So you’ve finally put together a budget. Excellent, that’s a great step forward in creating a stable financial life and, one day, becoming financially independent.
Now, while you’re busy patting yourself on the back, you may want to make sure that you’ve included a number of items or categories into your budget that many consumers forget.
The fact is, a lot of people base their budget only on the monthly bills they pay and, sometimes, throw in the cost of groceries or couple of other expenses. It’s great that you created a budget, no doubt, but if you forget to include these next 5 items you’ll still find yourself short on money come month’s end. Enjoy.
Item #1: Daily, habitual spending on small items
Unless you work from home and have everything you need at hand, you probably spend more money than you think every day on snacks, coffee, newspapers, magazines, soda and other things. This money, even though it’s only a few dollars a day, can end up being quite a bit more than you think at the end of the month, and it definitely needs to be included into your budget. For example, even if you only spend $5 a day (and many people spend a good bit more than that) that’s $100 that you’ve spent by the end of every month, and $1200 a year.
Item #2: Going to Restaurants
Food is, obviously, an essential item, and groceries should definitely be on your budget. Most people forget to include eating out at restaurants however and, if you do this on a regular basis, it absolutely should be included into your budget. Even lunch for one person is $10-$15 at a decent restaurant and, if you do that twice a week, that’s $120 a month.
Item #3: Entertainment
These days a night out at the movies for two people can easily cost $25. A couple who drink two mixed drinks each at a bar can easily spend $40. Including an entertainment category in your budget, especially if you’re young and like going out, is definitely a necessity if you want to make sure that you stick to your budget every month. It will also help you keep track, frankly, of overspending in this category.
Item #4: Big annual payments
Paying bills monthly is easy to remember, but those bills that you only have to pay once a year, like home taxes, car registration, car taxes and so forth, can really take a chunk out of your budget when the time comes to pay them, especially if you haven’t included them into your budget to begin with.
Item #5: Clothing
No matter where you shop for clothing, whether it’s a high-end department store or the local thrift shop, adding in a clothing expense to your budget is a good idea. If you spend a lot of money on new clothes for work, or simply because you like having new clothes, this is definitely vital.
As we said, it’s awesome that you’ve put together a budget and we wish you a lot of luck sticking to it. Just make sure that the 5 items above, and any other categories that you wish to add, are included in your budget so that you know exactly what money is coming in and going out every month.
That information will go a long way towards helping you become financially independent.