There are several things that seem to unknowingly pop up in budgets that can wreak havoc on a budget, especially when you’re just starting out. The fixed expenses like a mortgage payment, rent, utilities, cell phone bill and internet are the easy ones. Expenses like annual license renewals for cars, boats, motorcycles, RVs, pets, etc. can derail a budget in a flash. These are not emergencies, so to use money from your emergency fund doesn’t make sense. Be sure to outline when these expenses will need to be paid, especially if they are on autopay.
Another way that expenses can creep up on us is around gift-giving. We want to be generous and yet we struggle to budget accordingly. We know that every year, there is going to be a Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Christmas, not to mention all the birthdays, and graduations!
Special occasions and vacations can also create an opportunity for going over your budget. If you know that friends are coming to town and you expect to spend some dough while hanging out with them, plan that within your budget. Put some extra dollars in your pocket money category so you can spend it how you like. Weddings, honeymoons, bridal showers, baby showers, bachelor and bachelorette parties are also special times where you will want to plan accordingly. Setting up sinking funds for these will help you save every month and reach your goal so you can pay cash for them.
Want some help with setting up sinking funds? Reach out to me to schedule a conversation. I hope these tips will help you be successful in working within your budgets this month.