Forgotten Expenses in Your Budget
When we plan our budget, the top things on the list tend to be the biggest expenses; rent/mortgage costs, utility bills, food and day to day expenses. But if you find you’re still blowing your budget each month, there might be something you’re forgetting to factor in. Whether unplanned expenses or things you simply forgot about, here are a few to consider.
An often overlooked expense, especially if you don’t have any regular medications. Currently, the cost of a single item on prescription is an eye-watering £9, so make sure you set aside a small amount in case of an unexpected illness.
They only come round once a year, yet most of us forget to add the cost of birthday gifts to our monthly budget. This is especially tricky if you have young children, as birthday invites often mean forking out for a gift for the child. If you can, try buying gifts when they’re on offer and store them until they’re needed.
This is one of the most forgotten about expenses, especially when they’re spontaneous plans. Whether it’s an impromptu date night or after-work drinks, adding a little to your entertainment fund will ensure you can still enjoy yourself without overspending.
Impulse shopping trips
It’s not uncommon to run out of essentials such as milk or bread, but when this means a trip to the local convenience store with its inflated prices it can easily add an extra few pounds onto your monthly expenses. If you find this happening often, adding an extra £10 to your food shopping budget could help cover these costs.
If you buy an odd bottle of shower gel or deodorant when you do your food shopping, you probably already include this cost in your food budget. However if you find several of your products run out at once, you might need to pop to the shop again, adding an extra £10-£20 to your costs that you didn’t account for.
Annual/ quarterly bills
Just because you don’t pay for these things every month, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be part of your budget. If you pay annually or quarterly for bills such as television licence or car tax, make sure you’re setting aside money for it each month in preparation.
Most of us don’t tend to account for travel costs if we don’t need them every day. The cost of a late-night taxi home or an impromptu bus trip can end up costing quite a bit. Try to work out the maximum amount of times you are likely to do this within a month and add the cost to your budget so you don’t get caught out.
If you drive, you’ve probably already added the cost of MOT and servicing to your outgoings, but have you considered the potential cost of any repairs needed to pass the MOT? Even replacing a single worn tyre can cost between £50 – £100. This can make quite a dent in your budget, so make sure you’re prepared.
Dentist or opticians
As with non-monthly bills, occasional expenses such as dental appointments or eye tests are often forgotten about. If you know you’re due a check-up soon, factor in the cost to that month’s budget to save any undue stress.
School supplies for children
It’s no secret that having children is expensive, especially when they’re in school. Most find the big costs come right before a new school year, so it’s worth putting money aside each month to cover the cost of a new uniform, shoes, bags as well as other supplies they might need.
If you’re still struggling with your budget each month, it might be useful to review old bank statements. Having an overview of your outgoings for previous months helps to highlight any expenses you might have overlooked, which you can then account for in future months. Happy budgeting!
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