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One Simple Reason You Can’t Stick To Your Budget
The work “Budget” seems to hit a nerve with a lot of people. Most people just do not want to create a budget or follow one anymore. They feel that it is too constricting, don’t have the willpower to stick to it or is just a waste of time. They have failed time and time again and just don’t want to bother with it anymore.
First of all, these are all excuses for not being able to control you money, but there is most probably another underlying reason you can’t stick to your budget. And, there is one simple reason you can’t stick to your budget.
One Simple Reason You Can’t Stick To Your Budget
So, what is that answer? Well, very simply, you are not including everything you need to in your budget. Think about it, how often have you created a budget and promised yourself that this was the answer, all you needed to do is stick with it. Then only to fall flat a few months in?
I know that the reason I kept failing is because expenses always came up that I had not budgeted for. These expenses were not regular monthly items, but they were items that I should have taken into consideration and did not. I’ve done it many times, and I am sure you have too.
The key to sticking to your budget is making sure you have covered all the unscheduled but necessary expenses. Here is a list of some expenses that you may be missing in your budget that you need work into it.
Forgotten Budget Expenses
I’m sure that you’ve included gas, insurance and any other regular monthly expense having to do with transportation. But what about the expenses that are not monthly. Have you budgeted for regular oil changes? You know you need to have it done a few times a year right.
What about wiper replacements, yearly inspection and registration. These are inevitable. Have you thought about how you are going to pay for your next set of tires? This may only be an expense that happens once every three or four years but your budget will take a big hit when you do need them. Why not plan for it now.
Gift giving can really add up throughout the year and hurt your budgeting efforts. I’m sure that you’ve got Christmas covered because it is a huge yearly expense. But what about all the gift giving occasions that happen throughout the year? There are birthday gifts, Mother and Father’s day, weddings, baby showers, housewarming, graduations, retirement parties, get well gifts, all of your kids friends birthdays as well as your friends, the list goes on and on.
Plan for all of these occasions, even the unexpected ones. Figure out how much you are going to need for all the regular gift giving occasions then double that amount. Or at least give yourself a good padding in your budget to cover the unexpected ones, you will be glad you did and your budget will stay intact. Building a gift closet is another great way to stay on top of gift giving, read my post on How to Build a Gift Closet to get you started.
Health care other than you monthly prescription refills or insurance premiums can really hit your budget hard. Of course you wouldn’t have planned for those emergency room visits for a child’s broken leg or ear infections. And how would you have predicted that you would have slipped down the last three stairs in your basement putting holiday decorations away and sprained your knee?
Well you can’t predict these things, but you should be prepared for them nevertheless. You have to expect that sometimes these things happen. They happen to all of us, being prepared is key. You may not know when or how much it’s going to set you back, but having some money put aside when they do relieves some of the pressure when things go wrong. It allows you to focus on the more important things, taking care of yourself and your family.
Home Maintenance is another expense that will throw you budget into a tailspin if you haven’t been planning for them. Now let me ask you, how long do you think it is going to be before you need to replace the roof on your house? What about replacing door or windows? These are some huge expenses.
The thing is that they will need replacing and repair, it may be in five or more years but when your roof starts leaking, won’t you be happy that you have been working these thing into your budget. It doesn’t have to be these huge repairs either, you have to expect that you will eventually need a plumber for those clogged drains that are impossible to clear with drain cleaner. Or what about having to hire a handyman to make repairs around you house that you are not equipped to fix. Preparing for the inevitable will save your budget.
Do you have all your bases covered when it comes to pet care? I’m sure food and regular grooming have crossed your mind but there are other areas that may not have. What about unexpected vet bills and medications.
Have you thought of your pets yearly wellness exams or what about the yearly registration fee you have to pay your municipality? These are thing that most people don’t think of until it is too late to plan for them.
In addition to unexpected health care and injuries, there are other areas that you should be planning for. What about planning to replace your glasses every three to four years because your vision has changed. Or the dental cleanings and other work you may need to fix? Don’t think that you can get a cavity? Maybe you know that your child will need braces in few years, but think you have time, to prepare. Before you know it, you are hit with these expenses and are not prepared.
It’s hard to know exactly what and when it will happen or how much it is going to cost. Thinking about these things now, estimating how much it may set you back and how long you have to prepare yourself financially is the way to go.
Like home maintenance, you have to expect that your household items will need replacing at some point. How old is your washing machine? How much time do you have before it needs replacing? What will happen if your computer’s hard drive crashes or your cell phone dies?
These are all things that will need to be replaced no matter what. You have to plan on replacing them when they do. Again, you don’t know exactly when or which appliance or electronics will need replacing, but they will.
Unpaid Time Off From Work
Planning for unexpected time off from work is another area that is hard to say exactly how much you will need because it is, in fact, unexpected. But what would happen if it does. Losing a week’s worth of pay will really do a number on your finances.
Budget at least a week’s worth of unpaid time into your budget yearly. You might not need to use it now, and that’s great. But what if you do need to take time off from work to care for a sick child or parent. Wouldn’t it be a bit less worrisome if you didn’t have to stress about money so you could concentrate of your family?
Clothing can really take a bit out of your budget. I’m sure that you have included some money in this department but it’s a big possibility that you have not budgeted enough. Think about all the times where you unexpectedly had to purchase clothing items that you just didn’t think of in you overall clothing budget. Every season that rolls around you need to replace some items. Every winter you need to get the kids new cold weather items like jackets, boots mittens, snow pants, the list goes on. Children outgrow clothing so quickly, it’s hard to keep up.
What about formal wear for some special occasion that you didn’t think of until a few weeks before. Maybe your daughter was asked to be the flower girl at a wedding. How about updated work clothes for your new job. And the dreaded beginning of a new school year when you have to drop a small fortune on new clothes, backpacks, sneakers for gym and so on.
Consider all occasions and seasons that are on the way through the year and plan for those expenses as well as the regular everyday stuff.
There are many reasons why someone could get caught into taking an unexpected trip. It could be having to go out-of-town to help out an ailing family member. Or having an appointment with a specialist who is too far away to be able to make it a day trip. Although it’s not something you want to think of, maybe a family member passed away unexpectedly and you need to be there for the service.
The fact of the matter is that these things happen, whether you like it or not. These are not things you want to plan for, but they do happen. Wouldn’t it take some of the pressure off if you had money put aside?
Everyone’s situations are different, you may have kids and pets or you might not. You might be renting instead of owning a home. But whatever situations you are in there are always irregular expenses that you should be planning for.
Think about all the items that you have had to pay for in the past few years that you were not prepared for. Now; think of how you would have saved yourself stress, frustration and worry if you had been prepared.
You never know what life will throw at you. Preparing yourself for things that are inevitable is how you are going to save yourself financially.
What are some expenses that have happen that you wish you had been better prepared for?
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