Have you ever heard the quote, “Failing to plan is planning to fail?” Do you feel like every time you make a budget, it never seems to work out? Something always comes up that throws your budget off? Unexpected expenses keep popping up?
Be honest with yourself, how many of those unexpected expenses are really unexpected?
Birthdays and holidays come at the same time every year. The cat needs a checkup and shots every year. The trash bill comes once a quarter. These expenses aren’t unexpected, but maybe you didn’t plan for them. If you don’t plan for these expenses, they can quickly derail your bottom line.
To help you keep organized, I’ve created a printable that you can use to track these irregular expenses by month.
There’s a place for the date, description, and amount. If the expense has a specific due date, such as I am billed annually on April 15th for Amazon Prime, I will fill in the date. Otherwise, I just list the expense in the month. Some expenses you may not have an exact amount for, just fill in an estimated amount.
Fill in the boxes with the expenses you know about right now, and keep the listing handy to add to if you remember another expense later on.
Here’s some ideas of expenses to track:
Do you have any subscriptions such as magazines or newspapers? Clubs or professional organizations that have annual dues? Museum or zoo membership? Other services that are billed less than monthly but at least annually?
Vet care and vaccinations, grooming, rabies tags/registration.
In my area, the trash services and sewer services are billed on a quarterly basis. Do you have any utilities or services that are on quarterly billing? Do you have any neighborhood or homeowners association dues?
Oil changes, annual registration, inspection fees and repairs are examples. Also, is there any normal maintenance that you know you will need in the upcoming year such as new tires?
This includes items such as furnace inspection, lawn fertilizing/aerating, and pest control.
Who do you typically buy gifts for, and how much do you spend on them? For example, I’d list $20 for when each of my nieces and nephews have a birthday.
What about birthday parties? Do you typically throw birthday parties, and what do you spend? Do you do something special for your spouse on your anniversary? Go out for a special dinner and night out?
What holidays do you celebrate? What do you need for them? Do your kids get new Halloween costumes? Do you have everyone over for a big turkey dinner for Thanksgiving? Have a night out with your spouse for Valentine’s Day?
Keep the listing to refer back to when you work on your monthly budget.
By including the irregular expenses when you create your budget, you will have better luck keeping your budget on track.
Click the image to download the free printable!
Have an expense that I didn’t include on the list? Comment below to share with other readers.