No one hears the word ‘budget’ and gets excited. It’s the total opposite. People hear that they should be budgeting and immediately, they shut down, feeling defensive that they should have to stop spending on things that they want and start being responsible.
Here’s a little secret: no one wants to spend their money on the bills and the serious things, but adulthood includes budgeting and spending money on smart decisions.
Of course, there’s always room to spend a little cash on yourself – life wouldn’t be exciting without that little surplus for fun things to buy.
However, if you really want to know why you don’t have as much cash as your calculator says that you should, you’ve got to start creating a budget.
You don’t necessarily need one of the very many budgeting apps on the market, but you do need to consider taking out a pen and notepad and writing things down.
Budgeting is the most adult thing that you can do, and you can use websites like Pigly.Com to ensure that you are getting your facts and figures right.
Have you budgeted for retirement? Emergencies? Insurances? All of these adult items are never any fun to budget for in the same way holidays and spa days are, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be budgeting for them.
The right calculators will be able to tell you where you’re spending your money, but you have to be honest with yourself about your spending, too.
There is a catch, though. You could be carefully penning all the regular expenses that you have each month, but there are some things that people just don’t budget for and that can be a problem!
For example, if you’re not budgeting for your retirement, then you will be too busy living for today to remember that there will be a day that you really do need the extra cash.
It won’t be obvious until it’s far too late, though, and that’s where budgeting comes in to save you. There are all the usual things that you should be budgeting for every month and keeping track of, but then there are these eight things that you mustn’t forget to account for:
Home Improvements. If you’re a homeowner, you are the person in charge of repairs and replacements in your home. If the boiler breaks down, there’s no landlord to call and talk to about a replacement, it’s on you to replace it. The last thing that you need to worry about is not having enough budgeted and put by for it, so you should be putting a piece of your monthly salary to one side to account for repairs. Keeping your house in good order is going to keep your family safe. The water heaters, the boiler and the roof are all important things you should be budgeting for where repairs are concerned.
Life Insurance. Whether you are planning a family, or you already have one, you need to think about life insurance for yourselves. At any time, you could find yourself in a situation where your partner will need to collect yours or vice versa after death. Using companies like Blumenshine Law Group can help you if there are problems. It’s something you should budget for, because then you don’t have to worry about how the rest of your family will manage should something happen to you.
Wedding. It doesn’t matter whether you are planning your own wedding, or you are about to be a guest of one – or several – you need a budget. If it’s your wedding, you’re going to need to consider the costs overall of your own big day. If you are a guest, you need to think about travel, accommodation, outfits, gifts – it all adds up when you’re attending weddings for a lot of friends or family members. It’s not something to miss out on.
Pet Insurance. Your furry friends that live with you aren’t always easy to live with, particularly when they get themselves into bother or find themselves sick with a cancer. You need to be able to afford the vets bills and pet insurance so that you’re not spending every penny you have on them when the time comes. Always be ready for the regular vaccinations, food and litter expenses; these happen more than once a year.
Clothes. Believe it or not, most people don’t factor in new clothes into their regular budgets. Trends change, and whether you are thinking about work clothes or your regular outfits, they will wear out over time. Even if you hate shopping for clothes, there will be times where you will have to spend out and buy new ones. You will need to have professional clothing for work, so make sure that you are budgeting for repairs – including shoe repairs when you inevitably break a heel.
Car Repairs. If you have a vehicle on the road, you’re going to have car insurance, which is easy to factor into your budget. That with fuel are easy things to anticipate. However, you can’t always predict when the brake pads are going to go, or the gearbox is going to start making that crunching noise. When you put repairs into your budget, you are expecting the unexpected. Set aside some of your salary every month to cover repairs, which will help when they do crop up, because then you don’t have to scramble to find the cash.
Personal Care. How often do you realise it’s been six months since your last salon appointment? Yeah, it happens to everyone. Start putting a haircut fund into your budget; it doesn’t have to be much, but it does have to cover your own personal care when you need it. This can be anything from accessories to your hair care regime and beauty regime. Remember to take care of yourself with your own earnings – it’s surprising how many don’t!
Memberships. The gym, the local social club, annual passes; these memberships are great, and you need to consider how much you pay each month or quarter and make sure that you pop the money on your budget. They quickly add up when you put them all together but check what you’re paying for. If there are any in there that you don’t want to pay for anymore, then drop them. Think about taking them off your budget and saving the money instead for other things.
Fun. Lastly, the one thing you really should factor into your budget is some fun. You need to know it’s not all about bills and payments in life. Take some of your budget just for you to go a little silly – it’ll keep you alive.
To Sum Up
Budgeting is for everyone, you just have to find out what works for you and go from there. It’s the best way to keep track of your cash and stay money smart.