Budgets are not exactly the most popular of ideas but I am quietly in love with mine. I am constantly tweaking it, adjusting here and there, getting it just right and it’s pretty close to perfect if I do say so myself. But every now and then, an unexpected expense throws it in to disarray.
This has brought my attention to the things we don’t typically allow for in our budget, but we really, really should!
You’re on a tight budget but you’ve got it all sussed out. Your wage is just enough to pay your rent, buy your groceries, pay the gas bill, fill the car up with fuel and have enough to buy a meal at the dinner you’re going to on Saturday. But uh oh, then you realise, that dinner’s for a birthday and now you need to buy a present. A decent gift, gift wrap and a card can set you back a significant sum, depending on the circles you move in, but one thing’s for sure… no one likes to arrive empty-handed.
You can’t exactly predict engagements and baby showers but by making sure you anticipate your friends’ and family’s birthdays and budget for them accordingly, you’ll have a bit more room to breathe when the unexpected does happen.
You already budget for your insurance and your service and that’s great but it’s not enough. The basic principles of physics tell us that machines will always malfunction (it’s called entropy if you wanna’ look it up!) and I don’t know anyone whose car has never broken down. Start putting a little aside now and whether it be your distributor or your entire drum-brake system needing replacement, you’ll be glad to have the help.
People don’t plan to get sick, but we do. I can’t plan the cost of medication I might need before I know what it is, but if I plan to visit the doctor a few times a year, it’s all a little bit less painful. No one can predict what the future holds for our health, but I can predict it’s going to cost money!
We often budget for our own medical expenses but forget those of our beloved animal companions. Like a car, it’s great to take them in for their annual check-up (and for heaven’s sake, please don’t stop!) but at some point, they are going to need tests, treatments or medicines and there ain’t no Medicare for pets. Something as simple as analysing a sample for the cause of a digestive problem can cost hundreds of dollars. Love your pet? Make sure you can afford to show them when they need it most.
If you own your own home, first of all well done! Saving a deposit and buying a house is no easy feat. Secondly, you no doubt know that houses need constant maintenance. Something is always breaking, flaking, crumbling or grumbling and if you don’t nip the little problems in the bud, they can turn into rather gargantuan ones. You know it’s coming; plan for it!
[Source: 5 Things You Don’t Budget For But Should by Fran Sidoti.]