Build Your Budget with These Key Expenses
1. Feel Good Money
You need to treat yourself occasionally so that you will feel good about budgeting.
A “treat” can be something as little as an impulse item from the checkout aisle or your favorite treat from the corner store.
Divvy yourself a certain amount of “feel good money” each month that you can spend recklessly, and you’ll find it easier to stick to your budget in other line items of your budget.
If hanging out is critical to your mental stability, allow yourself some money for things like eating out, or grabbing a few drinks during happy hour with friends. When you budget for these costs, you’re able to splurge reasonably without the guilt.
I am aware that some of us do not shop for clothes and some of us over-shop for clothes. This is for those who feel clothe shopping is a total waste of their time. You may want to include this line in your budget because most of us do at least a little clothes shopping, even if it’s just a wardrobe replacement in the spring and fall or a new coat for the winter.
Whatever you are spending on clothes (and shoes, accessories, and handbags), make sure to include it in your budget.
3. Home Maintenance
If you have home maintenance responsibilities there will be an unexpected cost. Some home maintenance costs are foreseeable. You know you’ll be cleaning the floors every spring and buying new items for your lawn and/or garden, so budget for these costs.
For all the unexpected repairs, slice a certain amount each month to cover things as they arise.
Experienced homeowners know that it is just a matter of time before a repair will arise. So you may as well plan for it.
4. Non-Monthly Bills
Don’t forget those sleeper bills that are regular but not monthly. Utilize the “divide by 12” method to set aside money for your bi-annual or annual payments (like property and income taxes).
Last, but most certainly not least make sure to include a line in your monthly budget for savings. Some people make sure they have enough for this each month by “paying themselves first,” or setting up automatic deductions from each paycheck to their savings account so they don’t forget to add fund to the account.
Adjust savings to budget for an emergency fund, goal-specific funds (like saving up for a vacation or your kids’ education), and long-term savings.
There are no right or wrong items to include in your budget. Create your budget based on your lifestyle and have some fun when you achieve your goals.