budget, expenses, money tips



We’ve all had it happen to us, those “unexpected expenses” that pops up on us every year.  But are they really unexpected or do we just simply fail to plan for them?  We create an “other” category, but that simply get’s lost during the year.  These “surprises” can wreak havoc on your financial goals if not included in your regular budget.  Because we’ve all faced this, I’ve compiled a list of 15 expenses that will help you keep track of these expenses regularly.

Car Registration

​ ​Thankfully, I live in a state that doesn’t require inspections prior to registering a car but plenty of states require it.  But like all states, Florida requires you to renew your registration every year.  Depending on where you live and the age of your car, you may be required to pay taxes and emission fees.  Make sure you set aside a portion of these expenses every month to avoid busting your budget.

Taxes and Tax Preparation

​ ​You never want to mess with Uncle Sam and his taxes, especially if you work for yourself.  My rule of thumb is to put aside at least 25% to 30% of your monthly income into a separate bank account for taxes.  You don’t want to end up scrounging around for money at the last minute or end up paying penalties and interest because you failed to prepare.    Don’t forget to budget in fees for tax software or professionals.

Car Maintenance

How many times have you gotten a flat tire and were told the tire can’t be repaired but didn’t have the money to replace it?  What about waiting until the breaks get so bad, you need new rotors which increase your expenses.  Remember to set aside at least $20 per month for oil changes, regular tune-ups, etc so it won’t become a budget-buster.

Birthdays & Gifts

​ ​I love giving gifts but it certain months during the year is more expensive than others.  I used to wait unto the last minute and totally blow my budget.  But now that I’ve become a bit savvier with money, I set a site a little bit each month to make sure we have enough to buy for the people we love, including close friends.  I have a jar on my dresser that I put money into but you can also open a birthday savings club account to help you out.


​Even though you have insurance, you may need to meet a deductible before it kicks in.  If  you reefill prescriptions or get your eyes check regularly, remember to set aside funds for these items.  You also want to set aside money for dental care.


​ ​We decided that we would go out to a nice restaurant every year for our anniversary.  Now I don’t put aside money every month but two months before we start scouting restaurants we want to try and set aside half of our budget during those months.  If we decide to vacation, then we nix the dinner use the vacation as our gift to each other.  The amount of money you save can be different each year, just remember to plan accordingly.

Mother’s Day & Father’s Day

​Remember to save money for your spouse, mother, father, siblings, or anyone else you’d like to celebrate during this time.

Household Maintenance

​ ​Homeownership is a wonderful thing but can become budget-buster it’s not properly maintained.  Setting aside money each month would go towards items like maintenance for water and air filters and HVAC units. Larger expenses like roof repairs and pipes bursting can come from your emergency fund.

Pest Control and Yard Maintenance

My father and brothers maintained the yard when I was growing up.  If you handle it yourself, be sure to budget for flowers, fertilizer, lawn mower maintenance, etc.  If you decide to have someone do it for you, just add the fee to your monthly budget.

Pet Care

I don’t have pets and honestly, don’t want one. They take a lot of care and money to properly care for.  I don’t want to be a neglectful owner so I just decided they weren’t for me.  If you are a pet owner, remember to budget for food, shots, vet care, boarding (for those times you can’t find a pet sitter.

Kids School Activities

Kids are expensive.  The list of items and fees are unending: school pictures, supplies, clothing, field trips, fundraisers, sports fees, and more.  These items add up and can destroy your budget if you’re not careful. There’s a huge laundry list of school items to think about for your kids each year: tuition, school supplies, seasonal clothing (summer/winter), pictures, field trips, fund raisers and sports fees and supplies. Memberships and Subscriptions

To keep track of my memberships and subscriptions, I created a spreadsheet with due dates that I reference regularly to make sure they are accounted for.  A few examples of memberships and subscriptions include Amazon Prime, magazine subscriptions, Warehouse (Sam’s Club and Costco) and subscription boxes.

Why I don’t use an “other” category.

The other category is an abyss where money gets lost.  For me, the “other” category feels like a junk drawer (which I do not have).  Having an itemized list allows me to remain in control which in turn keeps me on budget.  I’m not saying it’s a totally bad idea but it should be a very small amount and used for small items.  Now that you’ve identified those budget items, it’s time to take action to make sure they’re never missed again.


Common Expenses  You Forget to Add to Your Budget was first seen on Hobbies and Cents.