Five Easily Forgotten Monthly Expenses

Five Easily Forgotten Monthly Expenses

When you’re trying to buy a home, you’re taking a careful look at what you earn, what you spend, and what you can afford. The part that many people forget is the incidentals – those expenses that fly under your radar but definitely take a hit on your wallet. These can add up quickly because usually, they aren’t things that can be avoided – and they can send your budget crashing. Make sure you have these accounted for next to your mortgage, electric bill, car payment, water bill, phone bill, etc.

Five Easily Forgotten Monthly Expenses

  • Car Insurance, Registration, and Oil Change
  • Medicine and Vitamins
  • Babysitting/Childcare
  • Pet Grooming/Vet Costs
  • Gifts

While your car insurance, registration, and oil change may not be due every month (but it may be, depending on your insurance payment plan and how much you drive – remember – 3,000 miles per oil change) you should treat it as such, so that you aren’t stuck with a huge bill every three, six, or twelve months. Put the necessary amount away each month so that you are being realistic about your expenses pertaining to your car (or better yet, set it up on a monthly plan).

Medicine and vitamins may not cross your mind, especially if you get mail-order every three months, or take no prescription meds and only buy vitamins, but these are expensive! Also remember that you can need medicine at any point. You’re probably buying over the counter medicines as well that you aren’t considering. Add these costs in to your budget.

Babysitting and childcare is probably on your radar, especially if you pay for it 40 hours/week every week, but it may not be if it’s occasional or before and after school. It still adds up – even those date nights. Calculate what you spend and account for them. A little one on the way? You definitely need to think about what you’ll be spending on childcare, as this could be a huge part of your expenses.

Vet costs and Pet grooming may not be every month, but when it happens, its a shock to the pocketbook! Are you accounting for your pet’s toys, treats, specialty food? All of these are very pricey compared to human food. Make sure you’re keeping a realistic tab on what you spend and plan for it.

Gifting is largely dependent on your personal feelings, family size, culture, etc., but few people live without ever giving gifts. Some people realize they have five birthday gifts to buy in August- ouch! It may be better to spread the cost of gifting, including or excluding Christmas, into a general cost each month so that you can be sure you have the money when you need it. Some months you may not need to touch it, but others, you will be thrilled it is there!

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