Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
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Expenses Your May Forget to Budget For

Most expenses are paid every month and so they’re pretty easy to remember. When you create your budget, you’re not likely to forget things like rent or mortgage, utility payments, credit card payments, etc. But, there are expenses that don’t come so regularly, that you pay only once or twice a year. These oft-forgotten expenses can break your budget during those months, especially if you forget about them. Here are some expenses that you might forget to budget for and some tips on remembering these.

Taxes and insurance premiums. Certain taxes, property taxes and vehicle taxes for example, are only paid once or twice a year. The same thing is true for insurance premiums. One way to keep up with these expenses is to create an annual list or calendar that includes these expenses and the month’s they occur. List each month, January to December, and then write down expenses that come during that month. Then, when you build your budget each month, make sure you refer to the annual list to include those non-regular expenses.

Gifts. There are holidays, events, and birthdays throughout the year for which you’ll need to purchase gifts. Certain days might include Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Friends, relatives, and co-workers may get married, have an anniversary, get promoted, or have another occasion that require a gift. If you regularly give gifts, make sure you allocate this in your budget. Again, you can use an annual calendar to keep track of these celebrations.

Birthday celebrations. For certain loved ones – like kids, spouse, parent, or best friend – that are really close to you, you may have to foot the bill for their birthday celebrations. You don’t want these occasions to sneak up on you, otherwise, you may have to shortchange your loved one’s birthday celebration. Start preparing early enough and you can set aside money each month for these types of events. Don’t forget to communicate your plans with anyone else who may be chipping in, so they can also start preparing for the celebration.

Seasonal spending. Certain times of the year require more spending, particularly the winter holidays. You may celebrate other holidays during the year, like American Independence Day or Memorial Day. These days can fit right into your annual list.

Back-to-school expenses. It happens every year, but it can still sneak up on you. On the plus side, many stores start putting school supplies on display weeks before school starts. Back to school expenses include more than paper and pencils. Don’t forget about backpack, clothes, shoes, school fees, and lunch money.

Because some expenses may be too big to cover in just one month, property taxes for example, consider setting aside some money for these every month. If your property taxes are paid semi-annually, then divide the total tax amount (or an estimate) by six and put that amount in your monthly budget. Then, when it’s actually time to pay those taxes, you won’t have to try to come up with the full amount from just one paycheck. You can use this strategy for all your non-regular expenses to make it easier to pay when the time comes.
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Thursday, 02 February 2023

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