put away. I use this fund for preparations but this fund can be used for loss of income, sever car repairs, a unexpected medical bill or some other major cost.
- Children fund – It seems like every time I turned around when my daughter was in school she was needing money for one thing or another. She would come home from school with a note stating that she needed $100 or $200 for school trips, educational expenses, lab fees, band fees, dance fees and so on. These fees would always happen at the worst opportune time. If you have children then do not forget to add this to your category list.
Like I said above, budgets are always going to need to be tweaked and scrutinized. At the end of each month check your receipts and your bank account to see where you may need to add a new category or adjust a category until you have a well running budget.