5 Common Budgeting Mistakes

Family-BudgetBudgeting. For some that word only instigates a headache. Crunching numbers and tracking each and every last penny spent is a daunting task. However, it is a necessary evil. It’s hard to think of every last expense you may or may not make. By the end of the month you could have spent a lot more than you accounted for at the beginning. Check out these common things people tend to forget when budgeting, so you don’t have to make that mistake again.

Annual/ Quarterly Payments
Whether it is your car insurance, gas bill or something else, these types of expenses can creep up on you. I mean, you have a whole year to pay them, so why think about it today? Instead of getting stuck a week or two out, panicking on how you’ll pay all your other expenses, set aside some of the expense each month. You’ll be glad you did once the payment rolls around.

ATM Fees
We’ve all been there. You’re out and about with the family and the breakfast place you’ve wanted to go to for months only accepts cash. No problem—you’ll just grab some cash from the ATM. What you don’t think about is the $3+ fee the machine charges plus your bank fee. That $60 you took out really costs $65. These little fees add up fast. Try and think ahead, and budget $20 for emergency type situations.

Car Maintenance
You probably account for your monthly gas bill, but what about that oil change you had last month? Or car wash? These types of car maintenance issues arise every few months so make sure you add them into your budget. Oil changes are usually $30-$40 so putting aside a few dollars in between tune ups guarantees you’ll be ready once the day comes.

Personal Care
Haircuts are something we all need. You don’t have to go every six weeks if you need to stretch your budget, but make sure you account for the expense. The cost for a family of four to get their hair cut adds up quickly. Don’t let it sneak up on you.

Eating Out
Some days are so hectic the only way to get dinner on the table is to make a run to McDonalds or your fast-food place of choice. It’s quick, easy and better yet – cheap. Make sure you account for this expense. Each month, plan on spending X amount on eating out. This includes sit down places as well as fast-food.

Budgeting might not be your favorite thing to do, but like anything the more you do it the easier it becomes. The best we can do is to track what we spend and try to project next month’s spending better.

Have you run into expenses you didn’t think to budget for? Let us know in the comments below.

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