6 easy-to-forget expenses to include in your budget

Are you building a budget? This article outlines some expenses that are easily forgettable in your budget that you will want to include in your financial planning strategy.

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Creating a budget is never easy, as it can take months or even years to perfect the process. And on top of that, life is always changing, so a budget that worked a few months ago might not necessarily work now. In fact, even the most detail-oriented person often has a hard time creating a budget that works.

If you overspend and the budget fails, it isn't necessarily for a lack of trying. One of the most common reasons people find budgeting so hard is because there are so many different expenses to keep track of. The big ones, like housing and food, are obvious. But there are so many little things we forget about that can derail a budget from the start. The next time you evaluate your budget, consider these 6 expenses that people often forget:

Celebrations

It seems like every week, we're always celebrating something. From birthdays to weddings to holidays, our schedules are jampacked with these social events. However, we often forget that these celebrations come with hefty price tags. Gifts, travel costs, and party attire can add up quickly. Not accounting for these items can really throw your budget off. For example, if you know you have a few weddings coming up in the next year, make sure to set aside funds to cover any associated costs. Also be sure to increase your budget during the holiday season to account for gifts and travel.

Pet care

We love our pets, but there's no denying that caring for them gets expensive. We tend to only think of pet care expenses in terms of things they use every day, like food, but any pet owner knows that there are many other major costs associated with our furry friends. Health care, including regular veterinary visits, are a big one. Grooming and pet sitting is another. These are expenses for your pet that may not happen every month but they're regular enough that you should include them in your budget.

Coffee

Any good budget will include a category for food and dining, but don't forget to include your coffee in there as well. We all know how much a cup of coffee can cost, anywhere from $2 for a regular cup to $6 for a latte. It's something many of us can't live without and it definitely adds up. Whether you make your own or go to your local Starbucks, make sure you understand how much you're really spending on your coffee addiction every month.

Home maintenance

Owning a home is a dream to many, but when that dream finally comes true, many first-time homeowners are unpleasantly surprised by the cost of home maintenance. Aside from utilities, and minor repairs, there are many recurring expenses, such as lawn maintenance and weather proofing that homeowners forget. Expenses like these drive up the cost of owning a home considerably.

'Me' fund

When we're trying to stick to a tight budget, we often forget about ourselves. If you're trying to cut your budget, spending on things we enjoy is likely the first expense to go. Don't underestimate the value of having a "me" fund, though. It can be anything, from a night out or a pedicure, but doing even something small from time to time can drastically improve your mood and increase your productivity.

Emergency fund

The one thing people most often forget to account for is an emergency fund. This is also the most important. With all that's going on, saving up for a rainy day is probably the last thing on your mind. But as with life, you never really know what can happen, and you need an emergency fund to protect you from whatever life throws your way. Your budget should include a portion to set aside for emergencies. Many recommend that you have 3 months of expenses on hand at any given moment. You can decide the amount you're comfortable with and slowly save up for it. Just remember to make this a priority.

Topics:
  • Budgeting
  • Emergency Funds
  • Saving and Spending
  • Budgeting
  • Emergency Funds
  • Saving and Spending
  • Budgeting
  • Emergency Funds
  • Saving and Spending
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Article copyright 2017 by MoneyNing. Reprinted from the August 22, 2017 issue with permission from MoneyNing.
The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. Fidelity Investments cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any statements or data.
This reprint is supplied by Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC.
The third-party provider of the reprint permission and Fidelity Investments are independent entities and are not legally affiliated.

Votes are submitted voluntarily by individuals and reflect their own opinion of the article's helpfulness. A percentage value for helpfulness will display once a sufficient number of votes have been submitted.

Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917

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